'Giving the best candidate experience is our first step towards hiring the best'
What does candidate experience mean to you and why does it matter to Amazon?
Candidate experience is the relationship that is established between a company and a candidate irrespective of the outcome. Candidate experience is extended with every interaction a candidate has with Amazon. This holds true from the beginning of the hiring process, to an offer to join or a letter of regret. Candidate experience means delivering a great tutoring, consultative, engagement that can convert the individual to a hire or a loyal customer.
I would like candidates to take an avid interest in who we are and what makes us so peculiar. Our Leadership Principles are an articulation of our unique culture and an important determinant of success.
Why does it matter to Amazon?
Amazon fundamentally changed the way that consumers think about shopping. Candidates are our customers, in the talent market. Just as a customer’s journey commences with a need and ends with a purchase, a candidate’s journey also starts with an emotional desire to explore a new opportunity and develops from there. Candidate experience is the touchstone of our employer brand. In the quest to build the best future together, we need the most driven and talented workforce to believe in our mission. Giving the best candidate experience is our first step towards hiring the best from a competitive talent landscape.
What are the parameters that you measure a candidate’s experience by?
Low effort experience: Finding a job isn’t a one-way street. We need good talent as much as they need the opportunity. A difficult-to-navigate website, ambiguous job descriptions and long, drawn-out interview process all contribute to a higher candidate effort score that must be done away with.
Candidate feedback surveys: We keep a finger on the pulse of the recruiting experience through feedback survey that drives constant improvement on our part.
Turnaround time on results: Amazon recognizes the need to respect a candidate’s time while going through the interview process. We have a high bar of reverting to the candidate within a short, specified period and closely track metrics related to it.
Referral generated: While a candidate may or may not convert, our engagement becomes meaningful when (s)he believes in Amazon and refers other candidates.
What is the most important things you’d like a candidate to know about Amazon?
I would like candidates to take an avid interest in who we are and what makes us so peculiar. Our Leadership Principles are an articulation of our unique culture and an important determinant of success. Thus, they are embedded in our talent management process from the very beginning, right from hiring, to performance management to promotions to leadership development. I also encourage all candidates to appreciate our passion to raise the bar with every hire, as we believe that this ensures we continue to execute at the highest level.
At the end of the day, what do you want the candidate to take back with them about Amazon?
I would want the candidate to carry a lasting positive impression even if it doesn’t work out on one particular occasion. I hope we are able to help them develop a sense of connection with the brand and have a clear understanding of our culture. I believe that candidates who’ve had a great experience and learning are likely to apply again, refer others and continue to be a patron. On the other hand, candidates who’ve had a negative overall experience will take their alliance, purchases and relationship elsewhere, which is a potential loss for Amazon both as a consumer and an employer brand focused on customer centricity.
I would want the candidate to carry a lasting positive impression even if it doesn’t work out on one particular occasion. I hope we are able to help them develop a sense of connection with the brand and have a clear understanding of our culture.
Tell us about a great candidate experience you’ve personally experienced?
In one of my previous organizations, I experienced a continuous candidate engagement, which was pillared on trust, open communication and great collaboration. The entire experience was truly engaging and revolved around transparency, one on one connect and positivity. They had assigned a “Candidate Ambassador” on the day of the onsite, who was constantly shadowing me through the process and ensuring that I was being taken care of all through the process.
How do candidates make the best of a great candidate experience?
The candidates and the organization are equals when it comes to assessing a potential fit. The candidate should be proactive in taking advantage of all the resources available during their interactions to understand more about the role, company, culture etc. Asking questions is a great way to take an informed decision. In addition, candidates should leverage the learnings and connections made during their application experience to re-apply in future if they were turned down in the first instance and continue to refer their friends and families.