What We Can Learn About Candidate Experience from the Fortune 500

Sally Hartnell

With over 11 million current open positions in the U.S., talent acquisition and retention is no longer just an issue for HR — it’s now a top business priority among all executives. As organizations consider how they’re going to hire, grow, and retain employees in the midst of a shrinking labor force, they must take a radically different approach than what they’ve been doing for the last few decades.
 

Today, candidates are assessing companies as much as companies are assessing candidates, and most are willing to wait for a company that exceeds their expectations.
 

But are companies delivering the kind of candidate experience that will actually deliver more applications? 
 

Our 6th annual State of Candidate Experience Report has all the answers — including how well the Fortune 500 and the top 100 European companies from the Global 500 list are using AI to attract, engage, and convert candidates. 
 

 


Access the full report >
 


About The Report
 

We audited the performance of each organization’s career site, application process, and communication with candidates across three phases of talent acquisition:

  • Attraction
  • Engagement
  • Conversion


We also assessed how well companies used automation and AI technology throughout the process (I.e. use of a chatbot, personalization, automated communications, intelligent search functions, candidate scoring, and more). 
 

Including the European 100 in this year’s report provides additional insight into the candidate experience from a global perspective, offering visibility into how European and American companies compare in aspects of their talent acquisition process.
 

Also new to this year’s report is a range of opportunities and recommendations for companies of all sizes to enhance their candidate experience and support a more efficient hiring process.
 


Related Resource: The Definitive Guide to Candidate Experience



Key Findings
 

In addition to company scores, rankings, and industry averages, we highlighted major trends, as well as improvements and setbacks compared to last year’s 2021 report. 
 

Here’s a sneak peak of where Fortune 500 companies excelled across all three categories:
 

  • 70% cast a broad net to attract candidates, using six or more job posting sites. A 21% increase since last year’s report shows companies are getting serious about talent pool expansion.
     
  • 60% engaged career site visitors with video content. A 13% increase since last year’s report demonstrates companies understand the importance of using video to engage today’s talent and showcase their employer brand.
     
  • 77% ​​helped convert candidates with easy site navigation, including clear error messages that highlight the necessary action. A 22% increase since last year’s report indicates companies understand the importance of clearcut navigation throughout the apply process. 
     
Fortune 500 statistics


Conversely, the Fortune 500 faced significant challenges, losing out on potential candidates in the following ways:
 

  • 86% did not offer a social login option to streamline the job search and application process.
     
  • 88% did not offer job recommendations based on browsing history to personalize and simplify job seeker searches. 
     
  • 87% did not use a chatbot to proactively answer questions, guide candidates toward jobs, or reduce tedious tasks typically handled by recruiters or hiring managers. 
     
Fortune 500 statistics


Through personalization and automation, artificial intelligence effectively and efficiently scales hiring and improves candidate engagement. Yet this report shows that the majority of Fortune 500 companies are falling short when it comes to leveraging AI throughout their candidate experiences. In fact, 91% scored poorly in this key area.
 

How the Fortune 500 Can Improve the Candidate Experience
 

Companies that differentiate themselves by the experiences they provide to their external and internal candidates will outpace their competitors. Here are a few ways to deliver: 
 

  • Simplify search and apply. The longer it takes for a candidate to find and apply to a relevant job, the greater the chance they will abandon the process and look elsewhere. One recommendation is for companies to equip their career sites with the ability to provide relevant suggested jobs based on a candidate’s keywords, skills, experience, and location.
     
  • Create hyper-personalization. Candidates are used to superior tailored experiences in their consumer lives. If finding a job that matches what they want is difficult, they are quick to move on. Dynamic AI personalization is one way companies can automatically match a candidate’s preferences, experience, skills, and location with best-fit job openings — and surface content for candidates as they move through their own unique end-to-end talent journey across multiple channels.
     
  • Automate communication. Job seekers want to know where they stand in the screening and interview scheduling process. Failure to communicate status details jeopardizes employer brand and acceptance rates. Using conversational AI chatbots, SMS, and email campaigns are a few ways companies can automate individualized communications to keep job seekers engaged while differentiating their brand.

Related Resource: The Definitive Guide to AI



How AI & Automation Helps All Talent Experiences
 

At a time when there’s never been more pressure for recruiters to fill open roles, AI and automation enables a quick, efficient hiring process that serves up best-fit jobs to candidates — and best-fit candidates to recruiters — while optimizing omnichannel communication that nurtures talent communities. Not only do job seekers appreciate a streamlined, personalized experience, but with efficiency at the core, recruiters and hiring managers benefit from decreased time to fill and better long-term fits.
 

Employees are no exception. The same hyper-personalized candidate experience should extend to internal talent, who may be looking to move within their current company. By making relevant open roles and development opportunities visible, actionable, and attainable, companies stand a better chance at retaining them. AI-powered talent marketplaces automate the process for an employee experience that unifies all key stakeholders: internal candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers.
 

The gap between what job seekers are looking for and what companies are delivering has increased drastically over the last two years. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. With this report, companies can learn how to make changes — large or small — to enhance the candidate experience and provide a measurable, positive impact on their businesses.
 

Want to dig deeper? 

Access the full report and attend our key findings webinar 

 

Wondering how your candidate experience stacks up against the competition?

Request a complimentary career site audit