Poorly treated candidates less likely to become customers

In a survey we conducted in November 2011, more than 46% of respondents admitted their last experience as a candidate had been “poor” or “very poor”; but what does a poor candidate experience actually mean for an organisation?

One of the main issues is that candidates tend to share their experiences, whether they discuss them with their families and friends (83%), or write about it using social networks (64%). Of the respondents who had a good experience, 86% said they would recommend their friends and family to apply to the same company; whereas 78% of those who had a bad experience asserted they would actively advise people around them against applying to the same company.

More than just praising or discrediting an employer’s reputation over the internet respondents also admitted that their experience as a candidate impacts on their habits as a consumer: up to 65% of them insist they are less likely to buy the company’s products or services as a result of bad candidate experience.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Although the candidate experience can be influenced by many factors, our survey results clearly showed that candidates who had a negative experience felt 1) that they were not being communicated with regularly (85%) and 2) that they were not being treated as individuals (83%).

Results also indicated a correlation between the outcomes of the application and how respondents rated their experience: candidates who have been successful tend to say they had a good candidate experience (81%), while candidates who were not successful claim they had a negative experience (88%). Although this is not surprising we should not rush to conclusions. Were the remaining 19% of successful candidates just desperate enough to accept a job after going through a bad experience? In the same way, the reason why some respondents were unsuccessful might have been because their candidate experience was so bad they were put off and decided to refuse an offer of hire…

At the end of the day it appears that bad candidate experience engenders more than just negative chatter over the internet; it also translates into figures that have a significant impact on an employer’s brand and turnover.