Candidate & Employee Satisfaction: Key Notes

Last 31st of September we had the opportunity to learn a bit more about what the experts say around Candidate and Employee Satisfaction. Today we bring you some of the key notes.

Jose Martín-Corral, HR & Recruitment at CARTO

How to convince the whole team that we need to take care of our candidate experience.

We must first understand why the team doesn’t want to take care of it. Most of them don’t like how long it takes every time we have to hire someone. Contrary to popular belief, the reality is that taking care of the Candidate Experience helps reduce the time a new hiring process requires. Of all our tech hires, 48.28% of them were finalists from previous hiring processes. This is incredible and was possible not only because we liked these candidates, but also because they showed interest in CARTO even though they were rejected. This means that for half of the positions we open, there is no need to begin a new process. Once the tech team understands this, no one questions the importance of the Candidate Experience. But how can we get the team to help us?

  • Start with the team that suffers the most when hiring people – they will be more willing to try new things and will become the best ambassadors.
  • Introduce the changes bit by bit and start by giving great and transparent feedback.
  • Take care of the employee experience, too. If we don’t have a good EX, our pleads to improve CX efforts will fall on deaf ears.

We often ask new hires for the main reason they decided to join and the vast majority answer, “because the people who interviewed me are the kind of people I want to work with.

Ramón Egea, Head of Talent Acquisition & Development at JobandTalent

Candidate Experience in times of COVID

As you know, Candidate Experience is how candidates feel about your company once they experience your hiring process. These candidate feelings, whether good or bad, influence candidates in their decision to apply to work for your company or accept your job offer.

But why is it so important? A good candidate experience will make candidates feel good about your company after they see how you treat them. A better candidate experience might make them eager to share their good feelings with others, helping build your reputation while bringing you more referrals and better Glassdoor reviews. On the other hand, a bad candidate experience will make candidates lose respect for you, both as an employer and as a brand.

The most common complaint candidates have about their job application experience is that companies never get back to them.

  • 75 percent of candidates never hear back from a company after sending in an application.
  • 60 percent of candidates say they’ve gone for interviews and never heard back from the company.
  • 42 percent of disgruntled candidates will not apply for a position at the company again.
  • 22 percent will tell others not to apply for a job with the company and 9 percent will ask others to boycott the company’s products.

Therefore, responding to every candidate’s application is the easiest way to solve this issue. In the end, what differentiates a good hiring process from a bad one is feedback and the communication with the candidate. My advice? Use part of your time to give feedback. 

Some best practices I want to highlight:

  1. Make sure you’re hiring to fill a real need: perform a skills gap analysis first and choose a job title second.
  2. Write clear job descriptions: use simple language and structure your job description so that it’s easy to read.
  3. Make it easy for candidates to apply to your jobs.
  4. Follow up early and often: send a rejection email or an interview invite as soon as you can. Respond to the candidate to thank them and follow up.
  5. Communicate with candidates and thank them during each step of the hiring process.
  6. Give candidates information about what to expect at in-person interviews.

These are some of the best practices we know about candidate experience. But the Best of Best Practices for us was the following one:

When I returned to JobandTalent, there was a huge amount of work and the team was not checking on how good or bad the candidates’ perceptions were. We decided to start measuring it to see where we stood, sending a survey to the last 130 candidates interviewed. This was key to understanding what we were doing better or worse in our processes and being able to improve them. At the beginning of the experience, we measured our NPS and we got a -13. We also asked candidates to choose an adjective that would define the process in their eyes. Many of them chose “confusing”, and this was something that worried the recruitment team. By implementing some improvements, we managed to raise our NPS to 46 and managed to decrease the prevalence of the “confusing” label. Let’s see how!

