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.”
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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.