Turns out the old adage of “earning respect by giving it” may actually be true. A recent survey conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder reveals how a candidate’s treatment during the application process can make or break their impression of a company. The 2015 Candidate Behavior Study, which polled more than 5,013 workers ages 18 and over in February 2015, reveals the many facets of the candidate experience in which employers are falling short and ultimately damaging their employment brand. Here are four of their top concerns:
- Employer’s don’t understand the importance of the candidate experience.
A troubling statistic from the survey reveals that 82 percent of employers “think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process.” Candidates, however, feel quite differently: 69 percent of candidates polled said they would be less likely to buy from a company if they have a bad experience in the interview. This stark contrast in the importance of the candidate experience between the two parties could pose a serious issue for employers. By severely undermining the importance of ensuring a positive hiring experience, employers can leave candidates with an unfavorable view of the company and a disloyal customer base.
- Candidates desire ongoing communication
This survey found that employers are consistently falling short of candidates’ expectations regarding communication. Of the candidates polled in this study, 36 percent said they expected to be updated throughout the application process, but only 26 percent of employers actively communicate to candidates what stage of the hiring process they are in. This gap in expectations exposes an undercurrent of toxic resentment toward employers by candidates that can derail the application process to a negative experience, leaving a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth.
- Candidates are frustrated with the application process
According to the survey, 40 percent of candidates feel the application process has become “more difficult” in the last five years. Of those, 57 percent say the process is “too automated and lacks personalization” and 50 percent said it has “so many more steps than it used to have.” This clear frustration with the process shows that candidates and employers are out of sync. By attempting to truly connect with candidates, employers can help personalize the candidate experience and minimize the emotional disconnect many applicants feel pervades the process.
- Candidates are more likely to accept lower salaries from employers who left a good impression
In addition to earning respect, treating candidates well may also be good for your wallet. The study found that more than 3 in 4 of the candidates polled would be willing “to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process.” While a sense of professionalism and manners should be enough for employers to create a strong impression, this creates an extra incentive for employers to positively connect with candidates in order to ensure room for leverage in negotiating an appropriate salary for the company’s budget.
All these findings from the CareerBuilder study reveal a strong disconnect between employers and candidates in regards to the application process. By understanding the importance of making the process personalized and giving candidates the respect and courtesy of proactive communication, employers can develop a stronger and more durable brand for the company and make the candidate experience more efficient and enjoyable for both parties.
If you would like to discuss how you can improve your company’s hiring process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.