I’d like to think that we know this, but I’m often amazed that organizations don’t think about it more. Experiences matter. Even when they’re not the most pleasant experiences. For example, in the latest Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report, fifty-two percent of candidates said they were more likely to increase their relationship with an employer if they were given interview related feedback by the end of the same day. Regardless of the type of feedback.
In addition, the way that feedback is conveyed plays a big factor. According to the same report, candidates conveyed positive ratings upward of 28 percent when they received feedback over the phone versus an auto-generated email.
These statistics are a clear indicator that the candidate experience is important. It can have an impact on whether a candidate chooses to apply again, refers other candidates, or makes purchases with your organization. BTW – if you want to see the full Talent Board report (and, trust me, you will), you can obtain it via their website.
The experiences in the Talent Board report reminded me of a presentation I heard during last year’s Influence Greatness conference hosted by O.C. Tanner. One of the speakers was Chip Heath, author of the best-selling books “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” and “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die”. Heath was talking about experiences as well, but he chose to do it in a different way. He talked about his experience at Walt Disney World.
Heath went on a very long rant about how Florida is hot and humid, and Walt Disney World is crowded and expensive. And I’ll admit, all of those things are true. But my takeaway from Heath’s session was that context matters when it comes to experiences. Here’s why: I grew up in Orlando, Florida. My father was on the construction crew while Walt Disney World was being built. When I was growing up, he would take us out to see these big piles of dirt and talk about how it was going to become Cinderella’s Castle. Once the parks opened, my mom worked at Disney for over 30 years.
Is Disney hot, humid, crowded, and expensive? Yep. Do I think about any of those things when I’m there? Nope. But Chip Heath does because he doesn’t have the same context. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing him. It’s not a shortcoming on his part.
What it means for organizations is, we need to be keenly aware of context as we’re building experiences. Whether those are for candidates, employees, or customers. Using the Disney example, I can’t forget that most people don’t have my frame of reference when it comes to visiting the theme parks. If I do, then I could make some incorrect assumptions about the kind of experience that someone wants.
As organizations focus on brand awareness and experiences, it’s important to ask the right questions about context. Where do our customers / candidates / employees come from? What’s their initial perception about our brand? The answers to these types of questions could provide the context necessary to properly market your brand.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby somewhere off the coast of Miami, FL17