Joshua Budway

How many great candidates do you think you’re losing because of flaws in your recruiting process?
The truth is that many companies – especially large or fast growing ones – lose more candidates than they should. Despite the significant resources spent bringing people into the recruiting funnel, there’s a lack of attention on what happens after a candidate has applied. This approach creates a series of oversights, miscues, and fumbles that can drive a potentially great future employee out the door. Not only is losing a candidate in this way a waste of resources, but even worse, you might have turned the candidate into a detractor more generally. They’ll tell their friends, and you might have just lost more than one great future employee as a result.
So why are some top companies dropping the ball with candidates?
Because they aren’t thinking about their recruiting experiences from the perspective of an interviewee. Instead of creating a frictionless experience that makes every interaction with their companies great and consistent for candidates, high-growth companies become more focused on the need to hire quickly and in high quantities.  They sacrifice attention to details that impact candidates in the frenzy. In our own rapid growth, we haven’t been immune to this phenomenon.
To solve this problem, we decided to use our own technology — and ask candidates directly what’s working and what’s not. At Medallia, we live on feedback. As a customer experience management company, our platform helps businesses connect with the voice of their customers and then take action on that feedback. While we already use Medallia to learn from our experiences with our own customers, we’ve recently started surveying another sort of customer — the customer of the recruiting team.
The candidate.
To do so effectively, we are collecting feedback on the entire candidate journey, stretching from initial contact and application to scheduling, interviews, office environment, communication of final decision, offer, and beyond. We’re even measuring a candidate’s likelihood to recommend Medallia based on the recruiting experience. Like many hyper-growth companies in Silicon Valley, we know that our candidate experience is inconsistent. We know about the scheduling problems, the conference room constraints, the clumsy handoffs, the delayed follow-ups, the hurdles to giving candidates performance feedback. We started doing this because we wanted to change not just the experience itself, but also how it’s “owned” across the organization.
It’s easy for the candidate journey to be owned solely by the recruiting team. That is something we’re changing. Every single Medallian has the opportunity to impact the candidate experience — from our front desk staff to our hiring managers to the analyst who happens to hold the door open for the candidate… or, doesn’t. By sharing each and every piece of feedback with the company as a whole, we can get the entire organization to think differently about how we interact with our candidates and take creating a positive candidate experience from “their job” to “our job.”
But solicited feedback isn’t the only element in our Voice of the Candidate program. Like some of our clients who receive feedback on TripAdvisor, we receive feedback on sites like Glassdoor — and our founders respond to it publicly and share it internally. This unsolicited feedback can surface additional areas for us to improve — and by responding to it, we reiterate directly to candidates that we take feedback very seriously, as a company and a community.
Though we have fully embraced the voice of the candidate, we know that collecting feedback is the first step on the journey. From there, we need every member of the company to take ownership of their part of the journey – and take actions to improve it. And by actually measuring our performance and learning from the experiences we create for candidates, we’ll know when we’ve made it: even candidates who aren’t the right fit will walk away smiling.
And through all of these efforts, we hopefully welcome candidates and introduce them to what and who Medallia really is — making them feel excited and part of the family before they’ve even joined.

Photo Credit: Krista Grinberga