Bad candidate experience can cost you a lot on the bottom line

An article exploring the impact of candidate experience upon businesses. The implications of bad experiences and how to turn it around.

Candidate Experience
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14
 Min read
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August 26, 2021

A single-minded approach to recruitment will not suffice today. Although finding the right candidate is the goal, this desire cannot blind you to a changing recruitment world. That has borne witness to a steadily growing movement towards establishing a positive candidate experience for all.

And the consequences of undervaluing candidate experience can be enormous. 

The accounts of poor candidate experiences can affect a businesses' reputation and revenue. Fewer people decide to spend money on products because of the stories of poor treatment of those who may be close to them or that they read online. 

Furthermore, it can have a long-term impact on a business. Candidate's because of bad experiences may decide to steer clear of your future job opportunities. Candidates may not differentiate between the negative recruitment process they have heard and the company. This means businesses are losing out on top talent who could bring increased value to the company—a very vicious circle. 🙅

So, this article will explore why businesses need to provide all candidates with an excellent candidate experience.

We will investigate:

  • What is candidate experience?
  • The interchangeable impacts negative candidate experience can have upon your businesses' bottom line.
  • As well as how you can improve your recruitment processes to ensure excellent candidate experience for all and help avoid these costly mistakes


What does it mean when you talk about the candidate experience?

Candidate experience refers to how individuals feel as they journey through a company's recruitment process and how they feel their interactions with said company were. Whether or not they believe that their experience had been great, satisfactory or disappointing at the end of the process. 

Which can have a derisory impact on the candidate's perception of a company as a whole. 🤔

Why is it so important for businesses today?

With an increasingly competitive job market, businesses have become more focused on how they can best attract candidates to their positions and ensure their chosen candidate accepts their offer. 

So, to capture these hearts and minds, businesses are looking to engage better with candidates during the recruitment process, which has brought the importance of providing excellent candidate experience to the fore.


What are the impacts a negative candidate experience can have upon your business?

The impacts of poor candidate experience are two-pronged.

 

What's the word? 💬

Candidate experience can influence whether or not someone will apply or accept a position with a business. Based on a personal experience or something they may have read or told, companies are at the mercy of perception.

A LinkedIn survey claimed that 27% of candidates would 'actively discourage' others from applying for a job with a particular company based on a negative experience. Therefore, negative candidate experiences can impact and actively hurt your company's reputation and ability to advertise itself as the best place for potential talent.

Candidates speak. And the advent of social media brings opinions and information into more homes and in front of more eyes than ever before. For example, 86% of young job seekers use social media in their job searches to learn more about a company before they apply. Do you think it would take a tech-savvy candidate long to find accounts of negative candidate experience?

These accounts of bad candidate experience can result in candidates deciding to take their interest elsewhere. Candidates desire that the company they apply for, potentially their future workplace, shares the same values, and negative candidate experience can impact that.  

This negative reputation is hard to discourage. Like Elephants, the Internet and candidates never forget. 🐘

So, suppose candidates continually associate a company with somewhere that doesn't care or shows a lack of interest in those they encounter. In that case, it will not benefit the company in the slightest. 

On the contrary, this can potentially help the competition, meaning more candidates are applying for their jobs, limiting the talent pool available and making it harder to attract the best candidates for the positions within the company. 

Thus, impacting the businesses' performance as their chosen hire may not be as qualified as the ones who are giving the company a swerve based on the stories of poor candidate experience.


How does the future look? Bleak. ⛈️

For example, 41% of candidates who had a negative experience said they would take their money and business elsewhere. Negative candidate experience not only impacts the reputation of a company and whether people wish to work there but can also adversely affect a candidate's future relationship as a customer.

Poor accounts and treatment during the recruitment experience can lead to candidates abandoning a company. They feel no brand loyalty and no longer wish to support the company through purchasing their products or solutions. This decision may also convince their friends and family to follow in their footsteps. As Virgin Media found out, dismissing the need for excellent candidate experience cost them to the tune of £4.4/$5.4 million per year! Those who felt so strongly about their negative candidate experience would instead take their business elsewhere.

