A couple of years ago, the word “unprecedented” was used to describe the onslaught of Covid-19, global lockdowns and the rate at which many industries went into crisis. Today, we could call the Australian candidate shortage by the same name: Unprecedented. Two key things that helped the world through the aforementioned crises was (1) focusing on people and (2) embracing technology and the use of data to do so. In this blog, we’ll be diving deeper into how these key things can help Australia weather the candidate shortage storm now too…
1: Candidate Experience is your KEY differentiator!
It’s a cliché by now that ‘people should be at the heart of the recruitment process’. Truth is, it’s the only thing a recruitment agency can truly compete on… Relationships with candidates and their experience of working with you. Everything else is same old, same old: Other recruiters have similar roles to you, offering similar salaries, with similar perks and they all experience similar (candidate shortage) problems. Guy Kawasaki said “your network is your net worth” and nowhere is that truer than in recruitment. After all, you can only activate candidates who’ve had a good experience. That’s the only way you compete against counter offers and other recruiters and candidate ghosting – by having a solid relationship with your candidates based on a great candidate experience throughout the entire process.
Something as simple as a frustrating interview scheduling process can lead to nearly half of candidates surveyed to disengage or drop out of your recruitment process (according to this article). The same article shows that 64% of candidates are less likely to refer your agency for the same reason. In fact, another article by LinkedIn shows that 27% of candidates who had a bad experience would “actively discourage others to apply”.
Consider another step in the recruitment process: getting back to candidates timeously. According to Jobvite’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation report, “not being responsive to prospective candidates” is one of the biggest contributors to a negative candidate experience. This is followed by “recruiters engaging in practices that are frustrating to job seekers.”
It’s a small step in a much longer recruitment process, but something as simple as this has a great impact on your candidates’ experience and how engaged they are with your agency. You could lose as much as two thirds of your candidates forever if they feel that they have had a negative experience. And in a candidate short market, you just can’t afford to churn through candidates.
Not that that’s the only reason why focusing on exceptional candidate experience is vital:
- Bad experiences = bad (employer brand) reputation
According to CareerArc, 72% of job seekers have reported sharing bad candidate experiences on sites like Glassdoor, on social media or directly with a colleague or friend.
- Bad experience impacts brand loyalty
41% of applicants with a poor candidate experience ditch brand loyalty and avoid buying that company’s products.
2: Embracing tech and data helps you nail Candidate Experience
What if you could use simple tools to exponentially improve your candidate experience and, in doing so, attract new candidates and keep your existing talent pool positive and engaged?
Or, putting this another way: If you could ensure that your candidates receive instantaneous responses to their applications any time of the day or night on the device/channel of their preference (think text, chat and/or email) and that they can self-schedule their interview based on their preference, why wouldn’t you?
Because it might be expensive? This case study about complete workforce solutions agency, Northbridge, demonstrates the opposite… They report a 9.8x return on investment by embracing tech (smartAI’s Reconnect solution to be exact). Labour Power, a leading Australian labour hire agency, saves 224 recruiter hours per week (translating into a 11x ROI) using smartAI’s Engage solution.
Better yet… If you could harness your existing database to constantly connect with your candidates, keeping them engaged, turning passive candidates into active ones and updating and/or removing unsuitable or unavailable candidates, why wouldn’t you?
Blue collar recruitment agency, National Workforce, maintained a 98% candidate satisfaction score by doing just this. Again, by using smartAI’s Reconnect solution.
Embracing tech is a simple and cost-effective solution to the problem of negative candidate experiences – which in turn has a positive impact on candidate engagement, giving you the upper hand in a very tight candidate market (all while minimising costs and maximising recruiter productivity).
So perhaps we should repeat the question we’ve asked multiple times in this blog above:
Why wouldn’t you?