Voice of the Candidate

Voice of the Candidate

Listen to the Voice of the Candidate (VOC) episode at the link above or wherever you enjoy podcasts. 

The Candidate Experience Podcast is hosted by Chuck Solomon at the link above or wherever you enjoy podcasts. A transcription of this interview is available below.

Together with his guests, Chuck who is on the team at LineHire, discuss the good, bad and ugly of the candidate journey. With emphasis on helping companies strengthen their candidate experience to improve their employer brand

Chuck Solomon 0:00
Hey everyone, thanks for listening, this episode is going to be a little bit different. And I’ll tell you the reason why in a second. Typically, I interview one guest expert each episode, and today is going to be just me talking. Talking about VOC or the voice of the candidate. Next week, I’ll be returning to that guest interview format. So, I’m really thankful for all the feedback that I get from listeners and some feedback that I’ve heard from a couple of listeners is that they want to hear directly from job seekers. And that’s what I’ll cover in this episode. They also want to hear from more practitioners that is, those folks that are working in the trenches of HR hiring managers, they want to hear their stories and, and join me as a guest. So I have actually two practitioners that I’ll be interviewing actually tomorrow. And I’ll air those episodes over the next few weeks. And so thanks for the feedback. First off, and I also have a small ass that if you know of a practitioner, hiring manager, HR manager, recruiting manager etc or someone involved in employer branding at a company and that you’d recommend that they come on the on my podcast.

Chuck Solomon

Please go ahead and you know make those suggestions or, or even better yet have them go to my website, www.TheCX.xyz and suggests that they listen to a couple of episodes so, so that way they can see if they’re interested and if interested, please go ahead and recommend them. I’d happy to talk with them. I talk with all my guests before we actually talk just to make sure we know what topics we’re going to handle in that episode and stuff. So it’s me asking the questions, but my guests are prepared. So moving on to the topic today, Voice of the Candidate. One of the things that I’ve been wanting to do is hear from job candidates themselves and have them as as as guests. I really wanted to give them a voice. Obviously, this has not happened. Every week, I talk with job seekers from across the country, and I listened to their stories and unfortunately, the stories they tell typically aren’t favorable. And this is actually one of the main reasons why I started this podcast a little over a month ago, to help shed some light on the topic. So recruiting leaders and hiring managers can learn from mistakes of others or perhaps learn from their own mistakes and really, truly embrace the need to improve the candidate experience and why that’s important. So to me, any company that isn’t ensuring their candidate journey is more favorable and more positive, more like a customer journey that your sales and marketing team is using to acquire more customers. And they’re going to be lapped by those companies that are making a priority.

Chuck Solomon

If you listen to my guests, many provide useful tips on how to improve the candidate experience. And this isn’t just for the larger Fortune 500 companies that have big budgets. Those smaller and mid sized companies without big budgets can certainly manage to a lot if they choose to. And with the current market, market conditions being what they are with unemployment being so low unemployment, pretty close to full employment. Pressure, why you wouldn’t want to do everything you can especially if you’re a B2C company to make sure that your candidate experience that all your job applicants are having is top notch and the best it can be. So I’ve talked to current job seekers about interviewing them on this show, and the more I thought about it, and the more I talked to these job seekers,

Chuck Solomon

About having them come on the show is that I didn’t think that it would be that helpful to them. Because first and foremost, their goal is first to acquire a new position, and I really don’t want to do any harm. And as I reflect back on these conversations with job seekers, I said really, if I air an interview with you, you might come off sounding as a like a complainer a whiner and we certainly don’t want that. And I wouldn’t want to actually jeopardize someone’s, you know, future job opportunities by airing their complaints. Even if they did go ahead and disguise you know the company and things like that. I think really what hiring managers are looking for is not is not a complainer they’re looking for problem solvers. So

Chuck Solomon

So I have a few job seekers that we’ve agreed that after they secure their new role, then we’ll, we’ll talk about having them common interview. And you know, as if you’ve listened to any of my episodes in the past and not about shaming or blaming or naming names of companies are really more about trying to provide constructive feedback. So until then, you’ve got me and what I’ve done is sort of taken

Chuck Solomon

What I’ve heard from job seekers collectively and will share, share their stories today talking, talking a bit about their pain, the pain that exists still in 2019 for many job seekers in the hiring journey, but also, I heard some really great suggestions as how from the candidates voice or their perspective on how candidates are making suggestions and offering some feedback and tips to companies on how companies can improve the candidate journey. So there there are still problems that persist obviously, when I when I’ve talked to job seekers.

Chuck Solomon

There, it comes in all shapes and sizes from small companies, startups, to Fortune 500. There’s still problems that persist persistent as how journey, I’ll distill these down into four main categories, and then share what job seekers are suggesting suggesting as to how to improve upon these, these challenges. So, the four the four main categories were 1. time 2. effort 3. planning and 4. communications, starting with with number one, the main issue many nearly all of the the job seekers I talked to talked about is time, that it just takes too long to tie up too much time in order to get through the candidate process. And that includes, you know, everything from the beginning all the way through the end. I’m fact I just read a statistic recently that over the last 10 years that the time to hire us actually doubled from a decade ago to now. So not sure quitewhy that’s happening. One would expect that the time to hire would actually be decreasing but in fact, it’s has increased over the last decade. Perhaps perhaps the topic for another episode that I can get a guest expert talk about why that is, but time it takes too much time for candidates to go through your, your hiring process.

