Negative recruitment experiences detrimental to company brand, survey suggests

Poll finds one in three jobseekers would be put off using an organisation’s products or services by a bad hiring process

Poor and dispiriting recruitment experiences can negatively impact a company’s brand, a survey of job seekers has found.

In a poll of over 4,000 people, nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents said a bad recruitment experience would harm their relationship with that brand.

It found a third (33 per cent) of candidates would be less likely to use a brand’s products or services in the future, while 38 per cent of candidates said they would share a poor experience with their friends and families.

The survey, conducted by Reed, found the majority of candidates defined a bad hiring experience by a lack of communication and feedback.

Three-quarters (75 per cent) of survey respondents said they expected to receive confirmation that their application has been received, while 78 per cent said they expected to be told if their application is unsuccessful.

Despite this, just 8 per cent of respondents said they consistently received feedback from prospective employers.

Tom Hadley, director of policy and campaigns for REC said that with candidate availability declining month-on-month, there has “never been a more important time to get the employer brand right”.

“This is where recruiters have an important role to play, by feeding back to clients on what candidates really think about the brand and by providing strategic advice on how to improve the overall candidate experience,” said Hadley.

Hadley added that employers needed innovation, authenticity and to align their consumer brand with their employer brand. “Not only are candidates potential consumers, here is also growing recognition for the fact that brilliant recruitment – which effective employer brand strategies can help deliver – can drive productivity and growth,” he said.

“The recruitment process brings people into direct contact with a company’s brand, and will often show what lies beneath the shiny veneer of multi-channel marketing campaigns.”

Neil Millett, research and events manager at Reed, said it was clear job seekers had high expectations when it came to the recruiting experiences.

“[This is] bad news for brands who fail to meet these expectations, particularly with younger jobseekers, as they’re more inclined to share their negative experiences with family and friends,” Millett said.

The survey found half (50 per cent) of all job seekers would assume their application is unsuccessful if they haven’t heard anything after a week, and 28 per cent said they would assume the worst after two weeks. 

The majority (59 per cent) would prefer to be contacted by email, whatever the news may be, while 29 per cent would choose telephone contact.

The survey also found 73 per cent of applicants expected to be interviewed within a fortnight of making their application, should they be successful at the screening stage, and 91 per cent expected – if successful – to be offered a job within three weeks of the initial application.