Technology is Important, But…. Korn Ferry Survey Finds Recruiters and Candidates Agree the Human Element Still Critical to the Hiring Experience
Despite ongoing technology enhancements in the talent acquisition industry, recruiters and candidates agree that an informed, responsive recruiter is critical to creating a positive candidate experience and to finding the best person for the job. That’s according to two new global surveys – one of candidates and one of talent acquisition professionals – by Korn Ferry.
The surveys found that 90 percent of candidates and 80 percent of recruiters say it is either very or extremely important that the candidate like the recruiter with whom they are working.
“Technology has allowed us to make tremendous strides in talent acquisition, such as the use of AI to source the best candidates for a role, but it’s the positive interaction with a recruiter and/or hiring manager that can make or break a candidate experience,” said Jeanne MacDonald, global co-operating executive and president of global talent solutions for Korn Ferry’s RPO and Professional Search business.
When considering what is the top way a recruiter can gain credibility with a candidate, both surveys cite being knowledgeable about the specific job, organisation and industry.
More than half (53 percent) of candidates say that the top way communications break down is when a recruiter “ghosts” them by not calling them back or letting them know where they stand in the hiring process.
“The best philosophy is to treat candidates like customers of the company for which they are applying”, said MacDonald.
“We want every part of the recruiting process to run smoothly, and a big part of that is being responsive and treating each candidate with respect.”
When asked for the top reasons as to why candidates are looking for a new job, recruiters cite a better title/more responsibility as the top reason (20 percent), followed by salary (19 percent) and they are bored/need a new challenge at 16 percent.
When a candidate is trying to decide between two offers, they say the best thing a recruiter can do is discuss why the recruiter’s offer better aligns with their career aspirations (44 percent). Only 5 percent said giving them more money would be the top move for causing them to accept one offer over another.
And when it comes to convincing a candidate to choose their job offer, only half (50 percent) of candidates say the recruiter can convince them to take the job if they are unsure of the position. When asked the same question, recruiters were much more confident, with 83 percent saying they can convince an uncertain candidate to take the job.
About the Survey – The two global Korn Ferry surveys of job candidates and talent acquisition professionals were conducted in the spring of 2019 and garnered responses from 830 candidates and 161 talent acquisition professionals worldwide. Due to rounding, percentages may not equal 100.
Candidate Survey Responses:
Can a recruiter convince you to take a job even if you are unsure about the position?
Yes 50 percent
No 50 percent
In your experience, where do communications fall down most between you and a recruiter?
They “ghost” me by not calling me back,
and not letting me know where I stand 53 percent
They don’t tell me enough about what the role entails 17 percent
They don’t seek to understand what motivates me 18 percent
I am given conflicting information by different people during
The process 12 percent
What is the best thing a recruiter can do if you are trying to decide between two offers?
Offer me more money 5 percent
Offer work-life balance 8 percent
Up the benefits off (e.g. vacation, flex time) 5 percent
Help me decide which offer is best suited for me 36 percent
Discuss why their offer better aligns with my career aspirations 44 percent
Do nothing and hope for the best 1 percent
What is the best way a recruiter can gain credibility with you? (No. 1 is the top way a recruiter can gain credibility)
No. 1. Be knowledgeable about the specific job, industry and the organisation
No. 2 Understand my background and what motivates me
No.3 Regularly update me on where I stand during the recruiting process
No. 4 Give me detailed advice on how to thrive during the interview process
No. 5 Be honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation
What is the top way a recruiter can lose credibility with you? (No. 1 is the top way a recruiter can lose credibility)
No. 1 Not knowing much about the company or position for which they are trying to recruit me
No. 2 Not understanding my background and what motivates me
No. 3 Not updating me regularly on where I stand in the recruiting process
No. 4 Not giving enough information on how the recruiting process will unfold
No. 5 Not being honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation
How important is it that you like the recruiter with whom you are working?
Extremely important 35 percent
Somewhat important 55 percent
Not important 10 percent
Survey of Talent Acquisition Professionals
Where do communications between the recruiter and the candidate fall down the most?
Not clearly articulating what the role entails 17 percent
Not understanding the candidate’s motivations 13 percent
“Ghosting” the candidate by not communicating where
they stand in the process 55 percent
Candidate receives conflicting information from different people
during the process 16 percent
In what part of the recruiting process is a candidate most vulnerable to dropping out?
After initial contact with the recruiter/hiring manager 36 percent
After taking a written assessment 8 percent
After the interview 29 percent
After being made an offer 17 percent
After being hired but before the candidate starts work 10 percent
What’s the primary way you make initial contact with a candidate?
Email 33 percent
Text 2 percent
Phone call 42 percent
AI/chatbot 0 percent
Social media such as LinkedIn 23 percent
Grassroots, e.g. networking event 0 percent
How important is it to ask candidates what motivates them (e.g. title, pay, challenges) to determine if they are a good fit for a role?
Extremely important 60 percent
Very important 36 percent
Slightly important 4 percent
Not at all important 0 percent
What are the top factors motivating a candidate to start a job hunt?
Higher salary 19 percent
Better title/more responsibility 20 percent
Better work-life balance 14 percent
Relocation 1 percent
Culture doesn’t fit with their values 10 percent
Difficulties with their manager/boss 10 percent
They’re bored and need a new challenge 16 percent
They have either lost their job or expect to 5 percent
Do you mostly rely on assessment data or your instincts and intuition when recommending a candidate?
Rely on assessment data 37 percent
Rely on my instincts and intuition about the person 63 percent
Rank the top ways for a recruiter to gain credibility with a candidate, with one being the top way to gain credibility
No. 1 Be knowledgeable about the specific job, industry and organisation
No. 2 Understand the candidate and their background
No. 3 Regularly update the candidate on where they stand during the recruiting process
No. 4 Give them detailed advice on how to thrive during the interview process
Rank in order the ways a recruiter can lose credibility with a candidate, with one being the top way they can lose credibility
No. 1 Not knowing much about the position or the company for which the candidate is being recruited
No. 2 Not understanding the candidate or their background
No. 3 Not updating the candidate regularly
No. 4 Not giving enough information about how the recruiting process will unfold
No. 5 Not being honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation
If a strong preferred candidate is considering another offer, how do you react?
Offer them a higher salary 9 percent
Look for a strong second candidate 7 percent
Up the benefits offer (e.g. vacation, flex time) 7 percent
Explain the value of the brand/culture or the organisation 57 percent
Do something to make them feel special, such as meeting an executive 19 percent
Do nothing and hope for the best 2 percent
How important is it that a candidate like the recruiter with whom they are working?
Extremely important 25 percent
Very important 55 percent
Slightly important 18 percent
Not important 1 percent
Can a recruiter convince a candidate to take a job even if they are unsure about the position?
Yes 83 percent
No 17 percent
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