Part 2: Creating Experiences that Connect

Part two in a 3-part series on creating experiences strong experiences

In looking at how our candidates are facing when it comes to changing jobs, Now couple this mind-blowing choice top talent has that forces them to sift through information that feels generic, with the fact that changing jobs is a top 20 stress creator! Changing jobs is scary. It’s not like changing toothpaste. It’s a big deal. I can try a new laundry detergent and if I don’t like it, I can finish some of the box and go buy my regular brand. It’s a little harder to switch other products, like banks, that’s hard.

It’s hard because you have to do so much to do it and depending on your relationship with the bank, you could be pretty intertwined there. Some with your phone. Switching phones is such a pain. I mean, all my data is in there and my history and my friends. My phone is part of my identity. But, when I am switching phones, I can go in and test and hold the new phone. See how it fits in my hand. And most companies will allow me to port over all my data easily, so I don’t lose any of my contacts. None of that is true with work. You can’t try out a new job to see how it will fit and you certainly cannot port over your friends to the new job, either. It’s a big life change. So, many people just plug along disengaged.

And then all of this tumbles into our laps. We can’t find the best talent for our jobs. Unemployment is at an all-time low. We are turning more people over than ever. Candidates are ghosting us! GASP! Now, let’s talk about that for a second. We’ve been ghosting candidates for 20 years, and they’ve decided to black hole us for a few months and we are losing our minds. Ok , I kid, but only a little because we are reaping what we sow on this one.

If we want to create meaningful change and start driving results in how we attract and retain talent, I am going to give you a major hack: The fastest way to start shifting our thinking is to empathize with the people who want to attract and retain. Start thinking about the world from their point of view. It is the first thing I teach people I work with. If we cannot walk a mile in their shoes, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to get them to do what we want them to do. So, let’s do a little experiment in empathy:

I want you to get out your phones right now and search for your company and a job title. When you get the results, go ahead and click through it.

Read the job description.

Raise your hand when you zone out.

Welcome to your audience.

Here's the truth: 90% of the workforce is open to a new position, according to LinkedIn.

A full 2/3 of the workforce is disengaged at work, according to Gallup.

And 20% would rather wait in line at the DMV all day than apply for a job, according to Jibe.

We collect people’s information in databases. We make them jump through absurd hurtles. We still act like we are in charge. Although we are all starting to wonder what’s going so wrong. How can we not find the talent we need? Well, it’s because we have nothing but friction. Nothing but a fight. We expect them to come. We expect them to spend a 88 minutes on an application. Answering 180 questions from their mobile phone simply for the honor of never hearing back.

You see, it’s not the job seeker. It’s not the audience. It’s the experience. They can’t even with this experience today. It’s really time to look at how we can do more to eliminate friction, because the best people will not go through these processes.

Which has brought the focus squarely on “candidate experience”.

Every leader I have talked to in the last 18 months is focused on “Candidate Experience”. And yet, there doesn’t seem to be much alignment around what those words actually mean. Is it the employer brand? Our marketing? Is it the application process? The interview process? Is it just candidates? As we continue to reckon with our ever-shifting audience and record low unemployment, it is more important than ever to not only understand what it means, but even more critically, how do you create experiences that matter to the people who are going to drive change in our companies. Having seen where we can differentiate, where we are struggling, and where we can win.

It's not about creating a candidate experience. Because, well candidate implies someone we are considering for the job, an applicant. It’s bigger than the applicant. It’s about the entire continuum of people. Pre-hire to post re-tire.

If we want to make an impact on our universe of people, we’re going to have to accept some new truths. Tomorrow’s post will outline our way forward. Stay tuned!