2012 Candidate Experience Awards


The subject of this Wall Street Journal Article, the 2012 Candidate Experience Awards, which were presented at a packed session in Chicago at the HR Technology Conference on October 8 and honored 37 employers, is just one piece of evidence that the interests of both the companies that ‘get it’ and the candidates who demand it are coming together.

And it wasn’t just the claims of the 37 winning employers (above) that made them stand out!

Initially, 90 firms described how they treated their candidates. They responded to survey questions about how and when they listened to candidates; told how they managed their candidates’ questions and expectations for what would happen when they applied; discussed the ways they informed candidates who were unqualified or, who just didn’t make the final cut. Employers’ interview practices, communication methods and responses to requests for feedback were laid out for all to see.

And that was just one side of the equation.

It was in August when nearly 44 firms willingly agreed to the next step- to ask their candidates to independently answer questions about how they (the candidates) were treated. And why not all 90 you might ask? A third of the employers knew in advance they wouldn’t go beyond the first step (and still others that wanted to- were not allowed to. Think about that for a moment). Every participating employer who completed the initial survey however, will be able to benchmark themselves against the firms who won.
Nearly half the companies that originally applied were willing to look in the mirror by inviting their candidates during August and September to complete a 40 minute survey.

Most of the employers convinced hundreds (hundreds!) of their candidates to respond and complete the survey. A few companies had thousands complete it and one company (PepsiCo)…ended up with 5000 candidate surveys.

Only 15% of the 17,500 completed candidate surveys were new hires and so the vast majority were individuals who had applied but never got the job!

And they had a lot to say. (A whitepaper will be out in December).

37 firms met the ‘evidence based bar’ (see the picture above).

Seven of these firms: Addidas, ADP, CaseMate, CH2MHill, Deloitte, Intuit and RMS had stories teased from them by a panel of four judges: Joe Murphy, Steven Rothberg, Jeremy Tipper and John Vlastilica. And another winning firm Pepsico, was mentioned as the Candidate Voice for having the most candidates respond. (This excellent blog by Chris Brablc at Smashfly about the 2012 CandEs offers additional insight into some additional stories.)

Interest in Candidate Experience is far from new- excellent articles and even an academic study or two go back thirty and more years. But it’s only in the last few years that the quality and number of articles has exploded. Video, simulations, mobile devices, social media and chat rooms, etc. are now widely available tools that when used appropriately can help employers set expectations and deliver on them and where candidates can learn to make better career decisions.

It is time to help employers who treat individuals with what some would say is ‘common courtesy’ get their message out.

Gerry Crispin, SPHR


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