Less Than Two in 10 Job Seekers Rate Their Recent Recruitment Process Experience as Excellent

PeopleScout’s latest research reveals hard truths about candidate expectations versus the reality of their experiences  

CHICAGO–January 25, 2023 – Today’s job market is experiencing a clear disparity between candidate expectations and the reality they face when searching for and applying for jobs, according to a recent report by leading recruitment process outsourcing provider PeopleScout, a TrueBlue company. Survey findings showed that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their experience as “excellent”—a clear indicator that expectations for their job search are not being met by employers. The global research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, surveyed over 2,400 job seekers and analyzed 217 companies around the globe to see how employers stacked up against candidate expectations.  

Technology, social media and lightning-fast consumer experiences have driven job seekers to expect seamless, quick, digital-first experiences. For employers to succeed in this market, they must deliver the same intuitive and personalized experience. For example, survey results showed that two-thirds of candidates use social media to research companies during their job search. Yet, a third of employers are not consistently posting career-related content to their social channels.  

Job seekers also showed a desire to make an emotional connection with prospective employers. The study revealed that an organization’s mission, purpose and values are top considerations for candidates when deciding whether to apply for a job. Yet less than half of organizations include this information on their career site. Also, 35% of employers do not feature real employees in their recruitment material.  

In addition, candidates want to know that applying to an organization is worth their time and effort. Of those surveyed, 21% of candidates said lack of information regarding next steps would make them likely to drop out of the process after applying, but less than two in 10 employers provided candidates with those details. Plus, only 30% of employers clearly stated that adjustments were available for candidates with disabilities prior to starting an application. 

“In my conversations with talent acquisition leaders, it’s clear organizations understand the importance of the candidate experience, yet our research reveals that employers have a long way to go to meet candidates’ expectations,” said Simon Wright, PeopleScout’s Head of Global Talent Advisory Consulting. “PeopleScout strives to make the recruitment process as seamless as possible for both parties, and our hope is that this serves as a rallying cry for employers to get serious about making improvements to their candidate experience, especially as hiring has become so challenging.”   

Download PeopleScout’s full report here for more survey findings and actionable insights for employers. 

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Inside the Candidate Experience: 3 Revelations from Our 2023 Report

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory

When it comes to applying for and accepting new jobs, candidates have more options than ever before. Companies with poor candidate experiences will lose out on the top talent as employers battle for the best prospects.

So, how does the average candidate experience stack up against candidate expectations?

According to PeopleScout’s most recent research, less than two in 10 candidates rate their experience as excellent.

For the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, we used our proprietary Candidate Experience Diagnostic to audit the candidate journeys of over 215 organizations worldwide. Then we compared this to data gathered via a global survey of over 2,400 job seekers.

Research report

Inside the candidate experience 2023 report

The findings reveal a significant gap between candidate expectations and the reality they face while looking for jobs, gathering information to support their decision, and applying.

Here are three surprises from our research:

1. Less than half of employers show information about the organization’s mission, purpose or values on the career site

Yet, they’re in the top considerations for applicants when deciding to apply.

Your takeaway:

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values—especially Gen Z and Millennial workers. In fact, one in five Millennials state that an organization’s goals and mission are their top priority when considering a job. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your candidates.

2. Just half (53%) of organizations provide an opportunity for candidates to register their interest or to sign up for job alerts

Even fewer (39%) prompted candidates to join a talent community.

Your takeaway:

Modern job seekers are more sophisticated than ever and are looking to grow a career, not just apply for jobs transactionally. In fact, on average nine months goes by between a candidate engaging with an employer and applying for a job. Maintaining a talent pipeline lets you build a relationship with your talent audience and ensures you get the best talent, not just those who are looking at the time a vacancy arises.

3. 44% of organizations did not provide an opportunity for candidates to give feedback on their experience

Plus, men are more likely than women to be aware of opportunities to provide and receive feedback during the recruitment process.

Your takeaway:

This is a major oversight for many organizations. If you’re not leveraging surveys to gather feedback from all of your candidates, you are passing up valuable insights that might help you enhance your employer brand, lower attrition and shorten your hiring cycle.

The candidate experience is a hot topic, and most talent leaders I speak with appear to recognize the value of improving the candidate journey. However, this research demonstrates that organizations still have work to do to live up to the standards of today’s job seekers. My hope is that our recent findings will mobilize talent acquisition teams to put real action behind their words and make bold moves to improve their candidate experience and speed up the pace of progress.

