Candidate Survey: How Often Are They Reimbursed for Travel Expenses?

2.22.19 | Not often enough, according to feedback from 130,000 surveyed job candidates.

The Survey

For the third year in a row, Orion is a proud sponsor of the Talent Board, a non-profit organization focused on improving candidate experience. Every year the board administers a survey in conjunction with 200 companies – such as Intel, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Marriott, Southwest Airlines, and T-Mobile. Surveys are sent to hundreds of thousands of job candidates (both the ones who got the job and the ones who didn’t) to assess their experience during the recruiting process.

The Talent Board just published the 2018 results via their elaborate 2018 Candidate Experience Research Report. New this year were questions related to the candidate’s experience with the travel logistics for when the candidate had to travel for an in-person interview. An oftentimes overlooked part of the hiring process that can have a profound impact on the overall candidate experience, and as companies typically only invite their gold, silver and sometimes bronze star candidates for an in-person interview there is even more reason to make sure this part of the process is well addressed.

The Results

This year, 130,000 job candidates shared their thoughts and experiences via the Talent Board benchmark survey. Below are the results related to the questions about the interview logistics. Please note that many of the candidates who were surveyed did not get invited for an in-person interview, and of those who did, not everyone had to travel to get to the interview (e.g. some were local hires in the same city).

  • When asked if they had to pay for their own travel expenses, 12.8% of the respondents answered: “I had to pay for my own travel expenses”.
  • Next, when asked if they got reimbursed for their interview travel expenses, 6% of the respondents answered: “I was reimbursed for my interview travel expenses”. There is a big spread between the 5-star programs (top performers) and 1-star programs (underperformers) with 7.2% of candidates getting reimbursed by 5-star programs and only 2.0% of the candidates of 1-star programs got reimbursed.

These results show that only half of those candidates who incur out-of-pocket travel expenses get reimbursed for those expenses, meaning that approximately 7,800 gold, silver and bronze star job candidates who had to pay for their own travel expenses and did not get reimbursed. A quick search on Glassdoor reconfirms that not reimbursing candidates for their interview travel expenses or taking too long to make the reimbursement payment really hurts the candidate experience.

It will be interesting to see if these results change next year, but with the increasingly intensifying war for talent one would expect companies to improve all processes including the candidate expense reimbursement process.

Want to improve the reimbursement process for your job candidates? Contact us.

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