The importance of communication in candidate retention

The importance of communication in candidate retention
Vlad Babych

3 mins

The importance of communication in candidate retention

Explore the fundamentals behind improving candidate retention in today’s world of STEM recruitment and get expert advice from Vlad Babych, Principal Consultant at Search by SRG.

In a skills short market, the importance of communication in recruitment has never been so business critical.

Just under three quarters of global CEOs say that labour and skills shortages are the greatest hurdles to progressing their business strategy over the next 12 months. 

Meanwhile, the increased cost of living in the UK continues to drive more employees to seek career and salary progression in other roles –  SRG's research shows that 35% of UK and US STEM employees and 39% of European STEM employees say they plan to leave their organisation this year. 

Developing a strong candidate attraction strategy in today’s skills scarce, the candidate-driven market will rely heavily on effective communication to streamline applications, keep candidates engaged, and drive success. 

Read on to learn more about:

  • Why candidate experience matters
  • How to improve candidate retention
  • How Search by SRG can help


Why does candidate experience matter?

78% of job candidates say the candidate experience is a key indicator of how a company values its employees.

Recruitment projects are often fuelled by urgency, particularly in clinical and medical affairs positions where the absence of a key employee can lead to exacerbated timelines and heightening costs.

However, employer brand and the candidate experience play a core part in futureproofing access to talent and driving better financial results. 96% of companies believe that employer brand and reputation can positively or negatively impact revenue, depending on its level of success. 

This means that organisations that know how to communicate their employer brand and employer value proposition (EVP) stand to gain not only more candidates, but also candidates that are aligned to, and inspired by their vision. 

Strong communication is a core element of a successful candidate experience and brand identity. 

52% of candidates who receive regular feedback and communication through the hiring process are more likely to:

  1. Apply to another role at the organisation
  2. Refer other professionals to the organisation
  3. Make or influence purchases when applicable

How to improve candidate retention

When SRG surveyed our scientific candidate community, we found that 57% of respondents felt that not receiving feedback after a job interview was the most demotivating factor in their job search – and demotivated candidates seldom stick around.

Research suggests that a lack of cultural fit is a major driver behind candidate turnover. 37% of mis-hired respondents left their position as the role did not match the interview, or the job listing. An additional 33% left due to a lack of clear expectations for the role.

These barriers to candidate and employee retention are rooted in an inefficient model of communication.

In the competitive world of recruitment, consistent and clear communication can be pivotal in ensuring that candidates are actively invested in, and motivated, to pursue the opportunities you offer and stay in your organisation once they’re on board.

3 keys to enhancing candidate retention

1. Build a compelling EVP

An employee value proposition (EVP) showcases the value or benefits your workplace can offer to prospective candidates to encourage applicants, and retain employees. Developing a compelling EVP relies on relaying this information across your hiring strategy and embedding it across your communications with candidates.

When candidates view an EVP as attractive, a business can reduce the compensation premium by 50% and achieve a 50% deeper reach into the labour market. Businesses that effectively deliver on their EVP can also decrease annual employee turnover by just under 70% and increase new hire commitment by nearly 30%. Investing in an EVP makes business sense.

Given the importance of employer branding in the modern talent market, having a robust EVP makes it easier for businesses to attract and retain the best people. 

Don’t just focus on the positives; focus on what makes your company unique. And make sure to constantly optimise your EVP — as the world of work changes, so too should the benefits offered to employees.

EVPs can include benefits such as:

• Opportunities for professional development (e.g. a training budget)
• A thriving culture
• A strong work-life balance
• Employee initiatives (e.g. a cycle-to-work scheme)
• The holiday allowance
• Perks such as weekly yoga or gym discounts
• Charity work
• Increase referral rates
• Increase the offer-acceptance rate (OAR).

2. Improve time to hire

In 2021, the average time to hire increased by 18%, adding on another 2 weeks to the overall hiring process. 

For executive candidates in particular, delays in recruitment can be indicative of poor management and add doubt to joining an organisation. Meanwhile, this additional time to hire can have major effects on organisations seeking executive support, driving lost productivity, and increased turnover risks from existing staff who may be under strain from recruiting workloads. 

Leaders can bridge the time-to-hire gap by working with an established executive hiring team to attract, source, recruit, and onboard executive talent at pace. 

Doing this can increase efficiencies and resource access, enabling faster and more streamlined employee journeys. 

What’s more, executive recruitment services can activate access to technology-driven recruitment to widen candidate access. This can include psychometric assessments, as well as mobile recruiting application technology (of which merely 6% of companies have adopted themselves).

3. Offer opportunities for development

According to recent research from Gartner, enhancing employee development opportunities is on the agenda of 44% of HR leaders over the coming year. Alongside this, 25% of leaders are aiming to increase rewards and recognition, and 24% intend to increase compensation and benefits. 

To stay competitive in a fast-paced talent market, leaders should seek to supplement opportunities for development and, where possible, introduce relevant and well-aligned benefits to attract top executives. Additionally, conducting or reviewing up-to-date salary surveys to ensure you’re offering the market rate is crucial to not being overlooked by top applicants.

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