Candidate Experience Winners Re-Recruit from the Inside Out

For the longest time it’s always been about recruiting from the outside in. As if companies had never hired for many of their jobs before. As if the only way to fill them was to post the jobs and pray for new magical applicants they’d never identified previously, and hopefully some of those had just enough of a magical edge to get the final interviews and then get hired.

Of course, the reality is that most of those applicants aren’t magical and aren’t qualified 75-95 percent of the time. And out of those hired, we hope that they’ll stick and stay beyond their first 6-12 months. But that’s the way we’ve sourced and recruited for decades, and recruiting technology automation has only given us more of the same.

A lot more of the same – hundreds of applicants per open requisition on the average according to the latest Talent Board Candidate Experience survey results (a trend that’s increased over the past few years). The good news here is, at least for the companies that have participated in the Candidate Experience surveys (whether the employer won a CandE Award or not), is that:

  • 70% of participating candidates are likely and to apply again to the same employers.
  • 70% of participating candidates are likely or extremely likely to refer others.
  • 68% of the candidates rated the employers with 3 or more stars out of 5 stars on their overall candidate experience.

And nearly 80% of those candidates weren’t hired.

It’s even more refreshing to hear companies are investing strategy, resources and time into their internal candidate experience. Yes, those folks who are already employed. Your hopefully engaged critical talent. Your brand ambassadors. Your key referrers who help attract competitive people your way.

It’s really only been the past few years where I’ve heard larger organizations talk more about improving the internal candidate experience. Anyone who’s read my articles know how much I emphasize the fact that we’re all perpetual applicants/candidates all the time.

We’re all either being constantly re-recruited into their current organizations (engagement and opportunity) or recruited out of them (attrition and opportunity). It makes no never mind whether we’re happily employed (some of us) and unhappily disengaged (most of us), looking for our next gig, or not. We’re all perpetual candidates, regardless of generation or gender, skill set or experience.

So I was energized when CandE Award-winning companies like Humana, T-Mobile, SWIFT and many others shared at this year’s Candidate Experience Symposium that they are truly investing in and improving on how they treat internal candidates and re-recruit and retain them. We learned they’re making it much easier for current employees (including permanent and contingent) to be internally mobile, transforming cultures that used to discourage mobility to those that embrace it, in order to apply for and stay within the “mothership.” And many other companies are right behind them to keep their competitive edge and sharp as possible. Again, these folks are your employment brand ambassadors.

Now, even with these internal candidate experience improvements, it’s true that predicting new employee tenure is about as difficult as predicting the weather, even with various data inputs and powerful algorithms we have today. Most people these days stay in their jobs only about 3-5 years. It’s not just the millennials moving around for better opportunities — all generations do it.

But one thing is clear: referrals can and do have an impact on employee retention. If an employee is satisfied at work, feels like part of a team and the greater culture, and of course is rewarded fairly, then he or she is much more likely to suggest referrals. They become a brand advocate.

And if these referrals have a similar experience to those who referred them, they will in turn potentially last a little longer and make referrals themselves. In fact, even candidates that don’t get hired will make referrals if their experience is a good one as referenced in the Talent Board data above.

Long-time recruiting analyst John Sumser and HR thought leader Jessica Miller-Merrell concurred on the TalentCulture #TChat Show when you hire somebody you don’t know, and you bring them in, you have to figure out all sorts of attributes of trust, in order to get them to fit into your organization.

In fact, John said it best, “When you use a referral, the trust is implied by the person making the referral. Everybody knows that what makes organizations fun, flexible, agile, adaptive and productive is the degree to which everybody in the organization trusts everybody else. Trust is the variable that makes your organization great or makes it fail.”

This is why CandE Winners invest in the internal candidate experience today.  Re-recruiting from the inside out makes for one trustworthy and invaluable talent pool.