RNN is pleased to present the series "CandE Research Takeaways". For more of the series - and other great recruitment marketing and employer branding content - please visit here.
Employers and candidates frequently view the candidate experience quite differently, and this gap in their perceptions generally skews in a predictable way: employers tend to rate their candidate experiences higher than candidates do.
We’ve seen this trend year after year across a decade of Talent Board research. However, 2020 was a year of unpredictability and, as our latest research shows, the usual perception gaps separating employers and candidates narrowed or all but vanished at nearly every stage of the candidate journey in 2020. This held true in every region we surveyed.
The reasons behind this shift are clear. First, employers delivered an exceptional level of transparency and empathetic communication to candidates in 2020, as the pandemic drove unprecedented numbers of job seekers flooding into their talent pipelines. Second, candidates were more forgiving toward employers because they knew what employers were up against—simultaneously fielding record numbers of job applications, coping with their own workforce issues, and trying to keep their businesses afloat. (To read more about all of this, check out my previous post.)
This mutual empathy proved to be a unifying force and upended the perception gaps that usually divide employers and candidates. It’s a shame we can’t adopt these more compassionate mindsets permanently, and it will be fascinating to see how things shake out in 2021.
A Stage-by-Stage Snapshot of 2020
You can view all of the perception gap data and charts—along with how candidate experience ratings are calculated and converted into Net Promoter Scale (NPS) scores—by downloading our 2020 Research Report. But in terms of the big picture for 2020, here’s a stage-by-stage snapshot of how perception gaps shifted in North America:
The one trend that remained constant from 2019 involves candidates who are rejected after the screening/interviewing stage. As it does every year, rejection resulted in candidates rating their experiences more negatively than employers in 2020. No surprise there, right? Interestingly, though, the gap between candidates’ and employers’ ratings was 27 points in 2020, up from 19 points in 2019. Again, given the professional and personal difficulties candidates faced last year, the increase in their negative ratings are understandable.
If you’re interested in how your company’s candidate experience stacks up against your competition, join the 2021 CandE benchmark research program.
Sign up to get our monthly newsletter and updates about RNN.