I’m looking at the world of candidate experience and employer branding differently. It comes from reading about user experience design from a web perspective. User experience in the commercial world is far more focused on conversion than recruitment is. I’ve gained some interesting insights into what our mission is. We create experiences. Whether we intend to or not. Candidate experience is often dictated by what our systems allow us to do. Or what our web design team allows us to do. Or what our schedules allow us to do. Candidate experience is a by-product of other decisions made for other reasons. It is rarely the driver of those decisions. More often, it’s the result of choices made by procurement, marketing, HR, IT and other parts of the organisation. And often, this patchwork of influences is abundantly clear. We are trying to get people to bind our story to their own narrative. Our goal is to build enthusiasm in the minds of talented individuals. We want them to be able to experience what we have to offer. And to be able to superimpose this expectation over their current reality. Every image and tagline, every press ad and online classified ad, every web banner, and trade show. These aspire to create a brand personality that others enjoy and buy into as something that strengthens their self-image. I hate over-reliance on dating analogies. But in this case, the comparison suits very well. We want people to like us for who we are. We should be presenting the best version of ourselves wherever possible. We should be making a proud statement and finding ways to help people see us as a good choice for the future. We should be going to extraordinary lengths to build the kind of experience they’ll remember. One that sets the template for our behaviour.
So how do you design for delight?
I have been getting first-hand experience of how barren and bland it can be. It’s driven to please a corporate process in a bleak digital environment. It provides the absolute least information to the applicant. This feels especially true compared to the amount of information the applicant gives the company. The information imbalance creates discomfort and a sense of feeling exposed. It makes the candidate feel like a commodity. Which is a bad way to enter into any relationship. Even if that’s what the candidate expected from their experience in applying for other roles. We can design these processes and interactions better. We can design for delight and pleasure rather than just satisfying a process. Every company has feedback on its application process. It knows where it loses candidates instead of delighting them. Every company can create better experiences. Just by thinking about what candidates need. We spend a lot of money on attracting talent. We should ensure that the result isn’t the weakest part of our sales chain.