When in Doubt Focus on Candidate Satisfaction

When in doubt, focus on candidate satisfaction

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Who among us thought that candidate satisfaction was going to be less of an issue post-pandemic? I mean, who could blame you if you thought that the 22 million additional unemployed workers during the height of the pandemic would turn into huge surpluses of candidates, satisfied or not, once hiring picked up?

The reality is just the opposite, despite millions of unemployed workers, organizations can’t find enough ready candidates. Blame lack of childcare, fear of Covid, federal unemployment assistance – doesn’t matter. The fact is that it looks like it will be a sellers talent market for the foreseeable future.

When in doubt, focus on candidate satisfactionOn one level, the pandemic allowed people to examine their work and their lives and re-evaluate their priorities. For many, barely making ends meet while hustling away at one or more jobs was not what they wanted going forward. Many got absorbed into the half of the labor market that was booming during the pandemic. Many others want more money for their labor.

For many, the increased demands from remote/hybrid schooling for their children were too much to handle while working full time, or more. While there is lots of talk about how schools will operate in the Fall, there is little certainty.

On top of this, many hiring organizations are still unclear on what their new normal will look like. Masks? Remote work? Safety protocols? Some or all are still not certain and won’t be for a while.

And finally, we are in the middle of a historic aging out into retirement for Baby Boomers. The oldest boomers are 75 this year and the youngest are 57. The labor market is losing Boomers to retirement at a huge clip and it’s only going to get worse, pandemic or not. And for the record, the rate of increase on Boomer retirements almost doubled in 2020.

Candidate Satisfaction to the Rescue

Look, there is a lot organizations must do to thrive in this kind of market at this point in history, not the least of which are:

  • Increasing wages 
  • Build trust with concrete (and attractive) safety and work location policies
  • Provide enabling childcare support for parents

But just as importantly, now is not the time to relax candidate satisfaction efforts. In case you haven’t noticed, there isn’t a lot of trust out there in American society these days.  There is mistrust of government, mistrust of public health and mistrust of corporations.

In this kind of environment, the experience candidates have with each organization matters. Perhaps we thought it might not be as important given the 80 million unemployed during the height of the pandemic, but candidate experience is never not important.

Even without increased compensation or child care assistance or amazing remote work policies, the way you treat candidates makes an enormous difference in how easily you can fill those open positions.

Listen, Learn and Execute

More and more clients are coming to Survale wanting to know exactly what their candidate Net Promoter Scores are and how they can get them up. And the goal is not only to monitor candidate satisfaction, it’s to uncover all the problems that candidates are having and eliminate them. And learning more about what they expect, what they want, and how to best meet their needs.

Candidate satisfaction Net Promoter ScoreBy pulse surveying candidates and employees at each important transaction, organizations get data to help them optimize talent-facing people, process and technologies. 

The point is that the world has changed. The labor market has changed. Your talent pools have changed. And if your organization is just guessing as to how these factors have changed and how to meet current candidate expectations, then it’s going to be a long several years of continual talent market evolution.

Now more than ever, organizations need talent feedback and talent intelligence from both external and internal talent pools. Is the employer brand still resonating? Is the apply experience satisfying? What’s happening in interviews? Why are new hires not showing up for work? The list of questions goes on and on.

And the best news is that just asking your candidates what they think improves their satisfaction. In fact, Survale clients see an average of 25% increase in candidate satisfaction just by implementing. Here’s an actual candidate quote illustrating why:

“Just got rejected from the consulting position at [company name], however, I truly appreciate your company providing a survey to ask for our experience.”

The time for guessing about how to increase candidate satisfaction and optimize hiring is long gone. It’s time to truly understand and value all your candidates so you don’t get caught by surprise as labor markets continue to evolve.

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