Recently, Chad Godhard, who oversees the recruiting team for Sage, a business management software and services provider, wrote an interesting piece for ERE about his organization’s work to overhaul its candidate experience. Godhard’s recruiting team wanted to make sure the candidate experience wasn’t working against other initiatives, such as social recruiting and talent pipelines. (Sage is one of the winners of the 2011 Candidate Experience Awards, a program developed by CareerXroads to draw attention to organizations that are improving the way they treat candidates throughout the application and hiring processes.)
To guide their efforts, the Sage recruiting team developed a “Candidate Commitment” and then looked closely at how the processes in place across four areas – education, application, screening and interviewing – might be improved in order to deliver a better candidate experience.
What’s most striking about this piece is that it gets to the heart of what a true Employer Value Proposition (EVP) program can do for an organization. All too often, the focus of the EVP is solely on the brand development – the messages, the themes, the artwork, etc. While this is an essential component and one of the primary deliverables, any organization that intends to undertake a true EVP program should come to the table willing to learn how the organization needs to change in order to achieve better results with both recruiting and retention. Once you complete the research phase of an EVP program, it immediately becomes clear where the organization’s strengths lie and where there are areas of weakness that will continue to create recruiting and retention challenges unless they are addressed through organizational change.
Sage’s willingness to look beyond their messages to candidates and scrutinize the actual experience they offer serves as a great example for us all. Rather than accepting their status quo, they identified the barriers they had inadvertently put in place throughout the recruiting process and then made the necessary changes to improve the candidate experience and, in turn, perceptions about Sage as an employer.