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Fear is the universal candidate experience

Folks have been talking about ‘the candidate experience‘ since, well, forever (although Gerry Crispin certainly had a lot to do with formalizing and focusing on what it really means!). But the employment market has been varied and uneven since I’ve been involved (yep, late 90s, ack!), so the candidate experience has been just as varied.

Enter the pandemic.

COVID-19 has had the most significant impact on employment since World War II and the Great Depression. The virus has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide, and it’s just getting started. In an effort to slow it down, nations everywhere have put their economies in a deep freeze. It has inordinately affected the poor and communities of color, yet it has also reached into the upper class. For the foreseeable future, we are all in the same boat, virus-wise.

Did I mention the economic deep freeze? That means millions of folks who were doing well, doing ok, or just scraping by, are now on shaky employment ground. Some have been able to move to remote work; others don’t have that option. Some are discovering that their industry may never be the same again (think: restaurants and hotels). Some are wondering if they really want to go back to their old jobs.

But whether someone is employed or not, they are probably experiencing fear. And right now there is a universal feel to that fear – a fear that the employment landscape has changed and is changing in some fundamental ways that no one – employees or employers – actually understands yet. Uncertainty breeds fear – and for the average person out there, the way forward is murky and scary.

Maybe you buy my analysis – or maybe you think I’m full of it! But I can promise you – anything that your site can do to help candidates feel less fearful is welcome. It’s times like these when companies and the services they provide can become trusted friends. If your job board can take away even a little of the fear by showing your users a path forward, you’ll earn some gratitude and loyalty from those same users.

Plus: it’s better to do something than to just let things happen, right? Right! So I encourage you to do your part to make fear a much smaller part of the candidate experience.

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