Does Your Candidate Experience Include Social Affirmations?

Tim Sackett candidate experience, Social Media and Talent, Social Networking, Talent Acquisition

Candidate Experience (CX) is about to tank. I’m sure my friends at the Talent Board will show this data in 2021 and I predict after years of increased CX we’ll see a dip. Why? Turns out, when you have more candidates than jobs, it’s hard to deliver high CX at scale. Also, so many TA teams are being cut to the bone, so resources are thin.

One part of CX that I’ve never seen – but I’ve been thinking about – is what would happen to your candidate experience if we started doing random, or not so random, social affirmations to those candidates who applied to our jobs?

Can you imagine what that might look like?

  • A quick Tweet out to the candidate from your brand, “Hey, Tim! Just got your resume! Can’t wait to pass it along to the hiring manager, it looks great!”
  • A quick shoutout on the Gram – “Tim! Got your resume – looking forward to talking to you about our great culture at Company X!”
  • A quick post on LinkedIn – “@Tim your profile looks amazing, we can’t wait to talk to you about how we are changing the world!”

Okay, before we get into how this could go wrong, let’s discuss the power of this concept.

First, we already know that all of us crave personal, professional, and social affirmation. The power of positive feedback in our lives, the fact that we’ve been seen, heard, and witnessed might be the single biggest force in nature!

Also, from a candidate perspective, all they really want to know is did you get my stuff, and do you like me? Really low expectations from candidates! So, not super hard to meet that criteria, but we still find ways to screw it up.

Now, think about it from a marketing perspective. You need Talent X. Talent X is hard to find. You keep doing all the same stuff to find Talent X as your competition is doing. The noise for Talent X is high.

All of sudden, through all that noise, is a call-out to one member of Talent X. Hey, wait, why would you publicly let your competition know you are after this one member!? That one member gets social affirmation. Feels great. They are excited. The community of Talent X also sees this and now they are a bit jealous. Hey, I want some of that affirmation! The sound of your marketing just broke through the noise to Talent X.

So, why won’t you do this?

Obviously, we worry that we’ll do a shoutout to someone and they applied privately to your job, and wouldn’t want this out in the public, especially if they are still employed! A real concern. But, you could easily just send a quick note to the person and ask for permission, and it would have the same marketing impact, just not the same real feels for the candidate.

We worry that we’ll give our competition access to this candidate and we would then lose them. It’s a worry, but they did apply to you, most likely they also applied to your competition, let’s be honest. I’m not sure this is a legitimate worry, but some will think it is.

This entire idea came up as I was discussing the HR tech stack with an organization and we got to a point where I asked, “so, what are you doing within your stack to ensure professional affirmation is taking place across your organization?” Hmm, what!? How are you ensuring your employees and leaders are publicly, within your organization, sharing all the good feels about each other?

We know that this type of affirmation has extremely positive outcomes on performance, retention, willingness to refer, etc. So, why aren’t we building it into the HR stack and measuring that it’s getting done? And, if it works so well for employees, won’t it work for candidates?