In a market that is picking up, good candidates are hard to attract. A large part of their decision making process will be based on how they were treated during the hiring process. Studies have shown that clear and unambiguous communication throughout the hiring process means that even if a candidate does not get the job they maintain a positive experience of the company.
Research by non profit research firm TalentBoard has highlighted how the candidate experience can be improved simply by communicating in a clear and open fashion. People want to feel that they have been heard and that the time they have put into applying for roles and attending interview is appreciated and valued.
The candidate experience begins even before an individual has applied for a job and the TalentBoard research suggests that candidates want to know more about:
- The company, its culture, the employee experience
- The job itself and more details on what’s expected of them.
- More information on the reward package.
The research also highlights that most job openings today can receive upwards of 100 applications depending of course on the company and the role. How can a positive candidate experience be maintained as you sort and screen such a high volume of applications? TalentBoard believe it all comes down to technology which enables you to track and keep account of applications and open roles. The problem occurs however, when it comes to regretting unsuccessful candidates with 40% of companies failing to respond at all to applications. We’re not even talking about constructive feedback here, just common courtesy. The rise of sites like Glassdoor, where you can leave anonymous reviews and criticism about employers, means that it has become a risky business to ignore applicants as it can damage your employer brand. If you have the time and capacity to provide detailed feedback all the better. How you communicate with jobseekers says a lot about what it’s like to work for you. Candidates want to know the outcome of an interview, even if it’s not good news. A recent survey by Tribe (http://blog.tribeinc.com/) on hiring practices in the US found that 78% of respondents would discourage someone they knew from applying for a role in a company where they had previously been treated badly during the hiring process:
“I realize companies get many applicants to positions, but it would be appreciated if they let those not selected for a position after an interview know, rather than leaving them hanging.”
“Contact people one way or the other, instead of just ignoring them.”
“Nothing’s worse than not hearing anything at all.”
The solution? Communication- plain and simple. You should always respond to and acknowledge applicants even if it is just via an automated response from an HR software package, although ideally it will be via phone. Candidates want updates and feedback during the hiring process and if they are not selected they want to know as soon as possible. Clarity in the hiring process is crucial if you want to protect your company’s reputation and build positive word of mouth.
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