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Does Europe lag behind the US in candidate experience?

Talent acquisition teams in Europe struggle more with delivering difficult messages. The continent lags behind the US in candidate experience, as per a report by Starred.

Jasper Spanjaart on March 09, 2022 Average reading time: 3 min
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Does Europe lag behind the US in candidate experience?

Talent acquisition teams from all over the world were confronted with backfilling more positions than ever. On top of hiring for new positions. It has resulted in the growing number of open job roles and the fierce completion amongst recruiters intensifying. In both cases, it is unchartered territory for the world of TA and recruitment.

While quits are happening (albeit not as the same rate as in the US), they are mostly job-to-job moves, as candidates become aware of the lucrative terms on offer across organisations.

But as the United States saw what has been popularly dubbed The Great Resignation, Europe’s changes have been less apparent. While talent is, by all means, scarce — it hasn’t seen the same type of quit levels as its American counterparts. Europe is currently undergoing The Great Shuffle, as dubbed by Bill Boorman and others. While quits are happening (albeit not as the same rate as in the US), they are mostly job-to-job moves, as candidates become aware of the lucrative terms on offer across organisations.

‘2021 was the year for Candidate Experience’

What is consistent across both continents, though, is the fact that candidate experience has established itself as the catalyst for better talent. “2021 was definitely the breakthrough year for Candidate Experience”, say the authors of Starred’s Candidate Experience Benchmark Report. “2021 reveals what the state of Candidate Experience is and how it was affected by the pandemic and the Great Resignation.”

Source: Starred

Unsurprisingly, the cNPS score is much higher when a candidate is hired as opposed to rejected during the application phase.

To measure Candidate Experience, Starred used the candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS). They posed a simple question: ‘How likely is it that you would recommend someone else to apply to [insert company name]’. Candidates would then provide a score in the range of “very unlikely” to “very likely” (0 -10). Unsurprisingly, the cNPS score is much higher when a candidate is hired as opposed to rejected during the application phase. In all, on average, candidates who were hired gave the candidate experience a positive score of +79, while rejected applicants — through application, phone screening or assessment — gave cNPS scores of -14, -17 and -15 respectively.

Cultural differences

Remarkably, the United States appears to be ahead of Europe in its overall candidate experience. When candidates are rejected after an interview, the overall candidate experience is positive in the US (+6 cNPS), while Europe scores 10 points less (-4 cNPS). The difference grows even larger when candidates are hired, where Europe scores 16 points lower than the US (+88 cNPS v. 72 cNPS).

In Europe where tests are graded on a scale of 0 to 10, students can almost never get a ten.’

This may be down to cultural difference, say Starred, citing a Hubspot study. “When Americans are asked to rate something on a scale of 0 to 10 they give more extreme responses as compared to their European counterparts”, Nataly Kelly of Hubspot writes. “This scoring bias is deeply ingrained in the cultural differences between Europe and the US. American children are expected to get all A’s, even in high school. In Europe where tests are graded on a scale of 0 to 10, students can almost never get a ten. A teacher of my daughter once said that an 8 is great, a 9 is for geniuses and 10, well, only God can get a 10.”

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Editor-in-Chief and Writer at ToTalent.eu
Editor-in-Chief and writer for European Total Talent Acquisition platform ToTalent.eu.
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