Unsurprisingly, candidates who are rejected at the CV or telephone-screening stage receive notably weaker messages in terms of content and timing compared to those who get further along the process. Just 70% of organisations say that they provide every single unsuccessful candidate with a rejection message.
What’s more, it’s feared that this figure could actually be much lower. Ken Brotherson, managing director of TALiNT Partners, the company who conducted the report, commented:
“The organisations we worked with are highly engaged and want to find out what they are doing wrong so they can fix it, but we know that’s not true of most organisations. We estimate that the figure for candidates who are being offered feedback could actually be much lower.”
When candidates were asked how they rate employers when it comes to candidate experience, only 46% of companies received average scores in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The business services sector fared the best with 71% of respondents rating organisations above average.
Despite the poor effort made when it comes to providing a positive candidate experience, the majority of businesses say that they realise that the way they treat even unsuccessful applicants reflects on them as an employer and that rejected candidates are both ambassadors and potential customers.
Offering an explanation as to why so many businesses may be struggling with their candidate experience, Brotherson explained that organisations are opening up their application processes too widely. With so many job seekers applying to vacancies, it makes it almost impossible for companies to get back to every single applicant.
Another issue is how simple job hunting has become thanks to the Internet. With many online job sites offering a ‘one-click’ application process, it means that desperate job seekers are applying to any role that’s vaguely suited to their skills and experience. In recent years, it’s not unusual for a single opening to get thousands of applicants only for orgnaisations to find that very few, if any of them are actually suitable for the role.
Brotherson says that an effective method of reducing the number of unsuitable applicants is to be honest with candidates about what the role will entail.
“A lot of employers who are trying to attract jobseekers might focus on talking about their mission statement, their values and their culture, but what jobseekers will really be interested in is the job itself. There’s a danger that employers might be losing sight of that.”
“Offering candidates an honest perspective of what is expected of them in a role is a far more effective approach. Employers should not be afraid to show people the reality of a role, to show a job with warts and all. Tell people something that they might find challenging or difficult in a role and you’ll find that you might attract candidates who have the level of adaptability and resilience needed.”
To find out why providing a positive candidate experience is a key part of recruitment, head over to our blog page.