To get the full research and more actionable insights, download the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

The Hard Truth About Candidate Expectations vs Candidate Experience Realities

The candidate experience has never been more important. Yet, the latest research from PeopleScout shows that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their recent recruitment experience as excellent.

We audited the candidate journey of over 215 organizations around the world, giving each a Candidate Experience Quotient (CandidateXQ) score—a calculation based on 40 key experience indicators, including 15 critical factors that make or break the candidate experience.

By analyzing these CandidateXQ scores alongside data gathered from surveying over 2,400 job seekers globally, we uncovered a clear disparity between candidate expectation and reality.

Download our free Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report for the latest research exploring:

  • What candidates expect at each stage of the journey and how employers stack up
  • Where each industry is succeeding or struggling with candidate experience
  • Actionable steps you can take to improve your CandidateXQ

The Future of Work: 4 Key Factors That Will Shape the Workplace by 2030

It’s no secret that the labor market has been volatile over the last several years, and talent acquisition teams have experienced a multitude of highs and lows. In our capacity as trusted advisors, PeopleScout analyzed patterns in global workforce trends to help our clients create informed strategies for future-proofing their workforce by examining how these patterns may affect their workforce. While we can’t predict the future of work, we think there are four key factors will shape the world of work over the next decade.

1. Flexibility

Flexibility is here to stay, and it will apply to everything from where and how we work to the roles we do and who we do them for. There will be no hard and fast rules about working hours and shifts in the future.

As life becomes increasingly characterized by change, employees will need to be agile—always ready to reskill. Learning becomes a constant, and we may even find ourselves counting AI robots as our trainers and mentors.

Flexibility and upskilling will manifest differently from generation to generation, so organizations must facilitate working arrangements for different demographics. Over the next decade, the generation gap will widen and then gradually close as Baby Boomers begin to settle down to retirement by blending work and leisure. Millennials and Gen Z will bring their progressive perspectives to work.

10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work

DESTINATION 2030

2. Fluidity 

Globalization will enable much more cross-border, cross-company collaboration. Project teams will be established based on all sorts of factors, not just who’s in what department or which location. People will work with talent from all sorts of specialities as they move from project to project.

Technology helps to support our wellbeing as the lines between work and home become more blurred. But with new technologies come new laws, so security and compliance will also be strategically important, especially for organizations working at the cutting-edge of innovation.

3. Focus 

Organizational culture will become more important than ever before as people make career choices based on ethics, values and purpose above things like pay and benefits. More and more employees will choose to work for organizations that have a clear purpose and are committed to working in the most ethical, sustainable and socially responsible ways.

Technology also plays a role here, in helping people focus on the work that matters to them as automation takes over the mundane tasks. However, more AI and machine learning will make some roles redundant and create many others—generating even greater demand for technical, analytical and digital skill sets across sectors.

4. Forward-thinking 

Organizations will continue to compete when it comes to creating innovative new technologies and using those technologies in the most creative ways. But they’ll also be happy to pool some resources to create a better future for everyone. 

Issues like equality and climate change will continue to grow in importance, forcing organizations to find new and better ways of making social and environmental improvements at speed.

Onward, Upward and Who Knows Where

You may feel more prepared for some changes more than others as we approach 2030, but it’s safe to say that there will be plenty of surprises that will require creative thinking in order to stay resilient.

PeopleScout will be on the journey with you to support, challenge and inspire you—no matter what the future holds.

To learn more about how we came to these predictions and see our research findings, check out our Destination 2030 white paper.

The Hard Truth About Candidate Experience: Part Two

Insights from the Inside the Candidate Experience Report

Talking Talent Webinar

Available Now On-Demand

Candidate experience has never been more important. Yet, fewer than two in ten candidates rate their experience as excellent.

So, what can you do about it?

To find the answer, PeopleScout audited the candidate journey of more than 215 organizations around the world, giving each a Candidate Experience Quotient, CandidateXQ, score.

By analyzing these CandidateXQ scores alongside data gathered via a survey of over 2,400 job seekers globally, we uncovered a clear disparity between candidate expectations and the reality they encounter while searching for jobs, gathering information to support their decision, and applying. These findings are detailed in our new research report, Inside the Candidate Experience.

For deeper insights into our research as well as actionable ways you can improve your own candidate journey, join PeopleScout Global Head of Talent Consulting Simon Wright for the companion Talking Talent webinar, The Hard Truth About Candidate Experience: Part Two, available now, on-demand.

