Companies with staying power execute on all fronts. They deliver the growth and profitability that their investors and owners demand. Executing a challenging interview while maintaining a good recruiting experience for candidates attracts and assesses the best talent for long-term sustainability. Companies know that in the short- and long-term, their recruiting brand is essential to success.
Last year, I wrote a blog on how all employers can improve their candidate experience. In a tight labor market it’s essential that companies treat candidates well regardless of whether they get a job offer. Notably, in Glassdoor’s 2016 top employers, AirBnB placed #1, but also had one of the worst candidate experience ratings among the top employers. In this year’s report, AirBnB fell from its graces landing itself at #35.
While a candidate experience isn’t the sole driver of an organization’s overall ranking, it is often symptomatic of other problems. Let’s take a closer look at GlassDoor’s 2017 ranking of the top 50 large companies. For the top 50, here’s a chart that plots their candidate reviews of the overall interview experience against the interview difficulty.
What is surprising to some of our clients is that there’s no strong correlation between the experience (% negative experience) and interview difficulty. The leaders are Group A. They have a high interview difficulty and low percentage of negative experiences. These companies have both a high bar for recruiting and treat their candidates well. With a high bar, they can discern the best of the best. Additionally, low negative experience builds a strong recruiting brand. This, in turn, attracts even more top candidates. These companies, Power Home Remodelling, BCG, Bain, SpaceX, and Google are either consistent performers in the GlassDoor ratings or up-and-comers:
- Consistent performers: Bain, BCG and Google were in the top 8 large employers for the last three years. Employees at Bain and BCG, both consulting firms, consistently cite working on extremely challenging problems, working with smart people and a culture that is really supportive and empathetic. Similarly, employees at Google described an environment that was positive, in many cases due to the intelligent coworkers, exciting projects on which they were working and excellent benefits.
- Up-and-Comers: Power Home Remodeling is a privately-held company and rose from #15 on the 2016 rating to #10 in this year’s rating. Power Home Remodeling employees cite a strong “family” culture giving people opportunities they could not have found elsewhere, encouraging employees to do their best work. SpaceX made its first appearance on the Top employers list at #40 this year, with employees citing a strong belief in the company’s mission.
In contrast, Group B has a poor interview experience, and its members are in the middle of the pack for interview difficulty. Not only are they unable to discern which candidates comprise the best of the best, unless they improve the candidate experience, they may find it hard to attract high-quality individuals. This may, unfortunately, also be reflective of deeper issues. Most of these companies have also been inconsistent in their overall employer ratings.
- Inconsistent Performers – AirBnB, DocuSign, Zillow, and Intuit have not been consistent in this overall employer ranking. AirBnb celebrated a #1 ranking in 2016 and plummeted to #35 this year. Docusign placed #23 in 2017 which seems good after not making the top 50 list in 2015 and 2016. However, they fell off the list in those years from placing #37 in 2014. Zillow dropped from #10 in 2016 to #28 in 2017. Intuit made the top 50 list in 2017 but missed the list for two years.
- Bucking the trend – Two companies, LinkedIn and Concur, have performed well in their overall employer rating. LinkedIn tends to place well every year except when 2015 when they dropped to #23. Concur made the top 50 list for the first time in 2016 placing #49 and improving to #24 in 2017. The question for LinkedIn and Concur is will their poor candidate experience and moderately challenging interview impact their ability to hire the best?
BuzzHero, like many companies, believes that if companies want to achieve consistently strong performance in the long-term, they need to attract and retain top talent. Difficult interviews and a good candidate experience leads to higher acceptance rates and more talented applicants. It’s not a trade-off, and yet few companies do it well.