The importance of People Analytics for the Candidate Experience

Guest article function(HR) – The HR thought leader Josh Bersin recently wrote that companies must become an “Irresistible Organization” in the future. Such irresistible employers are attractive to applicants. They are able to attract the right candidates in competitive labour markets and are much more successful than their competitors. But how do you become an irresistible employer? It is obvious that this task falls within the area of personnel management. Excellent employer branding and efficient recruitment processes are helpful on the way to the ultimate candidate experience. It is less clear how exactly this path to “irresistible organization” can be taken.

I argue that the target image of an irresistible organization can already be shaped during recruitment. The following points are decisive in this context: Not focusing solely on branding and candidate journeys within the framework of Candidate Experience, but taking into account the important drivers of effective employee retention already in the recruitment process. However, as current figures show, employee retention is a real problem in many companies today. It significantly worsens the ROI of recruiting expenses.

As the chart shows, approximately one third of employees in Germany change jobs every year (31% among academics). For employees under the age of 25, however, this rate is alarmingly high at 75%. This also means that in each of these cases a successfully recruited, trained, knowledge-bearing and performance-oriented person leaves the company. This position must now be filled again. The better the employee retention in your company works, the more costs you save because you don’t have to fill these positions again.

„The war for talent has really become a war for talent retention!”
Daniel Mühlbauer

Talent Retention as a Result of Candidate Experience Management

The way in which employees are recruited can have a decisive impact on the successful retention of new employees. The creation of an excellent candidate experience is particularly promising in this context. Candidate Experience refers to the totality of positive and negative interaction experiences between a company, its employees (e.g. recruitment teams) and the applicants during the entire recruitment process (funnels).

Modern companies use a variety of technologies to make the Candidate Experience as enjoyable, informative and efficient as possible throughout the entire recruitment process. In particular, video applications can be used to turn application processes into a target group-specific experience. The focus is thus shifted from the curriculum vitae to the applicant.

By concentrating on important content-related questions in the video application, companies gain a more precise impression of the applicant’s abilities and (!) social skills as well as personality. At the same time, the questions asked by the company give a realistic preview of the later job contents in the respective job advertised. This means that the candidates can get as realistic a picture as possible of the positive and (!) negative aspects of the later job (e.g., a “Realistic Job Preview”).

Ensuring right people to right jobs

Various studies support the positive influence of “realistic job previews” in the professional context, as candidates find out early on whether the job actually suits them. This may reduce the size of the applicant pool, but the remaining people are likely to have a better fit with the job. This is because such recruitment procedures allow a better assessment of the perceived fit of the individual applicants to the respective job or company. This “perceived fit” is a further factor in attracting suitable applicants during the recruitment process. Study results indicate that this perceived fit in the recruitment process is accompanied by a reduction in the later probability of fluctuation. This is precisely why the subsequent talent retention is related to the quality of the technology you use to design your candidate experience. However, this is not “automatic“, but depends on two decisive factors.

Candidate Experience and People Analytics as core factors of an early employee retention strategy

In essence, the technological support of the Candidate Experience is about specifically increasing the two factors mentioned (“Realistic Job Preview” and “perceived fit”). Firstly, we should therefore prefer flexible technologies that turn the application process into a tangible preview of the work context and future colleagues. This means that we should use technologies that allow us to directly shape this “experience”. Secondly, we should also use comprehensive recruiting analytics. This means that we need data analyses that establish a connection between recruitment processes and subsequent fluctuation rates.


Derivation of a successful recruitment strategy

In this way we learn which recruitment strategies, which elements of the candidate experience and which recruitment channels have a positive effect on the subsequent retention of the recruited employees. This means that we are increasingly in a better position to take these findings into account when advertising new positions and designing the Candidate Experience.


For this the use of a comprehensive Experience HUB, which brings together the resulting data from a digital recruitment process with integrated candidate experience surveys and later fluctuation indicators, is an ideal solution. In this way, recruitment teams learn in real time which strategies have a particularly positive effect on employee retention during the recruitment process. Recruitment analytics enable recruiting teams to get answers to a variety of pressing questions, such as..:

  • For which job profiles do video applications work best?
  • How much does the use of video applications speed up the recruitment process?
  • Does the use of video applications increase the Net Promotor Score?
  • Which recruitment channels are used by applicants with low early fluctuation after hiring?

This knowledge can then be used for the successful personalisation of the recruitment strategy and for the target group-specific use of video applications. In concrete terms: If recruiters know more precisely which content must be in the foreground with certain target groups in order to strive for a higher retention probability of the new colleagues already when selecting applicants, then they can use this content to design their video applications with the candidates. In this way, the video application can be used to improve the candidate experience and increase talent retention.

Conclusion: Candidate Experience = video applications + strategically relevant analyses

In summary, the proactive design requires an appealing candidate experience, the complementary use of technologies and strategically relevant analyses. Video applications are particularly useful because they offer a great deal of creative scope. The content of the videos (e.g. in the form of questions) can be tailored to the target group. This enables the realistic presentation of the later activities in the company and the existing team spirit or corporate culture. Videos can also be used flexibly from the various end devices of the applicants. This reduces the complexity of the application process. At the same time, the appropriate recruitment analyses can help to tailor the video content more precisely to the target group. In this way, current problem areas can be uncovered with a view to talent retention. This makes it possible to find answers to the pressing questions of an irresistible Candidate Experience with a special focus on increasing employee retention later on.

Dr. Daniel Mühlbauer
Co-Founder – Marketing & Customer Relations function(HR)

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