“If you loved me, you’d show me!”

Recruiting and talent leaders, it’s time to face facts: you’re leaving a lot of candidates at the altar.  Jilted, disappointed, even despondent.  What’s up with how they are treated in your corporate “dating” process of attraction, assessment, offer, and onboarding?

The Talent Board has a point of view on that.  They’ve compiled the formula to the job seeker’s version of love potion #9, based on a treasure trove of data they collect and analyze during their annual Candidate Experience (or “CandE”) survey and award process.

Following are just a few of the top 10 key takeaways from Talent Board’s 2017 North American Candidate Experience Research Report.  It’s chock full of serious data and analysis to show us the truth about most corporate recruiting processes – It’s not you, it’s me.”  The full report is available here, and award winning companies are consistently performing better in these areas:

Take a Customer-Centric Approach

Savvy employers are making their recruiting teams available to answer questions during live chats on career sites and social media, as well as experimenting with chatbots to answer general employment questions. The latter frees up the recruiting teams to have more hands-on time with potential candidates already in play.

Think and Act Like a Marketer

Recruitment marketing isn’t new to talent acquisition but, in 2017, 74 percent of CandE-winning employers have a candidate relationship management (CRM) system in place. Communicating and educating potential candidates while nurturing future-fit candidates and silver medalists are key differentiators in today’s competitive talent market.

Fulfill Greater Expectations

Candidates want to understand their progress and know how much of an application is left. When customers shop online, they have insight into how many steps are left before they complete their purchase, and then receive proactive follow-up communications with progress toward a final status. Is it any wonder that candidates have come to expect a similar experience?

Walk in the Candidate’s Shoes

Employers must be willing to admit that their existing apply process may not be working. In order to think about the application process from the candidates’ perspective, more and more organizations are thankfully applying for their own jobs, and are reaping the benefits of incrementally improving their application process.

Prepare Your Candidates

No candidate should go into 
an interview like a blind date, without information about whom they will meet with and what they can expect. It’s critical for companies to add the human touch and some transparency, actually helping candidates succeed.

Ask Relevant Questions

Candidates don’t want to be asked the same questions that are answered by their resume, application, or 1-way video intro. A big part of any relationship is active listening, and employers leave a lasting impression when they build upon information already gathered.

“I <3 your business!”

Like it or not, there is a business impact to all this that is measurable.  According to the Talent Board’s report, candidates who had a “great” overall experience say they’ll definitely continue their employer relationships – they’ll apply again, refer others and make purchases when applicable. Not surprisingly, the opposite is also true.

So, talent leaders, ignore the Candidate Experience at your peril…or be a world-class matchmaker, it’s up to you!  But if you decide to invest in this critical, long-term relationship, maybe Valentine’s Day 2018 is a perfect day to recommit to sharing the love.

Erin McDermott Peterson is a Partner with PeopleResults. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPeterson or connect via email at epeterson@people-results.com