I love watching really good comics. Sarah Silverman has a new special on HBO called “We Are Miracles” it’s brilliantly funny in the way where she makes her self laugh at some of the things she is saying. I love that. I find it funnier when the comic finds themselves funny, not fake funny, but naturally tickled at what they are thinking and saying out loud. There is one part in the special where she talks about a product that is being marketed to women for a certain kind of odor, in areas we don’t talk about on family blogs like this. She describes how these odor fighting products, marketed directly at women, going after their worst fears, aren’t really products. We think they are because we see the commercials and someone holding a can in their hands and talking on TV, I mean it has to be real, it’s on TV!
But they aren’t. There is no real need for this product. Women can use soap and water, like they use on the rest of their body. As Sarah says, if you do that, your normal washing, and you still sense an odor, you don’t need a ‘perfume’ spray, you need a doctor!
This is exactly how I feel about Candidate Experience. It’s not a real product.
We think it is because we have really smart folks telling us it is. These same folks make their living off of consulting to companies who have unrealized fears of a candidate having a bad experience and then those candidates no longer wanting to use or buy their products and services. This is made up. This is private parts deodorant.
Here is what Candidate Experience is built upon:
1. At some point an executive had their sister’s kid, a niece or nephew of the executive, apply for a job with the company online. Your system/process did what is was suppose to do, it weeded out this crappy candidate, sent them the “Dear John” letter, and that was it. But it wasn’t!
2. Executive hears from her sister that her daughter Mary, a brilliant child, was not selected and not even given an interview, in fact there was no human interaction at all!
3. Executive has to save face with family. Comes down hard on Talent Acquisition leader about how can we treat our candidates like this!
This is how Candidate Experience was born. A niece not getting hired.
The executive not wanting to make this ‘about herself’ comes up with other reasons, and all the sheep follow along. “We need to treat all candidates like we treat our customers! We need to make candidates advocates of our products and services. We need to treat candidates this better than we treat each other because it’s a competitive advantage for talent.” And we begin to buy into the rhetoric. We begin to believe that we have an odor, that what we’ve been doing is bad. Our worst fears, that a candidate who feels they have a bad experience will stop using our products, is so overplayed it’s actually funny when you stop and actually think about it! You will have candidates who feel they are great, you won’t, they’ll get upset and not like your company. That is life in Talent Acquisition. A minute percentage will think this way, and there is nothing you’ll ever be able to do about it!
The reality is, for the vast majority of Talent Acquisition Leaders, what we’ve been doing is just fine. We treat our candidates like normal humans, we communicate with them if we feel they fit or not, and the process works. Sure, some of us, have some bad processes, or parts of processes that need to be fixed. But we don’t have an odor problem. The biggest lie that is perpetuated in the Human Resource Industry is that Candidate Experience is important. The reality is candidates have extremely low expectations when it comes to applying for a job. All they really want and need is to know that you saw their application and/or resume, and do you feel they would be a fit or not. That’s it! Treat them like normal humans. Give them enough respect to communicate with them the next step: 1. Thank you, but no thanks we have some better fitting candidates, try again next time; 2. We’re interested, here is step #2.
It’s not hard. You don’t need to spend time and money on this. You don’t have a real problem. I know you think you do, so many people are telling you so, so it must be real. But it’s not, it’s private parts deodorant!