Barminco’s CandE Award Submission Journey

In the lead up to the Australasian Talent Conference (ATC) in June 2015, I discovered that Talent Board were bringing the CandE Awards to Australia. Finally, I thought to myself, an opportunity to get some independent feedback and an opportunity to benchmark our recruitment experience against other employers here in Australia! I was ‘Big Kev’ excited.
However, my enthusiasm failed to rub off on my team. As soon as they found out that we were participating, the look of dread quickly drained the colour from their faces. They were worried about what we were going to find out. Worried about not doing their job, that blame was going to pointed towards them.
It was only after I explained to them why I wanted to participate and that any feedback was good feedback and something we could work with, that they were a little more relaxed.
Our Executive team were pretty keen to see how we compare to other employers, though, after I informed them of the decision to sign up for the Awards. I did stress that this wasn’t about winning but laying down the foundations to building a more engaging candidate experience which will deliver some of the following:

  • Increased brand awareness and engagement
  • Increased quality of referrals
  • Increased productivity through more engaged new hires
  • Reduced time to hire and cost to hire

So I filled out the application form and submitted our expression of interest to participate. The initial submission required us to provide some generic recruitment data – How many applicants had we received, what portion were unsuccessful at submission, shortlisted, interviewed, offered, accepted etc. What processes did we follow and what tools we used as part of the candidate experience in the recruitment process.
Obviously we provided enough information to progress to the next stage, but getting the details from our Application Tracking System (ATS) proved to be challenging due to its limited reporting capability. Sometimes I miss the Tier1 ATS maturity.
We’ve now just completed stage two and this saw us communicate to our past twelve months’ worth of applicants requesting them to participate in the CandE Awards survey. We chose to inform our applicants via email and at the same time as doing a database refresh. The idea was not to all of a sudden send out masses of communications to past applicants and risk turning them off from participating.
[bctt tweet=”It’s important to listen to the people you work with and those that you work for says @StanRolfe”]
The email was straight to the point, focused on improving the candidate experience because we hear so much about the poor experience people have, and wanting to improve our process. We also informed them about a follow up email one week prior to survey close, which we did send across. The feedback from candidates has been interesting.
From the nice replies about ‘acknowledging the problems and looking to improve’, to those wanting to trade ‘how about I fill out the survey if you give me the job’, and of course the downright rude complete with expletives. Obviously we have a bit of work to do there.
On hindsight, I should not have combined the database refresh with the CandE Awards Survey. Whilst it was clear to us, it confused our candidates and caused some frustration. However, what was interesting was that I didn’t have anyone complain or report issues with completing the CandE Award Survey. I get a lot of complaints and feedback about some of our other recruitment technology (see my Cookie Monster blog) but received none about the CandE survey (yay for Talent Board’s user experience)! I’m hoping we have had a good participation rate.
We meet the criteria for stage three, and have completed the short video interview answering several questions through HireVue. This was my first experience with HireVue. It was very easy to use, and the process took about 20 minutes most of which consisted of my answers to the questions.
One interesting thing I found out so far is, apart from the odd client satisfaction survey, most organisations don’t conduct external surveys and it actually takes a lot of courage to do something like this. You need to have trust and faith in your Executive and Management that they will support you.
Most won’t participate because they think they don’t need to improve and they trade off their ‘brand’, others won’t participate because they fear they will be held to account or are just plain lazy. Those participating understand the importance of listening to their people, business improvement, and improving the greater industry in what is a very tarnished one.
Based on all the people I have spoken to and received feedback from, we all need to participate and take a long hard look at ourselves and how we treat prospective talent.
Personally I can’t wait to get the data, to see where we can improve, to help our industry become more accountable.
Our submission is in. Time to be judged. Awards to be announced late February 2016. Stay tuned.
Be Brave, Be Accountable, Be Real.

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