Candidate Experience ROI

Providing the best possible experience for candidates makes sense on a number of different levels. The bottom line is that in today’s connected world, the experience you provide to all who consider working for you, has the potential to come back to you for better or worse. Welcome to the world of candidate experience ROI.

When it comes to the ROI of candidate experience, there are a number of ways candidate experience can positively or negatively impact your organization, but here are the big three:

  • It can strengthen or weaken your employer brand which plays a key role in your ability to cost effectively and reliably attract candidates
  • It can increase or decrease the number of casual candidates you can convert to applicants, which can increase or reduce the number of engaged applicants for each job opening
  • Because candidates are often customers, it can positively or negatively affect potential customers’ perception of your corporate brand, potentially increasing or decreasing revenue for your entire organization

So as we start the first article in what will be a series of analyses of candidate experience ROI, let’s delve into the middle of it by looking at the effect of candidate experience on conversion rates.

Candidate Conversion Rates and ROI

Candidate experience roiVirtually everything you do as a recruiting organization points potential candidates to you career site. Whether it’s the job ads you place, or the emails you send to candidates or the events you participate in, candidates end up on your career site, either researching or applying for jobs.

The number of those career site visitors who actually apply for a job divided by the total number of visitors, is your “conversion rate.”

This conversion rate is key in increasing the ROI of your talent acquisition budget because the more candidates you can convert from visitor to applicant, the lower your cost per applicant becomes and the more efficient your recruiting budget becomes.

Let’s say you have 100,000 visitors to your career site each year. They come from job ads, Google searches, social networks, email campaigns – everything you do to attract candidates. Let’s also say that your visitor to applicant conversion rate is 2%. In other words, about 2% of the people who come to your career site, go on to complete an application.

Your cost per applicant is:

$1,000,000 / (100,000 visitors x .02 conversion rate), or $500 per applicant

This is where candidate experience comes in. By optimizing your employer brand messaging, your career site navigation, the ease of your job search, the application process and more, you not only provide a better candidate experience, but you can increase the number of people who resonate with your brand, find the right job and complete the application. Better online candidate experiences increase conversion rates.

So let’s look at that same example, but let’s increase your conversion rate by just 1% overall. Now your ROI is:

$1,000,000 / (100,000 visitors x .03 conversion), or $333 per applicant

In other words, by increasing your conversion rate from 2% to 3%, you now get 50% more applicants per job. Or looking at it another way, it would now cost you only $666,000 to get those same 2,000 candidates that used to cost you $1 million.

Best practices for Increasing Online Conversion Rate

So how do you improve online candidate experience to increase conversion? There are several ways to do this.

  1. Gather candidate feedback and analyze it. It’s difficult to understand where the friction lies between career site visitors and the completion of the application, so the fastest way to pinpoint opportunities is to use a tool like Survale to analyze traffic and gather candidate feedback both before and after they apply online. A bonus to this approach is that candidates appreciate being asked for feedback. This, in an of itself, boosts employer brand affinity and increases candidate satisfaction.
  2. Make search easy. How easy is it for candidates to find the right job? Thirty-three percent to 50% or more of online candidates use mobile devices for job hunting these days, so browsing just isn’t an option. The job search accuracy on your career site should be as close to Google quality as possible.
  3. Optimize your applications. Once candidates have found the right job, the general rule is, the shorter the application, the higher your conversion rate. Remove extraneous questions, offer apply with LinkedIn or Indeed Apply profile options, make sure you have a resume upload and parsing capability that works well and speeds the application process.
  4. Offer talent network or job alert capability. Getting candidates to opt-in to alternative ways of collecting their data is better than losing them altogether, so make it easy for them to opt-in to things like a talent network or job alerts will provide you with the ability to market jobs to these candidates later.

When it comes to increasing your recruiting ROI, candidate experience is a powerful place to start. Stay tuned for additional articles analyzing more aspects of the ROI of candidate experience right here.

Author: Ian Alexander

Ian Alexander is co-founder and CMO of Survale. He is a pioneer in SaaS HR software with decades of experience bringing leading technologies to the performance management and recruiting industry. He is a passionate advocate for revolutionizing candidate and employee satisfaction in the Enterprise.