What Do Applicants Say About Your Firm?

As employment levels continue to rise and competition for talent intensifies, the experience candidates have with your recruitment and selection processes plays a significant part in their sense of your employer brand. Living in an age of instant digital communication, means applicants are only too willing to share their experience with your firm, good or bad.

Aside from the obvious moral obligation and basic courtesy that should be applied, treating applicants well is good business. Companies with poor employer branding receive lower quality applications from which to recruit.

Many leading companies understand that great talent management begins by treating candidates as customers. If applicants have a good experience in the application process they are more likely to refer others. If they feel good about the process, they will feel good about the company, no matter what the outcome.

Our own Advisory Services business at HRM designs value based processes that enable customer organisations leverage more from their recruitment processes. By conducting regular surveys of job applicants we gain a continuous learning stream against which to map service experiences for candidates, applying to client companies.

In the most recent of these, 807 candidates shared their personal job application experiences from the previous twelve months. 71% of these said they had submitted an application to a company and “not received anything back from the company other than an automated single line rejection or acknowledgement of the application”. (78% of these said this had a “strong negative” impact on their perception of the organisation).

52% of respondents said they had waited four weeks or more for feedback to an interview they attended, despite attempts to expedite it. (76% of these cited the experience as having a ”negative” impact on their perception of the organisation).

Many large organisations simply have no choice but to use online applicant tracking systems, but few make any effort to validate the experience. Set yourself up as a candidate and go through the full cycle of your recruitment process and then ask yourself how you feel about it.

If you do not have an automated system for managing your recruitment, set up a series of email signatures in the form of full emails which you can insert easily and only need to enter the applicants first name at the beginning of the mail to create a personal and more considerate response. It just might make a difference to how that candidate feels.

Be up front when delays occur. Keep candidates appraised by phone or email if there is to be a delay. Use a spreadsheet to track applicants and record your last contact date. Design relevant categories to apply to all your job applicants on a simple database and attach their CV so that you can search quickly and easily for future needs.

Effective management of your recruitment processes reduces cost and improves internal talent.