In the webinar, Simon covers:

  • Our most significant research findings
  • How candidate expectations line up with reality and how you can close the gap
  • How generational differences influence what candidates consider before taking a role
  • An action plan to start improving your candidate experience
  • And more!

If you missed The Hard Truth About Candidate Experience: Part One, watch the half-hour webinar on-demand now!

Creating an Effective Employer Brand for Volume Hiring 

It’s no secret that job vacancies continue to outnumber job seekers.  But what many employers focused on volume hiring don’t realize is that they already have one of the most effective tools for out-recruiting their competition at their disposal: their employer brand.

Investing in your employer value proposition (EVP) and employer brand is one of the best ways an organization can differentiate and attract the volumes of candidates it needs without compromising on quality-of-hire. In this article, we share ways to make your employer brand work harder for your volume hiring needs.

Ebook

Learn 9 Strategies for Improving Volume Hiring

Employer Brand vs Consumer Brand        

At PeopleScout, we define employer brand and EVP as follows:

  • Employer brand: Your employer brand is the perception and lived experiences of what it’s like to work for your organization.
  • Employer value proposition: Your employer value proposition, or EVP, captures the essence of your uniqueness as an employer and the “give and get” between you and your employees.

When an organization’s brand is well-known, there is frequently an overlap in sentiment between the consumer and employer brands in the minds of the general public. What candidates expect from you as consumers will be very different from what they’re looking for as potential employees.

Your employer brand should showcase the characteristics that make a company a great place to work, as well as the benefits, career growth opportunities, work-life balance and company culture that help you attract and retain talent.

Understand Your Audience & Tailor Your Content

The key to an effective employer brand is to know your audience. Zero in on who your ideal candidates are by looking at the most successful employees in each role. Are there similarities in their work experience, motivators or personalities? For example, we helped a telecoms client create candidate persona profiles for their contact center and found that many of their longest tenured employees were previously employed in beauty salons. These employees were applying their previous customer service experience to their phone and online customer interactions.

By shifting the mindset from getting candidates with previous call center experience to getting applications from candidates with past customer service experience in salons, restaurants and hotels, we were able to help the client increase offer acceptance and reduce attrition.

Similarly broadening your target audience will help you hire at scale in today’s tight market, and understanding who is most successful in a role—what makes them tick, what motivates them—will help you lean into the aspects of your employer brand that will be most meaningful to them. That could mean playing up your flexible work shifts, growth opportunities or your organizational values.

Create a Positive Candidate Experience

Even if you receive an influx of applicants for a role, don’t sacrifice the candidate experience. Word of mouth is still alive and well, and candidates have no problem sharing their experiences (especially negative ones) on social media.

Investing in CRM tools to introduce more personalization into your candidate communications can boost your candidate experience. Look for tools with texting and SMS capabilities to reach candidates where they already are. Texting is often more accessible for many hourly job seekers who are more likely to rely on their mobile devices for job searches and internet access.

Automating your screening and interview scheduling processes via text helps free up time for your recruiters and hiring managers to connect one-on-one with candidates and hold meaningful conversations that improve the candidate experience.

Your recruitment process should leave every applicant, regardless of whether they get a job with you, with a positive impression of your organization. Candidates are often your customers, and the last thing you want is for your candidate experience to negatively impact your consumer brand reputation. An exceptional candidate experience is essential not only in engaging the talent you need today, but in establishing a strong employer brand that will serve you well into the future.

Get Tips to Optimize High-Volume Recruitment

Want more tactics for high-volume recruitment? Check out our ebook, 9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges.

Recession, Recruiting and Resilience: Creating Opportunities for Workforce Planning Success

With signs pointing toward a global recession, employers are preparing their workforces for what’s to come. This may mean cutting back on their investment in talent acquisition, delaying HR projects or even reducing their workforce.

While economic uncertainty can lead to difficult decisions for employers, it’s also important to recognize the opportunity it provides. This may be the perfect time to assess the resilience of your workforce and invest in workforce planning to make it fare better in the long run.

Is your talent acquisition program resilient enough to weather the storm? Here are four questions to ask to find out where you stand.

1. Is your employer brand and EVP still relevant?

If you haven’t updated your employer value proposition (EVP) in the last 18 months, it’s probably out of sync with the market and what candidates want. Now is the time to sense check if it’s relevant in 2023 and beyond. Does your employer brand work for a remote and hybrid workforce? Is it an authentic reflection of what you have to offer your employees?