We had some hypotheses that we wanted to prove. Bad NPS used to be due to candidates not receiving feedback. Therefore:

  1. Hypotheses 1: We didn’t explain the selection process well → Let’s make an effort to explain this very thoroughly during the first contact.
  2. We didn’t give feedback: We invented feedback Friday, which means that every Friday, we set aside 1 hour of our time to give feedback to all candidates, communicating the rejection or letting them know we don’t yet have any feedback for them.

As I said before, by doing this we managed to improve our NPS from -13 to 46, and we continue applying it for hiring processes that are not frozen due to the COVID situation. Speaking of COVID, how does the candidate experience change in times of COVID with the newly 100% remote hiring processes?

  • Focus on communicating/transparency
  • Adapt your recruitment to meet safety requirements
  • Place emphasis on the human touch
  • Onboard new hires effectively

How does the candidate experience change during COVID when you are in a hiring freeze? It seems like a contradiction, but it is not. You must think about the long term. The critical point is to build a talent pipeline for the future by cultivating relationships with interested and interesting candidates. But how?

  • Golden rule: transparency
  • Creating quality content: blogs, LinkedIn status
  • Recurrent and quality contact with target profiles
  • Systematization: create a CRM to record candidates’ status

It is surprising to see that by doing this, we already have pre-selected candidates for the role whenever we open a hiring process. This is proof of how taking care of the candidate experience can save you time.

Ángeles García, People and Culture Manager at Sngular

Employee Experience: A very sngular experience

For us, employee experience is something that starts before the employee arrives and never ends (if you so desire).

For us, in order to guarantee a good employee experience it is very important to focus on employee well-being, always taking care of our people. Within this strategy, we have four lines of action:

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Professional
  • Social

I will explain below how we measure this: 

Nailted allows us to gather feedback. We also send regular surveys, we measure the eNPS, and we pay attention to 10 different metrics; which ones depend on the action line. 

Regarding the mental strategy: our goal is for our colleagues to find a balance between their work life and their personal life. We want them to be happy during the time they spend working and when they are not at work, too. We also want them to know that they are in a safe environment where they can be who they are. To make this possible, we provide flexible work hours, the possibility of working remotely, groups for supporting diversity, and personal follow-ups to make sure we are achieving our goals. Also, we are working on mindfulness practices via Udemy, which we believe can be especially useful these days. The metrics we check in this area are: management, feedback, wellness, happiness, team spirit, and relationship with direct supervisors.

Regarding our physical strategy, the main goal is to promote healthy sports and eating habits. To this end, we’ve launched some initiatives like promoting the Strava Club, creating channels to organize teams, and implementing breathing and stretching tutorials to practice from home. Also, we have our Tutti Frutti events every Friday, where we have fruits for breakfast. This is something we also used to have before COVID. We are also working on marketing materials to distribute in our offices in order to promote things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For this part, we check the wellness, happiness, and team spirit metrics.

As for the professional strategy, we focus on adapting to an ever-changing and global environment, motivating our team to continue growing, keeping an open attitude to learning, identifying innovative ideas, and sharing and standardizing good practices. To work on these goals, we focus on training, international mobility, intrapreneurship, and professional development. For this goal, we focus on feedback, career, recognition, happiness, and satisfaction.

The last one is the social strategy, and for us it is extremely important since this is about generating bonds between colleagues and the company, as well as integrating new employees and making sure they feel comfortable. So, here we would consider the onboarding process, the support provided, the communication, and special moments like birthdays and anniversaries.

I want to talk about our Journey Map. It consists of all the stages that a person who joins the company experiences. It helped us find out which points we could improve, for example, being able to track the onboarding process and improve the experience during it.

Also, Alfred is our virtual colleague, an assistant in the shape of a chatbot, who helps our employees with questions they may have on a daily basis.

We also have our blue book – this is the survival handbook we have put together to understand life at Sngular. In it, we cover all the topics related to Sngular, our people, our brand and use of spaces, and all the incentives we have at Sngular.

In the end, what we want at Sngular when we talk about Employee Experience is for the time you are at Sngular to be the best professional one possible.