Now more than ever, candidates are demanding transparency from employers. They want insights, better communication and realistic job role and company culture expectations. So why aren’t we giving it to them?
Talent Board’s annual Candidate Experience Benchmark Report was released several months ago now, and while there are no surprises in the report, there is a lot of data suggesting that many employers have stalled in their quest to ‘raise the bar’ on candidate experience.
In the infographic below, we’ve extracted some of the most actionable take-aways from the two reports, but we also decided to call in an expert to get a fresh perspective on the data. So we invited Craig Fisher—Head of Recruiting Innovation at Allegis Global Solutions and CandE Council member—to provide some insight into the report’s findings, the state of candidate experience in 2020 and specifically the role of video in the candidate experience.
The following interview took place in February 2020, pre global pandemic, I’ve been sitting on it for months wondering if candidate experience was going to go the way of the Dodo in a recession. But re-watching the interview, I’m confident that the observations and suggestions are even more relevant—and certainly still something we should all aspire to—in a post COVID world. What do you think?
As you know, we’re in the business of helping talent teams make great videos. So the Candidate Experience Research Report data point that we’re most interested in is this one:
'Video Job Descriptions are the number one recruiting technology investment for employers in 2020'
Talent Board's North American Candidate Experience Research Report (2019 & 2020)
You’ll note that it says above 2019 and 2020, that’s not a typo, ‘Video Job Descriptions’ have been the number one planned recruiting technology investment for the last several years. But a quick look at any job board or career site tells a different story. So we asked Craig Fisher—Head of Recruiting Innovation at Allegis Global Solutions—to weigh in.
What’s holding employers back when it comes to adopting employee-created video?
"I think there is a little bit of push pull with marketing still, but that doesn't come into play as much anymore. People actually have the job title ‘Employer Branding’ now. When I started this six years ago, as far as corporates go, that role didn't really exist. But now it's a commonplace thing. And so I don't think there's so much problem with marketing and bureaucracy, it's more about getting the right tone of voice, the right standard. And somebody actually driving it.
Your goal should be to get a representative from each part of the organization or in each kind of role to do a video about that category. And maybe get a couple of employees and a manager, and in each job description that you see on Indeed or wherever, add or link out to those videos.
I fully believe that that should be happening. Companies like VideoMyJob make it easy. I mean, there's no reason you shouldn't, you have the technology! It's great to say in your annual goals ... we want to do this, we need to do that. But unless there's someone responsible for video job descriptions—it just won't happen.
So that's where we fall down, there's still a gap in personnel there. I believe we need dedicated resources and until we get that, we're not going to get there. We're gonna have our overly produced marketing videos, brand videos, executive videos and we're not going to have enough employee and hiring manager videos.
So video has just got to become a norm. We're not there yet, but we're getting very close."
Job seekers want more insights, more transparency—how can companies build a culture of transparency?
“I don't believe that companies have just one culture. Personally, I think that saying ‘this is our culture’ we're going to paint this with a broad brush, is a little silly. I think each part of the organization has its own culture. If you're going to tell me that there's zero transparency in any part of the organization … you're going to have a really tough time building a good value proposition in the first place. And so, that has to be a mindset change at the executive level.
But job categories, job families, whatever, there’s a slightly different sub-culture in each of these groups, so you can find a transparent piece of culture to showcase in a video in each group, I promise that you can. And if you've got a bunch of hiring managers that aren't selling the job properly. They're not setting proper expectations and not being transparent, don't put them on a video."
What about when Marketing or Corporate Comms are concerned because the content is too transparent?
"In my experience. Do good video. And don't ask permission. Eventually marketing will be coming to you saying ‘this is pretty good’.
I'm not advocating that you break any company rules all you employees out there, I'm just saying that most of the time the hurdle is fear, and nothing legal. Don't divulge any company secrets, but talk honestly about what the job is, why the team is interesting. What the cool work is you're doing. What's good about that manager or from the manager, what's great about their team."
Career sites are the #1 information source for job seekers, what can employers do better?
"Don't just accept what your ATS or CRM offers, you can do better than that. Apply to your own jobs. Tell me what happens, tell me where the gaps are, do it on mobile. See what happens there, what's the experience like? Write down the number of seconds it takes between steps, things like that.
I mean, really, really evaluate what's going on there and then, try to take an interested party view of the information that's on your career site. Is it generic? Is it informative? Is it really boring? All these places where you can jump to, to learn more about your culture are great, but they’re steps that bounce candidates out of the place you want them to be.
So I say, put those branding videos right there on the landing page, don't make people jump to another and then a whole other page to learn more about the company's culture. It can be a drop down. It can be a scrolling list of videos. It can be lots and lots of things - we can program these things on a website.
There's one other thing that we miss, even the employers that do embed video fairly well. Job candidates are still looking at these pages with the sound off right, they're in the car, they’re at work, 80+ percent of people are watching video with sound off. We need to be adding subtitles to every video."
COVID-19 is rapidly changing the candidate experience and candidate expectations, with more people than ever looking for employers that align with their values. Companies that adopt transparent and authentic messaging, now matter how it's delivered, will be the ones that emerge from this crisis ahead of the pack.