Even if you’re not planning to hire actively in the near future, employer branding is also important for retention. Auditing and updating your brand will help you retain your current talent and ensure you’re ready to attract top talent in the future.

2. Is your hiring process working for remote and hybrid employees?

At the start of the pandemic, if you shoehorned your old in-person hiring process into your new hybrid or remote work reality and never looked back, it’s time to assess whether that’s really working for you. Remote work often requires a different set of skills than office-based work. Is your current process helping you assess those skills to achieve the quality-of-hire you need?  

Review the competencies and behaviors you need for each role to ensure they’re relevant for hybrid or remote employees. Now is the time to update job ads and evaluate your assessment process to ensure they are in tune with the success factors that drive your business now—instead of those that drove success pre-pandemic.

3. Are you achieving your DE&I recruitment goals?

While you may not be actively hiring, now is a good time to engage with diverse communities to ensure candidates from underrepresented backgrounds make up a significant portion of your talent pipeline when you’re ready to ramp up hiring again.

Increase your visibility in diverse communities via campaigns or event sponsorships. Look into your diversity analytics to understand what’s working and what’s not when it comes to sourcing and hiring your target audiences.

4. Is it time to consider RPO?

Now is the time to re-evaluate how you’re going to market for talent, whether via an internal talent acquisitions team, staffing agencies, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or a hybrid model. Work with your procurement partner to scrutinize your spend and evaluate your options to streamline and minimize risk—including standardizing with one global RPO partner.

Just because you’re not hiring at the same volume you were before, doesn’t mean outsourcing is out of the question. Recruiter On-Demand or project RPO engagements offer flexible solutions for targeted hiring needs. An RPO partner can also offer value-added talent advisory services like market insights, employer branding, assessment services and more. Plus, once engaged, your RPO partner will be on tap to hit the economic recovery running and scale up for your hiring surge.

An economic slowdown is not the time to put your talent acquisition strategy on the back burner. Use this time to take stock and get prepared so you’re ready to bounce back faster. You’ll be able to beat your competition and create a resilient workforce that’s ready for whatever the future has in store.

Want more insight into the future of work? Check out our ebook, Destination 2030: 10 Predictions for What’s NEXT in the World of Work.

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

Targeted Recruitment Marketing Campaign Delivers Talent for Global Theme Park Brand

During a unique time in the market with remote and flexible work options becoming the norm, this multinational chain of family theme parks required help hiring for critical in-person roles including customer service, performers and lifeguards across two of its major U.S. theme parks. PeopleScout helped hire over 1,500 workers using recruitment marketing campaigns and our talent advisory expertise.

1,500 + hires made in just six months across two locations
reduced drop-off by streamlining the application process
reduced drop-off by streamlining the application process
30,000 clicks from recruitment marketing ads across social media and online display networks

Situation

This multinational chain of family theme parks required help hiring a variety of roles across its California and New York resorts including customer service roles, performers and lifeguards.

Solution

PeopleScout conducted in-depth market research to determine the biggest challenges the client faced when recruiting for their theme parks and resorts. We identified remote work, “candidate is king” and higher pay as the three main challenges facing the client. Here’s how we solved each:


Challenge #1 — Remote Work:

More people want flexibility. Front-line and hourly positions are less attractive to candidates after the growth in remote work during the pandemic.

Our Solution: We leveraged the client’s “play” branding to emphasize the fun and rewarding aspects of working on-site at one of the theme parks. This was fed through into recruitment marketing creative and copy. 


Challenge #2 — “Candidate is King”:

With open positions outnumbering candidates for much of recent memory, today’s candidates know their worth, and the Great Resignation is proof that people are less willing than ever to settle.

Our Solution: By testing alternative job titles, improving job copy, and reaching out on different channels, we were able to widen our reach and pool of candidates. We strategically targeted candidates most likely to apply for the roles, such as those looking for seasonal or part-time jobs.

Challenge #3 — Higher Pay:

When faced with increased living costs, candidates are demanding higher pay.

Our Solution: The client was not in a position to raise wages for these roles. So, we got creative by restructuring job copy to better position the client’s competitive benefits. By quantifying these benefits and putting them front and center on job postings and recruitment marketing materials, we were able to generate interest without raising wages.

