Posted: 13 Aug. 2020 5 min. read

Is your organization’s talent acquisition experience driving talent away?

Posted by Bhawna Bist and Aarushi Gandhi on August 13, 2020.

Finding the right talent can oftentimes be difficult! Decades of knowledge and experience gathered by the baby boomers are now starting to leave the workplace, which makes acquiring and retaining top talent extremely important to organizations. According to Forbes, 49 percent of surveyed millennials will quit their job in two years.1 With many millennials being less loyal to organizations than their previous generations—the ability to attract the right talent for roles is closely aligned to the long-term success of the company. Leaders who don’t implement concrete plans to improve their talent acquisition strategy may quickly fall behind. Flipping the lens and viewing the talent acquisition experience through the candidates’ eyes considering their unique needs and moments that matter (MTM) is a key differentiator for setting organizations apart.

During the talent acquisition process, there are several touchpoints that have a significant potential to impact the candidate’s experience positively or negatively—these touchpoints are defined as the MTM. Designing a talent acquisition experience, that is anchored around enhancing these key moments, can significantly help improve the candidate’s experience. The MTM’s in a candidate’s talent acquisition journey can be enhanced from a people, process, and technology standpoint. A well-defined talent acquisition strategy includes a “personalized” people experience, simplified processes, and technology. While all three methods can be utilized to enhance the key MTM’s in a candidate’s talent acquisition journey, the focus of this piece will be on the utilization of technology to do so.

According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Survey 2019, only 6 percent of respondents believed that their organization’s recruitment functions had the best-in-class process and technology. Since organizations are most behind in their methods of utilizing technology to rewire their talent acquisition processes, leveraging new technologies may be the most transformational way to improve the candidate’s experience.

The talent acquisition life cycle of a candidate can be bucketed into five main phases:

  1. Job search/application
  2. Screening/assessment
  3. Interview
  4. Hire
  5. On-boarding.

Within each of these phases, there can be several MTM’s for a candidate—some specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of different organizations. The figure below outlines some of these unique MTM’s and their corresponding phases. While technology can play a role in enhancing the candidate’s experience all through the talent acquisition journey, below we will discuss some methods by which technology has significantly enhanced the candidate’s experience portion of the job search/application and interview phase.

Source: High-Impact Diversity & Inclusion study, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, 2017.

Job search and application: The job search/application is the first touchpoint that a candidate has with an organization. Sometimes, job postings can be too tailored to organizations, leading to confusion among candidates, while deciding roles that match their experiences and skills. While providing a negative candidate’s experience, this can also reduce the quality of applicants. Alongside this, overly lengthy application processes can also deteriorate the candidate’s experience.

According to a survey, 60 percent of candidates have quit an application process because it took too long. (Erin Engstrom, n.d.). Various talent acquisition vendors have identified this as an opportunity to enhance/simplify and provide a high-touch candidate’s experience. If we look from the perspective of the candidate, an ideal scenario would be where they would be able to apply for a job, as easily as they can click ‘buy now’ when shopping online—providing only must-needed information upfront! However, sometimes this information would not be sufficient for the recruiters to weed out applicants. The balancing act is to create an application that is not front-loaded—gathering only relevant information upfront, while also being interactive for the candidate. Outlined below are two ways where technology has been utilized to generate a unique candidate’s experience during the job search and application experiences.

Job seekers are often unaware of the various roles in an organization that they may be a good fit for based on their skills and experiences. Artificial intelligence and cognitive talent management solutions can be utilized to personalize the experience and guide applicants to jobs they may potentially be best suited for within the organization. When an applicant is visiting the website, Artificial intelligence can also engage with the job seeker in personalized discussions and recommend potential job opportunities to the candidate within the organization. By providing this unique experience for the candidate, organizations are able to make a strong connection with potential employees at the very beginning of the process.

The rise of voice technologies has changed the way individuals have been completing tasks and interacting with their devices. A leading fast-food chain (McDonald's) has utilized voice recognition to provide a quicker and more interactive way for them to apply for jobs.² A job prospect can now utilize voice recognition software to answer a couple of quick questions and apply for a front-end job. Followed by which they receive an SMS link on their phone to complete their application and apply for a job. The company is envisioning this as a way to provide young people an opportunity to start entry-level careers at one of its restaurants through artificial intelligence-powered digital voice assistants. In a time, where convenience is a key market differentiator, this organization has definitely utilized it to generate a positive hiring experience! 

Interviews: LinkedIn has found that 83 percent of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. Strategic implementation of tools and technologies can help organizations significantly enhance the screening and interview experience of candidates. A clear and transparent interview process is a paramount priority for job seekers today. Outlined below are two ways in which an organization can drastically improve its candidate’s experience while interview scheduling and conducting the interview.

An organization can successfully differentiate its candidate’s experience during interview scheduling by reducing the amount of time spent back and forth between emails trying to identify timings that work best for interviews. Technology can be utilized to manage schedules and availabilities, book rooms, provide clear communication, etc., providing recruiters with the opportunity to focus on more strategic work. Self-scheduling interview technology can be utilized to significantly reduce interview coordination time for candidates. Once the candidate elects their chosen interview time, some leading systems can even generate notifications to the interviewers providing them with all the relevant information required to conduct the interview. Providing candidates with the opportunity to schedule interviews per their own convenience, while reducing the back and forth between themselves and the recruiter, helps generate a positive experience for the candidate.

The advent of new digital technologies and methods of collaboration has changed our ways of working. Considering our new reality and rapid increase in virtualization, video interviewing technology has been rapidly incorporated amongst many leading organizations instead of face-to-face interviews. Talent lives all over and is not restricted to the headquarters of your organization. Considering that many candidates (like talent acquisition specialists and managers) have busy schedules, in-person interviews can sometimes be difficult to conduct, while also being more expensive. This brings in the need for video interviewing software. Video interviewing software can be utilized in the form of live in-person interviews as well as prerecorded interviews. Prerecorded interviews serve as an optimal method to prescreen candidates, prior to bringing in top talent for in-person interviews. Utilization of video interview technologies as a part of the screening process provides candidates the flexibility to move through the talent acquisition process at their convenience.

Providing a positive candidate’s experience has enormous benefits to an organization not only in terms of developing a stellar brand but also in terms of measurable business outcomes. Sixty-four percent of surveyed job seekers say that a poor candidate’s experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employer.³ Therefore, a poor candidate’s experience can not only drives top talent away but also helps increase the number of unhappy customers. So, a focus on a candidate’s experience is imperative for an organization’s success.

Technology can play an important role in improving the candidate’s experience during their talent acquisition journey. Treating candidates well helps enable the organization to find the top talent and stellar candidates, including those who weren’t right for one role, but were the best fit for another or will reapply again in the future.


Bhawna Bist is a senior manager in the Workforce Transformation practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, specializing in the Future of Work and talent acquisition transformation. She has more than 18 years of cross-industry and consulting experience advising global organizations and leading strategic transformation programs.

Aarushi Gandhi is a consultant in the HR Transformation Advisory practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP based out of Canada with experience across talent acquisition transformations, HR roadmap and org design, and workforce experience and process design.





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