Candidate emotions

Poor Recruitment Practices You Should Absolutely Avoid

Recruitment candidates are customers too.

A poor recruitment process could thus mean loss of customers in the form of candidates who are pissed off, and friends and relatives of such candidates who learn to avoid your brand in sympathy.

Just as you wouldn’t want to go back to a shop if you were treated badly, a candidate who has had a bad experience during recruitment may avoid further contact with the company involved.

David Leigh, chief executive of the psychometric testing firm SHL, put it this way: “A bad recruitment experience is at least as damaging as a bad consumer experience in store.”

And SHL does have the data to back this statement. A survey they conducted among some 1600 UK adults revealed that poor recruitment practices could cost your company quite a lot.

Close to a quarter of the respondents had suffered 2 or 3 bad recruitment experiences, and some 6% had suffered 5 or 6.

Of these, some 18% chose not to do any further business with the company at fault. This value is even higher (28%) for people between the ages of 25 – 34.

A mammoth 77% said that if a friend or family member has had a poor recruitment experience, it will deter them from being or remaining customers of that business.

A person who has never passed through a poor recruitment process may not be able to identify with the people polled in this study, but I can because I have.

I was once shortlisted for a job, contacted by the hiring manager and informed of the “many things” I needed to prepare, and then completely forgotten about.

Now I wouldn’t use this company’s products or services, not because I’m resentful, but because this experience has ingrained in me the belief that their customer service will be no better than their recruitment experience, whether this is true or not.

It is quite clear then that poor recruitment practices can harm a business, and according to the study quoted above, the top four of such practices indicated by respondents are:

1. Not being told they had been unsuccessful (46%).
2. Lack of feedback about their application (39%).
3. Not acknowledging receipt of their application (39%), and
4. Not receiving feedback even after completing an interview (37%).

Candidate staring at phone
Poor communication with candidates may affect their view of your company.

SHL however performed another survey, this time from the perspective of recruiters.

Of the 500 professional recruiters surveyed, 25% felt overstretched due to the rise in the number of people applying for jobs.

Of these, 1 in 5 could not find the time to inform candidates that their applications had been received, and some 15% were too busy to inform candidates that their applications were unsuccessful.

Clearly, recruiters have not simply decided to abandon courtesy. In some instances, it is the current increase in job applications that has brought recruitment practices to this nadir.

Nonetheless, if 1 in 5 could not find time to inform candidates, this means the other 4 who were also overstretched, found the time to dignify candidates with a response.

So, although the workload on recruiters is appreciated, the fact remains that those who are not doing so well as per the four complaints above may need to give more attention to the recruitment process, and how well candidates are kept in the loop.

This is actually more important than many realize. A short while before the experience I mentioned above occurred, I entered into a week-long recruitment process with a different company. But due to some unforeseen events at the start of the week, I wasn’t able to meet their deadlines (but still had a chance to get the job).

At the end however, I received a kind email informing me that I didn’t make the cut. After this experience, I would still gladly use, and recommend this company’s products to others, and the difference between this experience and the one above is (would you believe it) a nice email.

In our world of templates and mass emailing, keeping candidates informed really isn’t so hard. A candidate doesn’t necessarily need their name mentioned in a rejection email to get the point.

Thus you can create a simple email template that says “Dear Applicant, We are sorry to inform you that………” and then mass email this template to those who didn’t make the cut. This way, you will only need a few minutes to reach out to candidates each time.

Of course, if you can personalize the email, all the better. The underlying point remains that candidates should not be left in the dark.

As Angela Baron of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development puts it: “A nice e-mail doesn’t cost much…… People really get upset when they invest a lot of time and energy in an application and hear nothing.”

Worse yet, although “a nice e-mail doesn’t cost much”, the lack thereof could cost your company tremendously in lost customers.

By: Mesheal Fegor
Sales & Support