Results

  • In the first six months, we were able to fulfill our goal of 1,336 hires in California & 190 in New York.
  • The client’s previous application had up to 22 sections where the candidate had to input information. PeopleScout optimized and shortened this candidate journey by employing a variety of channels including Indeed One-Click, Indeed Hiring Events and Talent.com. This reduced the application abandonment rate.
  • PeopleScout restructured job descriptions to create job advertisements. In other words, we rewrote the copy to focus on the value the client and the role have to offer their employees rather than what the client wanted from candidates.  
  • PeopleScout performed A/B tests to determine which job titles would help reach a wider pool of candidates. For example, we found that “Waterpark Attendant” received almost 300 applications in the first week, while “Lifeguard” received only 15.
  • Social outreach using Facebook, Instagram and Google Display Network resulted in 4.1 million impressions and 30,000 clicks across the California and New York audiences.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Multinational chain of family theme parks
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Talent Advisory
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 1,500+
  • LOCATIONS: Over 10 theme parks around the world

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

Talent Consulting and Strategic Sourcing Support for Business Critical Roles

PeopleScout helped this waste disposal company source, attract and hire drivers, administrative roles and technicians with RPO, recruitment marketing campaigns and compliance support.

16,000 annual hires targeted
957 offers made over two career day events
38 % improvement in key SLAs in just 30 days

A leading waste disposal and environmental services company faced significant challenges sourcing, attracting and hiring talent for vital full-time frontline roles including CDL drivers, technicians and administrative roles.

Scope and Scale

As a result of continuing skills shortages in high-demand roles, the client found it increasingly difficult to source talent with the required skills, credentials and experience to fill business-critical roles. The client required a full-cycle RPO solution to support its internal team in making 16,000 annual hires across North America. What’s more, the client sought a consultative partnership with ongoing strategic guidance and best practice implementation across the client’s talent sourcing program.

Situation

PeopleScout has partnered with the client for nearly 14 years supporting full-cycle, end-to-end roles and recently, the client required additional support for partial-cycle hiring. PeopleScout deployed a flexible RPO solution to source and deliver a continuous slate of qualified candidates into the client’s talent pipeline. PeopleScout also provides the client with recruitment marketing support, detailed talent market insights and expertise on program compliance.

Solution

  • PeopleScout’s team executes talent sourcing strategies, provides guidance on how to tap into talent channels and helps the client develop grassroots recruitment marketing campaigns to reach the right candidates.
  • PeopleScout developed a custom SLA dashboard and performance reporting via Affinix Analytics which highlights roles that aren’t getting as much traction and optimizes channel usage and ad spend accordingly.
  • With the additional scope, PeopleScout ramped up its team of 47 to 284, with specialized global support spanning India, Poland, UK and the U.S.
  • PeopleScout Talent Advisory team conducted a two-phased research project, including an exhaustive candidate persona framework based on interviews with the client’s current employees, for insight into their talent audience to develop highly targeted creative and messaging.
  • PeopleScout created a new employer branding and recruitment marketing strategy, and dedicated marketing experts from PeopleScout manage all the client’s social media accounts.

Results

  • PeopleScout’s team finds qualified candidates in niche skill sets despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting talent shortages.
  • PeopleScout’s full-cycle RPO solution targets an average of 16,000 annual hires for extremely difficult skill sets, improving business outcomes across the enterprise.
  • Implemented new channels including Indeed, Appcast, geofencing, social media and more which allow the team to instantly post jobs to multiple job boards at one time.
  • After just 30 days of launching the SLA dashboard, the client saw a 38% improvement in SLAs including the interview-to-offer ratio, candidate outreach timeframe and offer extension timeline.
  • PeopleScout helped with the planning and execution of two career day events with over 1,900 attendees and 957 offers made, resulting in two of the best career day events the client has ever had.

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Waste disposal and environmental services company
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Talent Advisory, Affinix
  • ANNUAL HIRES: 16,000
  • ABOUT THE CLIENT: As a leading waste disposal company in North America, this organization has over 45,000 employees supporting over 20 million residences and businesses with their waste and recycling needs.

9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges

Competition for hourly talent is steep, with high demand from call centers, hospitality, retail, security, travel, logistics, healthcare and even government entities. In fact, 65% of companies have high-volume recruitment needs.

Talent acquisition leaders are facing the most tumultuous job market in recent memory with an impossible combination of soaring job openings and a labor shortage.

  • So, how do they compete for hourly talent when the competition is so fierce?
  • And how can they prepare for seasonal peaks?
  • More importantly, how can they increase speed without sacrificing on quality-of-hire?

Download our ebook to learn 9 Strategies for Solving High-Volume Hiring Challenges. It’s a must-read for any talent acquisition team focused on solving critical problems in their high-volume hiring programs.