It is a well-known fact that poor customer service has a negative impact on any business, severely affecting customer loyalty and the potential of attracting new business. Many of us have added comments on the review page of a business website or used a social media platform to express dissatisfaction or to highlight the need for some action to remedy a situation that is substandard.
The same can be said for candidates looking for employment, because for some time, employers have avoided treating a candidate as the main customer of recruiting. However, according to the Talent Board Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards and Benchmark Research, that situation is improving at last. Many of the CandE award-winning employers already provide an excellent service to job seekers, after a period of transition when changes were made for the better. This means that both internal and external candidates are regarded as being the principal customers of talent recruitment and are treated as such. The candidates come first, not the hiring manager or other recruitment peers or colleagues.
Six years of benchmark research by the Talent Board CandE Awards has revealed without doubt that of the number of candidates seeking employment, on average 41 percent of them across the globe say that because of an overall negative experience, they will move on and establish a relationship and make product purchases elsewhere. This could be bad news for businesses that rely on the consumer for their revenue, including referral networks for all companies. However, based on very positive job seeker experiences, feedback from 64 percent indicated that they will certainly increase their employer relationships. This does not only apply to applicants who have reached the final selection stage, but to most individuals who carry out their research and apply for jobs, yet end up not even being considered for a role.
It is obvious from the 2016 data that there are a number of employers who continue to improve their communication and feedback with candidates. Candidates who reported a satisfactory overall experience were only waiting for a response 32 percent of the time after making an application, compared to over 45 percent of those who regarded their experience as being inferior. It is regrettable that 47 percent of all North American job seekers were, after two months or more, still waiting for a company response after making an application, a trend that has been ongoing over the past few years.
When one examines the job interview stage, 87 percent of candidates who had a less than enjoyable experience, were never requested to give feedback on this process, while 32 percent of those who felt their interviews had been successful were asked for different levels of feedback, an important factor when it comes to securing top talent. Research data also reveals that the main reason unhappy candidates walk away from the hiring process 31 percent of the time is because their time during appointments and interviews was disrespected. Also, once the recruitment process for candidates was completed, 43 percent of those who had experienced five-star treatment received a direct response from hiring managers, compared to just 18 percent of applicants who had an overall poor candidate experience.
Finally, word-of-mouth can be a powerful method of advertising or getting the message across. Over 81 percent of the time, candidates will share their positive experiences with their friends, family or peers, while 66 percent of the time is devoted to their negative experiences. Online social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter also play a large part in spreading the word, with 51percent sharing positive experiences and 34 percent reporting negative episodes. Once more, it is the less-than-ideal experiences candidates have undergone that can have a significant impact on an employment brand and financial implications for a business that is customer-based. In a competitive job market, an employer’s search and selection process for sought-after talent is also affected, along with the referral networks that accompany them.