Providing a positive interview experience – essential or unnecessary?

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If providing potential employees with a positive interview experience isn’t at the top of your to-do list then don’t worry – you’re not alone. In fact, 80 per cent of senior HR professionals said they don’t regard candidate experience as a priority in the recruitment process.

Management consultant Lucy Beaumont is firmly in the minority – she says providing a positive candidate experience is not only important, it’s a “business necessity.”

“If you care about your organisation’s employer brand then you should care about the candidate experience,” argues Beaumont.

“If someone applies to your company, they probably like and admire your brand. They may have been a customer or a strong advocate of your business for many years. So what message are you sending if you treat people badly when they apply for a job?”

Recent research conducted by the Recruitment and Employment confederation revealed that HR professionals considered cutting the cost of recruitment and reducing the time to hire as more important issues that providing positive candidate experience.

“Every organisation wants to get the right candidates quickly and affordably,” concedes Beaumont, “but the bigger picture here is that your recruitment process if inextricably linked to your brand.”

“You’ll reject more applicants than you hire so if you don’t want rejected applicants to bad mouth your organization […] it’s critical to give every applicant a positive brand experience, even if you’re not going to offer them a job,” explains Beaumont.

Beaumont is adamant that offering an improved experience doesn’t have to be expensive – “It could be as simple as keeping them informed about the different stages of their application, giving them feedback from any assessments and interviews they’ve undertaken, being polite and considerate in your communication, being respectful and sympathetic if you have to turn them down and thanking them for their interest and their time.”

Beaumont insists that, in the long run, this behaviour will benefit both your brand image and the quality of your candidates. As more people here about how well recruitment is handled, employer reputation is improved and interest piques.

“If you’re attracting better candidates, there’s more chance that you’ll hire someone who’ll perform well in the role and who’ll stay,” says Beaumont.

“The real benefits of enhancing candidate care and creating a more effective recruitment process are therefore improved employee engagement and recognition, a more harmonious work environment, reduced staff turnover, increased productivity and improvements to the bottom line.”

More like this:

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  • Kellie on 2014-12-22 2:12:02 PM

    I completely agree with Beaumont. If you want to be an employer of choice, you should always care about your brand. And, it doesn't have to be expensive - something as simple as acknowledging receipt of an application or resume goes a long way.

  • Kristopher on 2015-01-22 1:32:12 PM

    I'm with Kellie and Lucy on this one. I've been through many of the stages of the recruitment/selection process recently and when the interview experience is not a good one, if the energy or personality that comes across is not positive, I'm not sure I want to work there. And I probably would let a few others know about my experience.

  • Joanne on 2015-01-26 12:50:31 PM

    If we had to acknowledge every resume or application I would need a full time staff to do this. When we do a job posting we thank all applicant for responding but note on our job posting that only applicants chosen for an interview will be contacted. This has certainly not hurt us in any way. If we interview a candidate we always get back to the candidate one way or the other we never leave an interviewed candidate wondering if they got the job or not. Also, if a candidate asks for feedback we will give them feedback. Be polite and honest that is how you protect your brand.

  • kellie on 2015-01-26 11:20:50 PM

    Hi Joanne
    We just have our computer set to automatically reply to applications. We don't actually have anyone responding physically...but it's still acknowledging an application. We also used to say that only those who are contacted for an interview will hear further.

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