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Director, RPO Practice Lead, EMEA
As RPO Practice Lead EMEAfor the Kelly Outsourcing & Consulting Group, Sally is responsible the RPO proposition from client relationships via the account management team to consulting on HR transformation.
Sally has extensive experience in the human capital sector, including leadership positions within strategic account management for staffing providers to operational delivery.
Sally has also been on the “buy/client” side leading transformational efficiency projects, that have included the outsourcing of large scale recruitment and learning operations. As an independent Consultant, Sally has worked with a number of clients to build the business case for change and shape their HR model in the context of outsourcing partnerships.
Sally has worked with clients across the following key industry sectors: Financial Services, Public Sector, Manufacturing and Pharmaceuticals.
The candidate experience (CE)—there are plenty of white papers and blogs that attempt to define and improve it, but can we go further? Can we find a way to make it part of a holistic recruitment approach, and think of CE more like a product, or a ‘deliverable’ item?
Granted, it is hard to imagine that CE can exist independently of a Talent Acquisition Strategy and vice versa. Instead, we need to refine the entire recruitment strategy to ensure CE is pre-targeted and delivers real value to the customer.
So, what’s the product?
Recruiters are always looking to enhance, differentiate, and sell their products, but what exactly is the final recruiting product? Some may say it’s the job on offer, but if we think about the way recruitment tools and strategies have evolved, this definition alone cannot capture it.
All of the recruiting and talent resourcing efforts that leverage interactive media sites—creating user-friendly career pages, blogs, communities etc.—are designed to draw in and gain candidate interest. They hope to entice candidates (as much so as hiring managers) to ‘buy’ into a recruitment process in the hope of obtaining a job. But, if the product is only the job on offer—and this can only be given to one person—this would leave most of the customers who applied with nothing to show for their ‘purchase’. If we say that the final product is the company job offer, we are bound to have many unhappy customers.
Instead, we can argue that the one thing all buyers can receive from an organization is a candidate experience. Whether they actively apply for a position or they are approached, and regardless of whether or not they are offered and accept the job, the CE is the one thing each applicant can receive.
From the moment the first connection is made, be it a click on a site, an email or a telephone call, the CE begins. Like a stopwatch, it is something that can then either speed up, slowed down, or stopped. It’s my opinion that, as the one consistent product for talent, recruiters should treat the candidate experience as a deliverable, which should be targeted, marketed, designed and tailor-made.
And the tailor-made part is critical: companies may want a one-size-fits-all approach, but the candidate experience is unique to every individual. Whether a candidate is fortunate to receive a job offer, or they are rejected or withdraw from a recruitment process, they remember it; some even make decisions based upon it, which can impact organizations trying to hire them for future roles.
So, think about how you want candidates to 'feel' at the end of the application and/or recruitment process, and let this be your guide regarding any new investments or changes that you make to it. Will candidates—even those that are rejected—keep you on their company watch list, or will their perceived experience keep them from returning? Or worse, will they communicate that negative experience to other candidate ‘shoppers’?