High Drop-Off Rate? It’s Time for a Candidate Experience Audit

September 24, 2018    |    4 minutes read

Modern Hire

Candidates drop out of an organization’s hiring process for a range of reasons. Some you may not be able to change, but you do have influence over many more, especially the hiring interactions candidates have with your company. If your drop-off rate is high or getting higher, consider doing a candidate experience audit as the first step to getting your metrics back on track.

Need for Speed

Slow speed-to-hire is one of the main drivers of candidate drop-off. If candidates don’t hear back from you within two weeks, 66% consider it a lost cause and move on to another opportunity. And, nearly half (47%) of rejected job offers are due to candidates accepting another offer. In this exceptionally tight job market, every recruiter is pushing hard to make the first offer to talented applicants, so a streamlined hiring process is an advantage.

Candidate experience is another key driver. Job seekers want their hiring interactions to be simple, fast and transparent, just like their consumer experiences. A candidate experience audit will help you hone in on the areas of your hiring process that are slowing you down and that fall short of modern candidates’ expectations.

How to Conduct a Candidate Experience Audit

Start by mapping out your entire candidate experience. Include the average time each step takes, so you can see where your process keeps candidates waiting, and where your process doesn’t put candidates first.

Then, examine each step from the candidate’s perspective. These questions will get you started:

  • Does the process let candidates know they are valued and respected?
  • Do they feel like you are hiring a person or a skill set?
  • Are candidates kept informed so they know what to expect, or are they left guessing? This includes sharing information with candidates in advance of their interview so they feel prepared as well as post-interview follow-up.
  • Are they given opportunities to present their skills and demonstrate why they are the best person for the job? According to Talent Board CandE research, candidates are more satisfied with their hiring experience when they have these kinds of opportunities.
  • Are your interviewers prepared so they aren’t asking the same questions candidates answered on the application or provided on their resume?
  • Does your process provide the insight candidates need to start to feel connected?
  • Do they receive feedback?
  • Can they offer feedback?

Don’t limit your candidate experience audit to these questions, though. As the expert on your hiring process, use your own knowledge and experience to ensure you’re not missing a vital area or step.

Next, Identify and prioritize areas for improvement. As you review your process, think about the steps that matter most to your candidates, then prioritize those areas. Also, consider strategies that will free you to spend more time engaging candidates. Innovative technology like interviewing software automate repetitive and administrative work like scheduling interviews, so you can devote more of your day to strategic tasks. Some video interviewing platforms are proven increase speed to hire, too. Integrate technology into your process where it can help you elevate your candidate experience the most.

Use External Data

Quantifiable data from an external source like Glassdoor is a valuable addition to your candidate experience audit, especially if you don’t have candidate surveys in place. Glassdoor rates different aspects of your interview process, like how hard it was, how long it takes, and if candidates felt positive, negative or neutral about the experience. Measure your baseline now, and track it over the next several months as you modify your process and experience. If you overlay your Glassdoor data on a timeline with other metrics like pipeline volume, vacancies, flow-through rates and percentage of candidates who reach the end, you may gain insight into some of the hot buttons to focus on.

4 Areas of Hiring That Often Need Improvement

Candidate experience audits reveal some of the most common areas for improvement:

  1. You have too many questions in the interview. It takes too long, and many questions aren’t tailored to the position, which diminishes the personalized feel of your candidate experience. Tighten up the number and direction of your questions to shorten interviews and create more time for candidates to ask questions of you.
  2. You’re asking candidates to jump through hoops. In Modern Hire research with active job seekers, 41% said more than two interviews is too many. Get the details in 5 Things Your Candidates Won’t Tell You. Then, look for areas where you can be more organized and streamlined.
  3. The wait time between application submission and first contact is too long. Candidates could be feeling that you’re unresponsive. This is also a point in their job search where candidates are often the most open to opportunities with other employers. To engage with a larger portion of your candidates with less delay, integrate on-demand text interviews, and on-demand voice and video interviews into your workflow.
  4. Your hiring managers are tardy with their feedback, so you can’t be timely with your candidate follow up. Leverage your purpose-built video interviewing platform’s virtual assistant to send reminders to your hiring managers. And, help a friendly conversation to help your hiring managers understand that their delay leaves candidates wondering if they are or are not a good fit.
Fit for Hire is a Priority for Candidates, Too

It used to be that candidates with niche skills or high levels of experience were the ones who had their pick of jobs. Today, many more candidates can be selective about finding a position and a company where they will be happy. Your candidate experience audit will shine a light on areas where you can elevate your hiring experience by making sure your candidates feel valued and understand why your organization is their best choice, too.