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The impact of bad candidate experience and how to overcome them

The impact of bad candidate experience and how to overcome them

Businesses thrive not just on delivering high quality products / services but also on providing satisfactory customer experience in due process. The bar is set even higher in this age of social media where negative experiences are relayed in real-time. The same is true for candidates’ experience with organisations during recruitment process; poor experience can be punitive in various ways.

Impact of bad candidate experience

As quoted by a report from Deloitte, 80% of candidates who have experienced unsatisfactory recruitment process say that they will openly tell others about it, and up to 30% of such candidates will do so proactively. Be it through social media networks, word of mouth, or worse still, employer review sites, these “stories” can be detrimental to organisations implicated. 

1. Decline in revenue and profitability 

The Talent Board’s 2016 Candidate Experience Research report revealed that up to 41% of respondents who have had negative experiences will cut ties with the organisations involved. This will pressure the organisations’ bottom lines. If such negative perception is allowed to gain traction and garner the support of reputation-conscious consumers, profitability would suffer further. 

2. Lower appeal to top talents

Given the ubiquity of information nowadays, expect candidates to conduct research on organisations before submitting their applications. Imagine the deterrence it would cause to candidates if they find allegations against your organisation. Top talents, who are expectedly savvy and selective, would likely keep your organisation in view in favour of other, more reputable organisations. 

3. Lower productivity and business potential

The impact of top talents avoiding certain organisations increases the chances of these organisations hiring candidates who are unable to secure positions elsewhere. These candidates are more likely than not to be of lower competence or having less relevant skills. This would then translate into lower productivity and could even stymy the growth potential of these organisations. 

4. Higher cost of recruitment

Organisations that fail to attract top talents will then have to secure their services via better remunerations. This basically increases the overhead, and also runs the risk of escalating further the cost of salary per head due to rising demand for higher salary from within the organisation. 

How to improve candidate experience?

Good candidate experience is a package. It starts right from the time a candidate applies to an organisation up until the organisation accepts or declines the candidate’s services. What can be done to improve candidate experience? 

1. Humanising talent acquisition strategy

This may seem a huge contrast to current trend of encouraging a more digitally engaged workplace, but the human touch is necessary to tend to anxious and eager jobseekers. 

How many times have you been left alone in a room to fill up forms before an interview? Being present to tend to any questions candidates may have will definitely improve the experience. Offer beverages, even condiments, and ensure that a candidate’s journey from the waiting room to the interviewer’s office is a pleasant one. Offer helpful information to candidates prior an interview, on areas such as parking, confirmation of address, contact number in case of an emergency, and dress code. 

The proliferation of technology-assisted screening of CVs could raise the doubts of candidates over whether their applications have ever been reviewed by a human being. Therefore, it is important to know the candidates before conducting interviews. Take time to digest the information provided on their CVs and try to begin interviews by having candidates clarifying that information instead of having the candidates verbally repeat their CVs. 

2. Treat candidates like customers

Just as organisations secure the loyalty and support of customers by providing good customer experience, good candidate experience can do more than just deter bad reputation. This can be achieved by prioritising the needs of the candidates. 

Instead of conducting interviews the traditional way where candidates are asked how academically or technically competent they are, try having discussions on how candidates and your organisation can achieve a win-win situation through collaboration. 

3. Establish candidate engagement 

Ask candidates for feedback after an interview, and if possible, provide tips that would be helpful to candidates in future interviews, even if they are not hired in your organisation. This can leave a lasting good image of you and your company.

Better employer communication throughout and after the application process would improve their experience. This is why feedback, rejection letters (or at least informing on whether a candidate has been declined) and even re-calling candidates with potential for future interviews, are important. 

Times have changed; providing a satisfactory candidate experience is now more important than ever not just for the sake of keeping a good reputation, but simply because candidates are individuals who, like customers, want to be treated with basic manners.

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