Are your recruitment processes scaring off new employees?

New research has found that UK employers are making basic errors during the recruitment process, and this could be putting off potential new applicants.

In its latest report entitled ‘The Candidate Strikes Back’, the Recruitment and Employment Federation (REC) looked at the relationship between jobseekers and employers. After questioning 2,000 adults, its researchers found that this relationship has changed, with jobseekers having more power due to higher numbers of vacancies. Now that the balance of power has shifted, companies need to do more to compete for candidates.

How does your recruitment process measure up?

If you think your recruitment process is pretty sound, you need to be asking:

  • Do you provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates?
  • How long is the time between interview and decision?
  • How much and what is the quality of the job-related content you make available to candidates?
  • Does a line manager get in touch with successful applicants well in advance of the start date?

These were all areas of improvement suggested by the REC in its report, which was launched recently at the Talent, Recruitment and Employment Conference 2015 in London, with failure to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates at the very top of the list. The UK’s workers agreed – with 34% of people saying that feedback was the single most important improvement employers could make. A huge 93% of workers who described their last recruitment experience as ‘bad’ were not asked for their own feedback from the employer.

Reputational damage

The dangers of not taking steps to improve your recruitment processes, whether making changes in-house or bringing in an external recruitment specialist, are highlighted by the REC report. Its researchers found that over half of those who’d had a bad experience during recruitment would discuss it with friends and family, and we mustn’t forget the huge impact of social media and other online channels on a company’s reputation. An applicant who has a negative experience with a firm’s recruitment process will soon start to spread the word online, through a number of channels and platforms. Wilson Cochrane, the chief executive of BigScreen Group which sponsored the research, explains further:

“Negative experiences go beyond the interview process. Candidates are very vocal about their feelings and will share them with family and friends within social and professional networks, so it’s vital that they are saying good things whether or not they get hired. A strong employer brand can halve the cost per hire and can reduce employee turnover by 30 per cent, which underlines the importance of getting this right.”

Room to improve

To create a positive experience for candidates going through recruitment, whether they get the job or not, the REC recommends that employers provide specific and clear feedback to all candidates in a timely manner. Companies should also be asking for candidates’ feedback – people like to be listened to. Other improvements include cutting down the time between the interview and making a decision, providing better quality content related to the job, and making sure that line managers make contact with new employees in advance of the start date.



Image courtesy of Ambro @

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