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How You Treat Candidates Matters

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The candidate experience is a trending topic among many HR networks, but what exactly does the candidate experience entail?

The candidate experience includes everything a job seeker encounters throughout the application process:

  • Job post
  • Employer reviews and ratings (e.g., Glassdoor, Indeed, Kununu, etc. and even customer review sites such as Yelp and Google)
  • Application form
  • Interview process
  • Communication with hiring managers
  • Offer letter or rejection notice

A company with a compelling job post, positive reviews, a convenient application process, and hiring managers who follow up in a timely and friendly manner will make a good impression.

On the other hand, imagine a candidate who has the online portal crash while filling out an application. When the candidate tries to schedule an interview, there are few time slots from which to choose. The interviewer is late, and the hiring manager doesn’t call or email for weeks afterwards. By the end of the process, the candidate is probably left wondering whether they want to work for such a company after all.

Providing a positive experience gives companies a great hiring advantage—especially considering that the average job seeker has a negative view of the application process.

Jibe, a recruitment and candidate experience software, surveyed more than 1,000 job seekers in 2014 and found that most of them dislike the search process. More than three quarters (78%) said it was stressful and 71% said it was discouraging. Responses to the survey were overwhelmingly negative, with only 35% of respondents saying the job search was satisfying.

The second part of the survey asked respondents to choose the three applications they found most challenging. Job applications were the most common choice, selected as more challenging than mortgage applications, health insurance applications, and college applications (Jibe). Yikes!

Many job seekers are having a terrible experience—and when an applicant has a bad experience, they will let others know.

  • 65% will share a negative experience with their friends, colleagues, and peers
  • 35% will share it publicly (e.g., social media, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc.)(Talent Board)

A poor reputation can have much wider repercussions. Eighty-four percent of job seekers say a company’s reputation is important when deciding where to apply for a job (Glassdoor), which means bad reviews further limit the already limited candidate pool.

Additionally, almost half of applicants (42%) say they would not buy the company’s products or services after a poor candidate experience (Software Advice). According to calculations made by The Talent Board, for a B2C company hiring around 1,000 people annually, bad publicity from poor candidate experiences translates to a revenue loss of about $2,376,000.

For more information about how to create a positive candidate experience, check out our complimentary eBook, Creating the Candidate Experience: Better Practices for Attracting Quality Hires.