Candidate Experience: Don’t Neglect the Contingent Worker

Treat ALL Candidates Like Customers


The modern consumer expects instant gratification thanks to the growing reliance on and ever-increasing capabilities of today’s technology. More than that, though, they focus heavily on their experience. Whether we are dating, shopping, working, or even job hunting, experience matters. 

The experience you provide candidates throughout the recruitment process is critical. At WorkLLama, we don’t just believe you should treat candidates like customers; we believe that candidates ARE customers, and their experience should be treated with the same care and attention to detail.

It shouldn’t matter if they’re full-time employment candidates, contingent workers, freelancers, contractors, or independent contractors. Their experience with your company’s brand can set the tone for future engagements.


Candidate Experience Feeds Employee Experience


The Great Resignation stemmed from the changing mindsets of employees across industries and positions. Those mindsets and the resulting mass exodus from previously held positions triggered a change in employers as well. 

The employee experience has become an important aspect of company culture, as it should be, but the candidate experience should not be ignored. In fact, the candidate experience can feed the employee experience. Those candidates often become your future workforce, after all. 

Now, there is a focus on treating employees with more respect, providing better work-life balance, offering more flexibility, and upskilling opportunities. Employers are working harder to retain their current talent.That same attention should be paid to potential workers, no matter how they engage with your organizations—be it full-time or as a contingent worker. 

Why? Not only can the candidate experience be the difference between an accepted or rejected offer, it can set the tone for how candidates speak about your organization. A positive candidate experience can yield positive results and bring future candidates to your recruitment pipeline.


The Importance of Candidate Experience


We said it earlier, but we’ll say it again: experience matters. The candidate experience you provide those in your pipeline can increase engagement, lower costs, decrease time-to-interview, and so much more. A positive candidate experience can turn even rejected candidates into brand ambassadors, building up your referral pipeline, lowering cost, and increasing the quality of future candidates. 

Studies have shown the importance of the candidate experience for today’s in-demand talent. In fact, 83% of professionals say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role, and 42% of candidates said they would never seek employment with a company that provided a poor candidate experience. It can also damage your future recruitment efforts: 72% of candidates have shared their negative experiences online or with someone directly. Even if they do so indirectly, job seekers will pay close attention to reviews left by both previous employees and candidates.


Don’t Exclude the Contingent Worker


Where the candidate experience can often be neglected, the contingent workers are often completely left behind. They are often seen as limited commitments for organizations, so they can easily get overlooked, intentional or not. But, this could be detrimental to your talent acquisition. 

Remember those statistics above? They apply to all candidates regardless of whether they’re full-time employees, contingent workers, or freelancers. 

Contingent workers are no longer there to “backfill” roles or provide a temporary solution to a problem. They are a growing resource that many organizations are utilizing extensively for difficult-to-fill positions, highly specialized skill sets, and to offer a powerful, flexible workforce on a global scale. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) estimated 52 million contingent workers in the US in 2021. In some industries or sectors, like tech, contingent workers can make up as much as 50% of the workforce for an organization.

That is a significant portion of the workforce that must be considered. Don’t alienate them by treating them differently than your full-time candidates. 

Organizations need to be thinking more holistically. There is a labor shortage. ManPower Group released a study in April 2022 stating that a record 74% of US companies reported difficulty finding talent. With 50% of companies expected to add to their staff, many are turning to the talented contingent workers in their industry. If contingent workers are having a bad experience with your brand, you’re risking not only your reputation and brand but your ability to recruit talent in the future.

Contingent workers are people with highly specialized skill sets and often network and build relationships with others in those niches who have similar or complementary skill sets. Contingent workers who have a positive candidate experience, as well as a positive “employee” experience with your organization, can massively impact referrals in their area of expertise. 


The Total Workforce Strategy


How can companies align to a total workforce strategy when it comes to contingent labor? If you want to know how to improve the candidate experience, we’ve found that the following initiatives can fuel the change brands need to keep moving forward. 


  • Transparency. Candidates want transparency during the recruitment process. They want timelines and expectations in addition to a clear employee value proposition (EVP)
  • Technology. Much of a positive candidate experience is clear communication. Candidates want a simple, easy-to-use process when they are applying for a role. Technology, like WorkLLama’s total talent acquisition and engagement suite, can simplify all aspects of the recruitment process, boost engagement, and provide a branded, personalized experience for candidates. 
  • Leadership. How your leadership views and values their workers should be clear from the get-go. Ensure that leadership in your organization does not neglect the contingent worker simply because they are labeled as temporary. 
  • Brand and Company Culture. These are things that matter to employees and to candidates as they choose which companies they want to work with. Your values and the culture you cultivate can help bring in candidates and retain employees. 
  • Upskilling Opportunities. 66% of people value learning over monetary compensation, including contingent workers. Make a training and skill development program or provide access to upskilling opportunities, and make them aware of these options during recruitment. 


Improve your candidate experience with no downtime, training, or lengthy implementation process. WorkLLama’s total talent acquisition and engagement suite makes it simple to attract, engage, and retain your candidates. Schedule a demo here!

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