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Why Offending Your Job Candidate Is Never a Good Idea

September 22, 2015

By: Terri Williams

offending applicantDuring the job recruitment process, many companies are making mistakes that may come back to haunt them. It’s widely understood that candidates need to make a good impression on hiring managers, but many companies don’t realize the significance of providing a positive experience to applicants.

The Candidate’s Perspective

According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, the experiences of a job candidate can have long-lasting effects on the interviewing company. For example:

  • 82% of employers believe a candidate’s bad experience with the company has little to no effect

However, among candidates who had a bad experience during the recruitment process:

  • 58% are less likely to purchase products or services from a company that never responded to their application
  • 69% are less likely to purchase products or services from a company if they had a bad experience during the interview
  • 65% are less likely to purchase products or services from a company if there was no follow-up after the interview

On the other hand:

  • 69% are more likely to purchase products and services from a company that treated them well during the application process
  • 67% are more likely to product products and services from a company if they received updates throughout the recruitment process

Great Expectations

The survey also highlights the disconnect between the interview process and the expectations of candidates:

52% of employers respond to less than half of the candidates that apply

However, even if companies are inundated with applications, candidates don’t consider this a valid reason for failing to communicate with them.

  • 84% of candidates think they should receive a personal email response
  • 52% of candidates anticipate a personal phone call
  • 25% of candidates expect to be notified that they will not be interviewed

In addition to receiving notifications, candidates also expect to be kept in the loop. Although only 26% of companies inform applicants which phase of the hiring process they’re in:

  • 36% of candidates expect to receive updates during the process
  • 41% of candidates who interviewed expect to be notified of the company’s decision
  • 73% of candidates said they were never given an explanation why they were not hired

Tracking and Social Media

A job candidate may use up to 18 different avenues to find open positions like job boards, online referrals, search engines, and social networking sites. However, 58% of companies don’t use any type of tracking process to determine how applicants are finding them. As a result, these organizations don’t know which marketing efforts are successful and which are a waste of time.

The Application Process  

The survey reveals that candidates are also dissatisfied with the application process itself:

57% of candidates say the application process is too automated and lacks personalization

40% say the application process has become more difficult during the past five years

60% won’t complete an application if they think the process is taking too long

There are no easy solutions to the issues uncovered by the CareerBuilder survey. It could be argued that some of the candidate expectations are unrealistic when companies receive many applications for just one position. However, an automated response to let the candidate know that the application has been received/and or another candidate has been hired requires a minimum amount of effort, compared to the return on investment.

Other research has consistently revealed that Millennial consumers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on the opinions of friends – and even online strangers. So it’s counterproductive to the organization’s bottom line to needlessly offend applicants who may turn to social media to air their grievances regarding the company’s recruitment process.

Finally, the CareerBuilder survey reveals the treatment of candidates also has another effect:

  • 75% of candidates are willing a take a salary 5% lower than expected if they were impressed during the hiring process

Terri Williams

Terri Williams began writing professionally in 1997, working with a large nonprofit organization. Her business, education, and lifestyle articles have appeared in various online publications including Yahoo, USA Today, The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report University Directory, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago. Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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