The 2013 Candidate Experience Awards Results: Our Perspective

By Ben Gotkin

For over 3 years now, the Talent Board has brought considerable attention to the Candidate Experience and its impact on an organization’s recruiting success.  As experts on recruiting process, technology, interviewing and selection, candidate engagement, we at Recruiting Toolbox certainly have had a very keen interest in this issue as we work with our clients on their candidate experience either directly or indirectly all of the time.  Knowing our interest and passion around the topic, the non-profit organization, The Talent Board, was kind enough to ask John Vlastelica, Carmen Hudson and I to participate on the Candidate Experience Awards (CandE) Council.  Carmen and I had the additional honor of authoring 2 sections of the 2013 Awards Whitepaper which was released a few days ago.

2013 was the biggest year yet for the CandE Awards, with over 120 companies completing the initial employer survey, over 90 companies providing the candidate survey to their candidates, over 46,000 responses to the candidate survey, 64 Award winners (including Recruiting Toolbox clients ADP, BASF, CH2M Hill, Capital One, Informatica, Intellectual Ventures and T-Mobile) and 13 winners with distinction.  The program has also expanded overseas to the UK and Australia and will likely expand further soon.  Such tremendous participation has resulted in some significant data being collected, and some very interesting and revealing results.  I strongly encourage you to read the whitepaper in full, but a few of the key findings this year from our perspective included:

  • A majority of candidates had some pre-existing relationship with the companies before they applied, either likely as a customer or through a referral.  A positive impact on the candidate is the employers to lose from the very start.
  • CandE Award winners were more likely than non-winners to effectively set expectations on the process up front, address data privacy concerns, include highly relevant pre-screening/assessment tools in the process, and collect feedback.  Candidates in turn indicated that their experience was highly influenced by these factors, to the point where if they had a negative experience as a result, that their willingness to do future business with that employer was also negatively impacted.
  • One of the results that I found very interesting was that candidates indicated that the amount of time it took to complete the application had no correlation to their satisfaction.  What did impact their satisfaction however was the setting of expectations, a perceived opportunity to effectively demonstrate their qualifications, addressing data privacy and a follow-up upon completion of the application.  In other words, relevancy and common courtesy.

If you have not participated in the CandE Awards program to date, we strongly encourage all organizations to participate, if not to complete to win an award, at the very least to benchmark your process and to do so year-over-year.  The 2014 Employer Survey is open now, to participate please visit