The candidate experience starts with the job search stage and continues with every touchpoint they have with recruiters, hiring managers and other members of your team, to the final point of rejection or job offer. Once a candidate becomes a part of an organisation, various organisational processes and interactions shape up their experience. It is crucial to pay attention to the candidate's experience because every organisation wants its reputation to stand out.
During a fireside chat at People Matters Tech HR India 2022 event, Deepu Xavier, Co-founder, Zappyhire (Chair) and Jayashubha K, Chief People Officer, TVS Credit Services Limited, discussed the importance of candidate experience and how it can be elevated by leveraging right technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The past couple of years has brought in many shifts at the workplace. The gig economy, remote working and the rise of millennials and the gen Z workforce have majorly changed work dynamics as well as employee expectations. According to Deepu Xavier Co-founder, Zappyhire - in today’s scenario, designations and salary do not hold supreme importance rather it's more about “what kind of experience organisation gives to its employees”. He mentions about ‘experience economy’ which holds that ‘candidates’ experience’ is the major determinant of the business and its outcomes; good experience can bring in great business and financial results otherwise vice versa.
He further adds that the very ‘first connect’, especially during recruitment acts as a foundation which shapes up candidate’s future experiences. Candidates who are not offered jobs become brand ambassadors of your organization and can greatly influence organisation’s image. It has been observed that after several rounds of interviews and psychometric tests, many employers go incommunicado leaving candidates confused. This practice doesn’t paint a good picture and must be avoided. It is important that candidates are provided feedback about their performance and the way forward.
Xavier further mentioned about leveraging technology to aid the process of mass hiring which gives a positive experience to the candidates. There are chatbots and various AI-based programs available which are equipped to fast-track interviews and give instant feedback then and there! This leaves candidates with a good impression of an organisation. He also talked about creating a personalised experience for the candidates to elevate their experience, like giving one on one feedback and sharing the detailed report after the assessment and interviews.
Echoing the sentiments of Xavier, Jayashubha K (Chief People Officer), TVS Credit Services Limited, said that whether your candidates are from IVY league or plus 2, they deserve to receive great candidate experience. To deliver that, we believe in gathering feedback and taking action. We conduct many intermittent surveys like engagement surveys and pulse surveys which are throwing great results for us.
She also shared that TVS has been extensively relying on psychometric tools like Hogans which is more like a subset of AI, to conduct assessments which throw instant results and we can provide detailed feedback to the candidates and select the right fit for an organization. These tools have greatly helped us to address the needs and concerns of our candidates who are geographically dispersed.
Jayashubha added that we strongly believe in creating an ‘analytics pro culture’ however, it is also important to not forget about the human element. Human Resources is predominantly a ‘human function’ and cannot be ever replaced by technology. It has been observed that we tend to get carried away with the use of technology and put human elements in the backseat.
While using technology we need to keep it really simple so that same can be utilised by a wider audience; in our organisation, whenever we come up with any product, we first do the ‘pantry boy test’; we run it past our pantry boy to check if he can understand the same or not. The basic premise is that we want to keep it really simple and at the same time don’t want to forget the human element behind it.
Delivering a great candidate experience does not have to be intricate or exclusive. We just need to evaluate our current recruitment and hiring practices and identify the loopholes. There are a plethora of the right technology and AI tools available in the market which should be leveraged to deliver a great candidate experience, however, without losing the grip on human elements.