A lesson about Candidate Experience

A lesson about Candidate Experience

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The candidate experience is a top priority for a company that cares about its brand reputation. The topic of the candidate experience has been discussed for quite some time, but it is getting more attention right now. Everything is becoming more digital, more mobile, and both recruiters and job seeker are witnessing a change in the way their activities are carried. How you engage your candidates affects you and effects them. As top talent gets harder to the source, the need for a truly world-class candidate experience intensifies.

Digital Candidate Experience

We wanted to get an inside perspective on how candidate experience should adapt to the digital era, so, after reading an article about how Cisco Systems digitalized its candidate experience, we decided to interview them. In the interview with Cisco Systems, the company that develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, and other high-technology services and products, we understood that the digitization of their candidate experience was, first of all, the response to a candidate’s need.

Not only this process eased the life of Recruiters and Hiring Managers, but especially the candidates’. They wanted to engage and support candidates in a personal way, on any device, at any time, and also gave them the chance to check their application status anywhere. Cisco shows the state of the application, creates an experience that spreads into every social media, organizes events (ex. Hackathon, Virtual Career Fair), and adapts the experience to the generational trends. Digitalization has the aim to create “Cisco Talent Brand Channels” that encourage people in creating content, video, photos, blog. This also kicked off the “We are Cisco” campaign, where all the Cisco community created authentic content (for example, on Instagram, from 0 to 12k followers in 1 year).

The hiring process has always been handled via Virtual Interviews, in order to allow the candidate to do the interview wherever they were, but application process gives now a better idea of how the company works. Thanks to digitalization, candidates can also complete online the final stage of their application: the contract. The chosen person can sign documents electronically, read all the information about onboarding on the platform, and very soon also AI and algorithms will be implemented to improve the interaction with the candidates. Cisco wants to wow candidates, surprise them, make them feel special.

What did they get from this? First of all, they got more points for Brand Reputation. They give the idea of a dynamic, innovative and smart reality to work for. And, secondly, with all these expedients, the “drop-off” rate of the candidate experiences’ lowered considerably. Way fewer people disappeared during the process, changed their mind or just abandoned the process along the way. The company’s aim is to recruit the best talents, and the first impression is fundamental. In order to have successful talents, the company has to succeed in the first impression they give.

The landscape of virtual recruitment is extraordinarily fluid and in constant change. As the digital age continues to rear up, hiring managers should really be tough and take a hard look at how they are applying the lessons of the digital age to their company. They have to cope with the developing trends and understand how to adapt better to the innovation. Cisco showed us how a digitalization of the candidate experience, a trending HR topic for 2018, can improve reputation, image and talent acquisition.


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