Why the Employee Experience Matters

According to Gartner’s report on HR Executive Priorities 2019, the employee experience ranks among the top three initiatives, with 51% of all surveyed HR Execs assigning high priority to this topic. The biggest challenge employers face is how to effect the right changes to ensure their employees are buying into their organization.

But concern shouldn’t be limited to existing employees; candidate experience is a critical part of the hiring process as well. Remember the dark feelings you felt last time you had to complete a convoluted application process in an ATS whose user interface reminded you of the 90s? How tedious can it be when three attempts are needed to accommodate your interview availability with the hiring manager’s? And to what end? An increased dropout rate for people not seeing the value in such an archaic process and an increased time to start for those that do make it to the finish line?

Why is experience is so important? For several years, we have been caught in a war for talent, especially for qualified personnel. Competition is fierce — having a clear talent attraction and acquisition strategy that is able to deliver top talent at an acceptable cost and efficiency level is crucial for every organization.

With changing demographics of the candidate market, the importance of true engagement with a company becomes a critical element when deciding whether to make a move. Applicants want to personally identify with the values, culture and brand of their future employer. And this is much more than a flashy marketing campaign targeting candidates, a true portrayal of values and culture starts with the recruitment process — this is where experience becomes the key differentiator.

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A large percentage (78%) of candidates would refer someone to your company if they had a positive experience. Conversely, candidates who have had a negative overall experience will not only tell their network about it, but comment about it publicly, for example on career sites or social networks (61% and 35%, respectively). Most critical of all, they say they are likely to take their alliance, product purchases and relationship elsewhere. This could result in loss of revenue for consumer or services brands and reduces the likelihood of referrals, which normally is a great and efficient source to acquire new talent.

How Do You Do It?

To build a truly candidate-centric experience, an organization must think about several elements:

Where are we as an organization today and where do we want to be in the future? This inward reflection leads business to create vision, strategy and more operational tactics to improve candidate experience.

What are the moments of truth in the candidate journey? How can we raise awareness so everyone in the acquisition chain – from pre-engagement to sourcing to interviewing to onboarding – knows how they can contribute? Along with this question goes a deliberation about how technology can support and augment the journey (think AI, conversational bots, text messaging, and more).

Do we want to measure success with classic conversion KPIs, or might Net Promoter Score be the right way to gauge experience levels? How the answers to these questions are prioritized will differ for every organization but one thing we can be certain of is that recruitment is much more than a process. It is an experience that will make all the difference.


Jan Jacob

Jan Jacob
Jan Jacob is global product owner for Pontoon Solutions. Based in Switzerland, he is responsible for innovation, strategic development and product management for Pontoon’s product offerings as well as leading the global supplier partnership program.

Jan Jacob

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