Firms who treat potential employees poorly risk losing business

22 December 2017 3 min. read
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Companies should be wary of how they treat candidates for roles in their organisation, or risk reaping a whirlwind that could see their consumer-base fall, according to latest research. Less than a fifth of job applicants would remain a customer of a business if they had a bad experience as a candidate there, while almost half would be likely to urge their friends and family members to stop being a customer.

Fresh research of professionals across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has cast new light on the importance of sound hiring practices. Amid increasing competition for top employees, as talent scarcity – resulting from an ageing population and a drop in migration relating to Brexit – threatens to pose serious problems to the human resources market, firms would do well to consider the possibility that their recruitment process is costing them top talent. According to the new analysis from consulting firm Korn Ferry, irrespective of whether they felt the role was a good fit, a staggering eight-in-10 prospective employees are unlikely to accept a job offer if they were treated poorly during the recruitment process.

Word-of-mouth communications are a key factor for potential hires, with a substantial majority of 93% admitting to researching online sites that give feedback on working for the company, such as Glassdoor. For 34% of those surveyed, the elements that mattered most to them on a career website were video or case studies from a range of employees on company culture and what it is like to work there. A key tactic to help win candidates over in this regard could be to adopt an employer branding strategy, which can be brought to life using a company’s digital platforms, Korn Ferry’s researchers suggested.Firms who treat potential employees poorly risk losing businessFurther, the survey, conducted by the Futurestep division of the firm, illustrated how a poor recruitment campaign could also directly impact an organisation’s profitability. The 422 responses garnered by the research, demonstrated that amid an environment of increased competition and lowering brand loyalty, groups that upset their potential staff stand to lose ground in their respective market. A minority of 19% would remain a customer of a company if they had a bad experience as a candidate, while 48% said they were likely to urge their friends and family members to stop being a customer too. Furthermore, 25% would consider taking to social media to share their bad experience as a candidate applying for a job – potentially spreading the bad word well beyond their nearest and dearest.

When those polled were asked by Korn Ferry to explain what would aggravate them most during a recruitment process, two issues came out on top. The largest group of 37% said that not hearing back from the recruiter or hiring manager would aggravate them the most, while 34% suggested that an employer being rude during an interview would rub them up the wrong way. Almost a third of respondents meanwhile said they believed recruiters fail to clearly define tools and tips that they would need to seal the deal and land a job.

Jonathan Brown, a Managing Director at Futurestep, warned that companies risk alienating not only strong candidates, but loyal customers if they don’t make a concerted effort to create an efficient, welcoming and informative environment during their hiring process. “This equates to significant costs, both in terms of the time and money wasted during the hiring process, as well as loss of revenue from fleeing customers,” he added.

“There is absolutely no excuse for recruiters and hiring managers to not respond to candidates, even if that communication is electronic such as email or text. New technology and AI tools are automating many of the traditionally manual recruiting tasks, freeing up time for recruiters to provide stronger candidate care and strategic counsel to their clients,” Brown concluded.