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Bad recruitment processes are putting off talent

Published: Friday 14th August 2015

Stressed young male employee holding his head


The economy is growing and so is the job market. One in five workers expects to change jobs in the next year. And the recruitment industry surged back past its pre-recession peak a few months ago. 

With all this opportunity around, it’s hard to understand why so many companies still struggle to implement an effective recruitment strategy. According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), some processes are so bad that they even put talent off from applying to jobs advertised and are damaging to companies’ brands. 

The experience candidates have with a company through the application and selection process can influence not only their loyalty as customers or supporters of this brand, but will also affect their decision to apply for a job or accept a job offer. Many candidates who have had bad recruitment experiences share these experiences through word of mouth and social media. Yet only 3% of employers in the research indicated that candidate feedback was a priority to them. 

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC said: “Employers and recruiters are at risk of not grasping what is important to candidates when they apply for a job. We know businesses are spending more on employer branding and talent attraction, but the data show that the candidate experience is getting worse.” 

A recent American survey into the behaviour of job candidates found that there are clear differences between what candidates expect from potential employers during the job application process and what employers actually deliver. 

According to the survey, most candidates would not only expect an automated reply to acknowledge their application, but a personal email response following this application too. As many as four in ten candidates even anticipated a phone call.  

A total of 35% expected to hear back from the employer, even if they weren’t going to be invited in for an interview, 32% expected to be updated throughout the application process and 42% expected to be notified if they weren’t successful following an interview.  This might seem quite obvious, but as many as 60% of candidates said that they had interviewed with companies that never gave them an explanation for why they weren’t offered the job. 

The survey also asked candidates about the recruitment process in general. Almost half of all candidates found that the application process for new opportunities has become more difficult in the last five years, and 25% were of the opinion that the process was too automated and lacked personalisation. Four in ten felt frustrated about not learning anything about their progress. 

Employers and recruiters should work towards reducing these frustrations by taking the time to respond to candidates, by keeping the lines of communication going and by minimising the number of steps candidates must go through during the application process.

Zoek simplifies the process of applying to jobs. This works both ways. Candidates can get in touch with recruiters at the touch of the button. And recruiters know that the candidates that are getting in touch have already passed a certain level of suitability screening.

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