I Want CandE! So Should You

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Wouldn’t it be nice if all of your fine efforts in making a great experience for your candidates was recognized with an award? You can do that.

The CandE Awards Virtual Conference is the 18th and 19th of November this year. As I write this, that’s tomorrow. It’s not too late to register here.

The CandE Awards, run by the Talent Board, rates organizations on the experience of candidates in the recruiting process, based on the surveying of candidates. You’ll find a far better explanation on the Talent Board site here, including experience benchmarking data and best practices. They also do regular webinars featuring practitioners and vendors in the recruiting space.

Themes of a Good Candidate Experience

As a recruiting technology consultant or client-side recruiting technology analyst, you are not in complete control of the candidate experience. If a hiring manager is late for an interview or is having a bad day. Coaching of managers and guides can help. Your domain is the system, right? What can you do? Here are some practical, actionable steps.

Set Expectations and Coach

Expectations and advice can be delivered using Career Site Builder (CSB) content pages as well as emails triggered during the process. Don’t forget that expectations may be set differently for different talent by including them in category pages. Just don’t put any content above the list of postings!

  • Set expectations for the recruiting process, using visuals or a video.
  • If resumes are used by your target talent population, coach on what makes a good resume.
  • Set Interview expectations and tips.


It’s important to get feedback from candidates using survey tools such as Qualtrics. Measure the Net Promoter Score (NPS) over time across different components like brand feedback. Questions should encompass the entire process and not be restricted to how usable the career site and application is. It’s smart to request feedback at different stages of the process. Don’t forget the employee experience. Below are some stages of candidate feedback.

  • Career site popup
  • Application
  • Recruiter phone screen
  • Hiring manager interview
  • Offer
  • Onboarding

Recruiters shy away from giving candidates feedback. It can open a can of worms. Transparency leads to the candidate perceiving the recruiting process as a fair one. It’s safe to say that not all segments of talent or individual candidates need to be responded to with greater detail. It’s not practical. Prioritize by talent segments.

The SAP career site send a link to a video called “SAP Rejection Video” along with the rejection email. It has suggestions for next steps. Name aside, it can be useful if the rest of your experience has been positive.

Depending on the career stage, linking to educational sites specific to the job is useful. For developers, code challenges can beef up a portfolio.


This should be a no-brainer. Have automated emails update candidate on their progress. In the application status configuration, you can decide which status to show applicants when they look at their application. Full transparency isn’t necessary. You don’t need to share “Check Rehire Eligibility” but every single status shouldn’t be either “Application in Process”.

Make it Easy

Here are some quick taps that you should be doing already

  • Don’t make the site visitor have to navigate or scroll for postings. They don’t owe you anything and can swipe left and go to the next employer.
  • Only ask for information that you need at the right time. “I’m not giving you my social security number when we haven’t even talked!”
  • Tailor the experience. If you’re hiring shop floor machine operators, don’t make a resume mandatory.

Offer Value

This can be done in many ways. Free content, career tools, skills matching to jobs using AI, skills gap feedback. I am hopeful that in 2021 SAP SuccessFactors will enhance the custom component framework so we can offer components such as calculating commute time, transit information, etc.

Bottom Line

Though I’ve given some system design suggestions to improve the candidate experience, this needs to be done holistically with the rest of the candidate experience. In order to do this buy-in needs to be achieved at the executive level. Define metrics indicating Net Promoter Score (NPS) across different parts of the candidate experience, from job description clarity to the interview process and beyond.

If you’re overwhelmed as to where to start, get help. The Talent Board has benchmarking across the candidate experience to show where to focus. Use past winners and case studies as examples to articulate to your leadership. This is a well trodden path.


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