Therefore negative candidate experience can perpetuate further damage to a brand's reputation, causing a loss of vital revenue and preventing a business from investing and growing. 📉

But, all is not lost!

Here are some ways a business can improve its candidate's experience. Which could result in net gains reputationally, maintain and enhance the ability to attract and retain candidate's and customer interest, and protect the bottom line. 🤩


How to ensure excellent candidate experience and prevent negative impact on a business

Improve Awareness

A company-wide approach to offering excellent candidate experience is a must. It is vital the teams understand the importance of candidate experience and the impact upon a company if conducted poorly.

Understanding how wrong something could be is an excellent source of motivation to prevent it from occurring!

As representatives of the business, it is the team's job to promote the organization actively. They are just as crucial to a brand's image as the products or the fancy new adverts that can be seen online or on television in bringing value and revenue to a company. 👩💼

Through recruiters' hard work, they can bring in the needed talent to innovate and improve how a company does its business. And in a world now, where candidates are more selective about where they work, no longer attracted to the biggest wage on offer. Still, the values and culture of an organization, getting the candidate experience right is such an essential first step to bringing the suitable candidates closer to accepting an offer. 👨‍💼

Therefore, to achieve this level of candidate experience awareness and help employees best understand its importance, you could:

  • Training for all. From C-Suite to Junior Recruiters fresh from University. Provide the knowledge and help them understand how they can provide excellent candidate experience through their daily tasks. 🏋️
  • How to create a great candidate experience. Offer guides and handbooks on how to achieve an excellent candidate experience. Handy support if ever teams or employees become stuck. 📕
  • Words from the other side. Arrange talks from individuals who have seen both sides of the candidate experience spectrum. The success stories show teams why it is so crucial that candidate experience is gotten right.
  • Suppose the search for excellent candidate experience leads to the acquisition of a new recruitment tool. Don't forget to train the teams to use them correctly. Show them how they can master and maximize interactions with candidates, utilizing data to improve processes and better learn what candidates wish from a recruitment process. Other than a job at the end of it!
  • Get the competitive juices flowing! Create a reward system for the employee who provides the best candidate experience. Seeing how others do it can drive employees to make improvements and challenge themselves to be the best.😅

A company aware of the need and importance to provide a stellar candidate experience can best serve a business's needs. Knowing how to make sure candidates have a great experience, with nothing but good things to be said about the company, benefits the company in a range of ways.

An all candidate focus

It might sound foolish, but in that hunt for the one new hire, it shouldn't be at the cost of ignoring the 50, 100 or 1000 others who were also interested in the position.

These candidates have also spent their time and efforts creating applications. They may not have been suitable for the role but show respect for their commitment. How will these candidates feel about a business that has been rude or just outright ignored them? It is not quite the advert a business desires.
Candidates who think this way may decide to stop buying products or won’t apply for jobs that arise in the future that they could be perfect for. Companies must form lasting relationships with candidates who will aid the organization in meeting future talent demands.

If not done, the business misses out! 

Losing revenue + losing potentially great new hires. 🧮

The solution?

Providing all candidates with excellent candidate experience. These steps could prevent these types of situations from occurring:

  • Friendly and warm communication throughout the recruitment process. 52% of candidates hear nothing from companies after applying for a role. From the beginning, answering any queries candidates may have. Touchpoints throughout the process to check in and make sure that the candidates are still interested and involved in the process. 👋
  • Give candidates a clear vision of the recruitment process. The candidates know how long the process will take; a lengthy recruitment process can affect interest, so keeping it concise will prevent candidate's losing focus. 🛣️
  • Use the recruitment process to show the values the business wants to be known. The recruitment process is a golden opportunity to increase brand awareness with potential new employees or customers actively engaged. Show them the right image of the business via blogs, communication and testimonials, and treat candidates with respect throughout. If they are unsuccessful because of their excellent experience during the recruitment process, they could be a powerful brand advocate. Spreading the word about the company and boosting sales and applications. 😊
  • Surveys. Gather the candidate's opinions. Acquire the insight from those who have lived the recruitment process, find the actionable feedback that the company can implement. Improve and hone the process so that future candidates can benefit from the lessons learnt. 📖

Using personal touches, a business can improve its interaction with all candidates and help them have an excellent candidate experience.

