One of the interesting outcomes of living in the modern world (yes, we are living in the modern world, regardless of what political news might suggest) is that we all generally assume things… work. We assume when we turn the key, the car will start. We assume when we click the mouse, the web page will load. We assume the clothes we buy will last more than four or five washings.
When every day 99.999% of the things we expect to happen do in fact happen as anticipated, we change. It wasn’t long ago that people bought cars based on reliability, but now reliability is assumed.
So if every product meats the base metrics of usefulness and reliability, why do we buy the things we buy?
Because of how they make us feel.
Why Nike over Adidas or New Balance? They are the 99.99999% the same. But when we buy one, we are choosing (and reinforcing) the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.
Why bring this up? Because our thinking around candidate experience is broken.
Best practice/best thinking around CX is that you should be offering a white-glove service, one where the candidate is shown a perfect picture of the company while ensuring that the candidate feels wanted. We bend over backward to tell the candidate how much they are appreciated and how much they are valued by the company. (There’s a whole other conversation as to why we don’t apply the same thinking to our actual employees, but that’s for another day.)
The candidate is assigned a coordinator who makes sure the candidate knows the next steps, has the link to the next interview, has been given the relevant materials. We give many candidates swag. We give some candidates our consumer products. We ask them to say nice things about us online.
But we’re in the modern world where candidates ASSUME someone is giving them the relevant materials. They ASSUME the link will work. They ASSUME they will get some swag, like they assume someone will offer them a glass of water.
(Yes, I know MANY, if not most, companies can’t even meet these basic standards: hiring managers and interview panels read their phones, ask repetitive questions, are rude or dismissive, trust the testing platform to determine technical skill, etc. But that’s just shitty hiring.)
Modern CX always sounds like: Do you like this? Do you like me? Am I pretty? Am I smart? Please like me!!!!!
On the off-chance that you even asked the question, “what do I want a candidate to feel?” when designing your candidate experience, you probably thought, “I want them to want to work here.” It is manufactured positivity that serves only to instill the vaguest sense of attraction in a stranger.
That’s not a feeling. That’s pandering.