Sometimes employers forget that the recruitment process is a two-way street. Just as companies have a ‘person specification’ of what skills, experience and values the ideal candidate will have, candidates will have their own checklist of criteria.

You may have worked hard to improve your employer branding across channels such as your website and social media, but if you fail to ensure the candidate experience during the hiring process is positive then all your efforts are likely to go to waste.

Every encounter that you have with a job-seeker will form an impression of your brand, so it’s crucial that you create a positive experience with all of them, whether the job-seeker is successful in the process or not.

Here are the five reasons you can’t afford to ignore the candidate experience in your recruitment process if you wish to attract the best talent (with the stats to back them up).

1. The interview process has the power to change most candidates’ minds

83% of talent say that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, whilst 87% say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.

Deloitte, ‘Your candidate experience: Creating an impact or burning cash?’

Don’t underestimate the role that the interview process can play in whether a candidate wishes to join your company. As the stats above show, it has the power to change a clear majority of candidates’ minds, both for the positive and negative.

The attitude and personality of an interviewer can have a huge impact on an interview experience. If you are ill-prepared or unprofessional during the interview process, this could have a significant influence on whether the candidate chooses to accept a job offer or not.

2. Word-of-mouth can make or break your employer brand

80% of candidates who experience an unsatisfactory recruitment process will openly tell at least one person about their experience. Most will tell three people. study, via

Positive word-of-mouth from a candidate regarding your selection process will significantly improve your application rates, potentially widening the talent pool you can choose from. On the other hand, negative word-of-mouth can obviously be highly damaging to your employer brand.

Your interviewees are important people in your network and if they have a good or bad interview experience with your company, they will pass this information on to other potential employees.

3. Disrespecting a candidate’s time is the number one employer crime

46% of candidates who withdrew from the recruitment process on grounds of a ‘bad experience’ listed ‘time disrespected during the interview process’ (The top reason provided.)

HireVue – The Talent Board survey

Interviews involve a lot of wasted time and money for candidates, as well as stress and inconvenience. From getting to and from the interview(s) – with plenty of time to spare – to using holiday days or telling their boss that they’ve got a doctor’s appointment, it’s a big commitment.

In our experience, some employers ‘hedge their bets’ and interview more than necessary just in case they miss out on someone that is perfect culturally.

Video interviewing is becoming an increasingly useful tool for employers that wish to ‘have their cake and eat it’ without ruining the candidate experience in the process. They work perfectly as a first-stage interview, as employers can get a real ‘feel’ for whether a candidate is a cultural fit (as well as ticking the skills and experiences boxes) before inviting them for interview.

With the right software, employers can also conduct one-way interviews and absent managers can playback recordings to give their input.

4. A long time-to-hire can cause candidates to withdraw

In the same HireVue survey, 26% of candidates who withdrew from the recruitment process cited that it took too long.

We’ve spoken time and again about the need to reduce the time to hire if you wish to secure the top talent. However, a long process doesn’t just mean you may be pipped to the post by another employer: some candidates will withdraw from a process based on a poor candidate experience. Of those that do, over a quarter will do so due to it taking too long (the second most cited reason).

Timing between first and second-stage interviews and between interviews and offers should be kept at a minimum. An efficient recruitment process shows candidates that you are organised and professional and the candidate is less likely to lose interest in the role.

5. Failing to feedback fails your brand

The top ‘hate crime’ candidates tell recruiters is that they are fed up with not receiving feedback.

The biggest frustration we hear from candidates is that, time and again, employers fail to provide feedback. If a candidate has taken the time to apply and interview, it’s vital that you respect their time and provide constructive feedback.

Not only may it lead to bad word-of-mouth, chances are, if they’ve got to the interview stage then they may be a great fit for a future role. It’s a good idea to keep in contact with candidates identified as competent at interview but that didn’t quite fit the bill for this role. Keep a positive relationship so that they stay interested in working for you should you have an opportunity for them in the future.

At Cast UK we always ensure that any candidates we have put forward for a role are provided with comprehensive progress reports and feedback on their performance. If you appreciate the importance of candidate feedback, make sure you do your due diligence on whether your recruiter shares these values – or risk ruining your employer brand in the process.

So remember, treat all applicants with respect. They’ve invested their time in your company and it’s only right that you treat them how you would like to be treated.


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