How to conclude the recruitment process properly.

Getting the ending right is as essential as the candidate's first impression.

This interaction will often be what the candidate's view of a business is based on. For the candidates who have had a great experience and then received a job offer, everything is golden! They will hopefully accept and enjoy working at a company they feel is the best match for them. 🌟

But for those you have to say 'no' to, this interaction needs to be managed appropriately. For the sake of the future relationship between candidate and company. Will they speak highly to others about the company, staying abreast of future career opportunities or continue or start buying products bearing the businesses name. All of which can impact the businesses bottom line.

So, to say no correctly, companies should bear in mind:

  • Be as personal as you can. It may not be feasible to call each candidate, but for those who get to the interview stage, a chance to discuss is respectful of the candidate's efforts and a chance to maintain a connection. The future can be unpredictable; these candidates may play a role within the organization yet. Best to keep options open. 🤝
  • All candidates deserve the minimum of an email regarding the completion of the recruitment process. Within a respectable period, not eight months after the fact. 📨
  • Offer feedback. Again, this may put more work on the shoulders of recruiting teams, but providing excellent candidate experience is just as pivotal as finding the right candidate for a business.
    Here, those in charge of the recruitment process can explain why candidates may not have gotten the job. Candidates will be disappointed, but being provided with ways to improve can benefit the individual and the company. They will be grateful for the time taken to help them. 👍

This approach to ensuring excellent candidate experience throughout the recruitment process, especially at its conclusion, will reflect positively on a company.

In the candidate's mind, they will be thankful for a business taking the time to ensure they receive excellent post-process care. Candidates desire honesty and openness, and receiving this from an organization can confirm why they applied for the role in the first place. Values such as this are treasured in an employer.

They may remember this when they see a future position crop up, or a friend or family member discuss a change in jobs. The company that has treated them well will be at the top of their list of recommendations.

Candidates will know that this company respects those they encounter, treating people with kindness, so they are more likely to promote said organizations. ⛰️

So, saying no correctly can positively impact the relationship with candidates, bring both closer together, and prevent harmful effects upon the bottom line. 🔥


Why can the candidate experience be crucial for a company's bottom line?

The recruitment process is a vital part of how a company presents itself to the world. As products and advertising do, this moment is an opportunity to sell oneself to the public, showcasing to interested candidates what the organization is like to work for with the end goal of joining. 🧲

And candidate experience is a massive part of building this positive impression of a company. Without excellent candidate experience, it can impact a business in highly significant and interlinked ways:

  • Reputation. Candidates spread the word that this company is to be kept away from. Hurting a business's ability to recruit well. Impacting how a company recruits the best talent is looking elsewhere, preventing value and improvements within a company.
  • Financially. Candidates hurt by their negative recruitment experience are no longer willing to support the company with their money or buying their products. Severely impacting revenue and the businesses capabilities to invest in ways to improve.

So, as a business in the 21st Century, it is vital to emphasize the importance of candidate experience. It can result in:

  • It increases the likelihood of top candidates accepting a job offer, buoyed by the excellent treatment. 
  • And also can help to make relations with rejected candidates better. They know that their experience, although unsuccessful, was conducted in a respectful manner. 
  • This may lead them to refer your company to friends and family also searching for jobs, consent to be contacted for future job opportunities and stay a customer of your company.

Win’s all round!!! 🥇

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