Chuck Solomon

Number two is effort is sort of tied in with time. But in many instances, I heard that job seekers thought that it just required too much effort. The application process itself was just too lengthy and too onerous. Often times I heard that the pre employment assessments We’re also too time consuming and onerous. I will, I did hear from a couple of jobseekers that said they didn’t necessarily mind doing those online assessments. What they did mind is that they got no feedback on the results of it. And you know, that’s something that they wish they could have. They didn’t mind doing the assessment. But if they were going to spend 30 minutes, 40 minutes, even an hour, I heard from some that they actually wanted to hear what the results were.

Chuck Solomon

Something to think about and also, effort wise, it seemed like and I heard this from several job candidates that the applicant tracking systems seem to be more designed to keep people out and not attract them. So that that was heard that from several people. So just getting through the proverbial black hole of the applicant tracking system is takes a lot of effort. The next category was planning or it was more lack of planning. It seemed and I heard this from probably hear this from probably about half the people I talked to is that a lot of times there is no clear plan or process for the recruiting process.

Chuck Solomon

There were I don’t think it needs to be that way. But it is. And we’re talking actually I heard from a few candidates are actually interviewing with a large Fortune 500 companies where they you know, they would ask so the candidates were asking, so what is the interview journey going to look like? And they the companies couldn’t actually tell them what the process was going to be made, it seemed the candidates would say, it really seemed like they were making up the process as they went along, which one would expect that a large, especially Fortune 500 company that would have well planned out process and they could actually communicate that to prospective job candidates as well.

Chuck Solomon

So which leads me into the final category of issues that still persist, persist is communications. Many folks I talked to, they’re saying that there’s really a lack of timely communications and also failing to close the loop. A few of my guests in previous episodes have actually mentioned this specifically in closing the communications loop that job candidates are saying that, you know, if they’re, they’re no longer being considered than they want to know.

Chuck Solomon

You know when that as soon as that happens, they don’t want to wait around for weeks. And in some instances, I’ve heard of job candidates waiting months in order to hear and some never hearing about the status of their application with a company. So communications, I think is is a real key that sort of cuts across everything here. So those were the four sort of main categories problem areas time, effort, planning, or lack of planning and communications or the lack there up. So I always want to go ahead and switch into what are the more positive things and the job seekers that I’ve talked to actually have some really good suggestions as to how

Chuck Solomon

How to Improve the journey or how their experience would be bettered if these things had happened, and those are those really revolve into three areas communications, feedback, and then investing in your brand. So, when we talk about each of those in turn. Communications, job seekers, you know, want you to communicate your process. This actually, one of the jobseekers I talked to said, they thought that that should really exist on a company’s career portal that is, they should communicate up front. This is what the typical candidate journey looks like. Whether it be review your resume, we’re going to do a phone interview, we’re going to bring you in for an in person interview. And this is the process and as well as

Chuck Solomon

How long it typically takes the time was, you know, always a factor in there. I’m candidates want to know what time it is. I’m also I heard often from job seekers that the once the interviewing process begins, they really want to communicate, be communicated with on what that process looks like the number of interviews with whom those interviews will be approximately how long a period of time will this day, just want to know up front? How long that’s going to be? I talked to the job seeker the other week, and he was interviewing with a large Fortune 500 company and I said How long has the process gone? And he said, it’s been close to three months and the end is not near either. So which sort of brings me to sort of a side point on interviewing this. This gentleman had gone through I think

Chuck Solomon

Who’s on this eighth round of interviews. And I’ll just add that interviewing does a great job of determining how well a person interviews, but it may or may not predict how well a person will perform in the actual job. I actually hope to talk more about this because there are companies out there that are devising ways to do what I would call a job tryout, if you will. So I want to talk about these job tryouts that other companies are trying to devise to do just a different and better way of evaluating talent beyond simply just interviewing. So that the other suggestion that I’ve gotten from a job seekers is feedback, job seekers want feedback, any feedback is helpful. So they’d love it if companies would go beyond the the standard ATS rejection no and offer something that’s more concrete, especially to those candidates that were actually interviewed. You’ve actually invested some time to getting to know the candidate. And from the candidates perspective, they’ve also invested their time as well. And that that candidates are looking for feedback. A lot of people, a lot of job seekers aren’t interviewing all the time. That often go years before interviewing and any any feedback that can be offered that would be helpful and construction, constructive. Job seekers would love to get that feedback.

Chuck Solomon

And a third and final suggestion that I’ve gotten from job seekers is investing in your brand. Let you really let candidates know what’s in it for them. Treat candidates more like prospective customers, that job seekers. Actually I talked to several job seekers that mentioned that they now avoid certain brands that they used to be customers of. And it’s all because of the bad experience they had directly, or the bad candidate experience they heard about from, from others that they’re close to. So, so none of that’s very good. So there is so much more available in the hiring space, and more things on the horizon to come. So my suggestion is, you can invest in your brand, you don’t need a big budget for this. And so demo demo demo demo, demo new things, try out new approaches, is not a bad idea. So those were the three

Chuck Solomon

Main suggestions that I got from job seekers. And I appreciate those job seekers for sharing. And again, I, you know, would love to have some of you on as guests once you actually secure that new job opportunity and to hear more, more voices of the candidate directly from the candidate once once you secure the new job. So in closing, I think all too often companies make the hiring journey about themselves. And it really should be about the candidate and what’s in it for them.

Chuck Solomon

I’ll get back to airing my interviews with guests experts next Friday. And again, I’ve got two hiring practitioners that I have lined up that’ll be coming out and then this coming Friday and the following Friday, so please listen in and thanks for listening!

Chuck Solomon

If you like what you hearing on this podcast please subscribe wherever you enjoy podcasts and do share with others. Thanks for listening and here’s my interview. 

Thanks for listening to the Candidate Experience Podcast. You can reach out to us via our website, TheCX.xyz. That’s TheCX.xyz.

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