Today, in the middle of a red-hot job market, both recruiting leaders and vendors are making the experience of candidates a top priority. According to the Talent Board, candidate experience is one of the top recruiting initiatives employers plan to focus on in 2019.

But in the rush to make the hiring process as engaging as possible, many employers are missing something critical.

Candidate Expectations vs. Reality

We live in a world where Amazon and other online retailers deliver products same-day in most major metropolitan areas. This transition to immediate, on-demand outcomes is not unique to ecommerce; we can see it playing out in industries from healthcare, to finance, to manufacturing.

Amazon and other same-day e-retailers don’t deliver in 5, 10, or 14 days and email you “engaging content” each day you’re waiting. You click “Buy Now” and it shows up the same day. That’s the sort of candidate experience employers should be striving for.

Of course, same-day hiring decisions are unrealistic for many recruiting scenarios (though not all – see this eBook to learn how two different employers hire in under 24 hours). But if the candidate’s experience is a key recruiting initiative, hiring speed should be the first priority.

Beyond Engagement & Brand Building

Most candidate experience initiatives focus on two areas: candidate engagement and brand-building. Since candidates are customers, it makes sense to build an experience that leaves a positive impression and creates the opportunity for more sales.

Technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and dynamic engagement (for example, when content is customized for different candidate personas) make it easier than ever to design fun, interactive experiences. And responding to candidates on social media can definitely humanize your brand by giving candidates the “personal touch.”

These approaches certainly leave candidates with a more positive impression of your brand than when they started. But they can also miss the forest for the trees. Candidates aren’t going through your hiring process to have a good time. They’re trying to get a job.

Companies that care about candidate experience prioritize speed over everything else.

According to Robert Half, 39% of job candidates say a 7-14 day hiring process is too long and 23% will only wait one week after interviewing for a job. In other words, candidates want to know where they stand.

Whether they got the job or not.

Hiring Speed in Action: Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Dr Pepper is a great illustration of the impact hiring speed has on the candidate experience. They’ve used HireVue to either compress or remove steps from their hiring process, replacing phone screens and interviews with a HireVue OnDemand interview.

The new process is just two steps for the candidate:

  1. Apply.
  2. Take a HireVue OnDemand interview if their application meets certain criteria.

Recruiters watch incoming interviews – almost in real time – and call great candidates for a final vetting call. If they decide a candidate is a great match, they make an offer on the spot.

As a result, Keurig Dr Pepper decreased the average time it took to hire warehouse workers, drivers, and stocker merchandisers to just 7.5 days. Some candidates they hire in under 24 hours. But what does that have to do with candidate experience?

Keurig Dr Pepper also uses a Net Promoter Score survey to benchmark their candidate experience. A Net Promoter Score can range anywhere from -100 to +100, with +70 considered best-in-class. Candidates give Keurig Dr Pepper’s hiring process a Net Promoter Score of 76.

See how Keurig Dr Pepper achieves 24 hour hiring times

At its core, candidate experience is about catering to the candidate. While brand-building content and shiny interactive tech might make the experience more engaging, they don’t address the #1 thing candidates care about: whether they got the job. The best and simplest way to give candidates this peace of mind (potentially accompanied by a job offer) is to speed up the hiring process.