Treat candidates like customers, study recommends
- When hiring managers neglect to respond to job applications or are opaque about compensation, job candidates' later decisions to purchase may be influenced. In Add to Cart: Candidates are Consumers, Too — The Impact of Candidate Experience on Buying Behaviors, more than half of respondents (54%) said the candidate experience directly influences their choice to buy or pass up a company's products or services.
- The 18,000 global job seekers interviewed for the ManpowerGroup Solutions poll identified the essentials of a good candidate experience, which include an employer's demonstration during the application and interview processes that the company possesses a clear mission, an attractive culture and a commitment to social responsibility.
- Job seekers are measuring their experience in the recruiting process with the same standards they use when they shop online, according to Kate Donovan, senior VP of ManpowerGroup Solutions and Global RPO president. "Ensuring that candidates have a great experience is critical not only for attracting the best talent, but also for nurturing existing and future consumers," she said in a press release. "Transparent job descriptions, clear values and providing a good interview experience all contribute to the overall impression candidates have of your company."
As the unemployment rate remains low, employers that "go the extra mile" in their recruitment and retention efforts may see a payoff in terms of talent. The ManpowerGroup study highlights a connection between job seekers and customers: Candidates will continue to purchase a business' goods and services when they have a satisfactory candidate experience. Hiring managers, therefore, may want to ensure their treatment of job seekers reflects the care that the business demonstrates toward valued customers.
A common complaint among job seekers is not being notified by an employer that their application was received and reviewed, or that they were rejected. Communication points in the recruiting process are critical to engaging candidates and preventing the top picks from being hired by a competitor. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management sent that very message to federal HR directors in a memo earlier this year.
Additionally, more job seekers are looking up organizations' ratings online. A 2017 CareerArc poll showed that four in five job seekers would bypass an employer with a bad online reputation. Online ratings are raising the stakes for employers to make the recruiting process, as well as the treatment of workers, a positive experience.
In short, HR managers can ensure that candidates experience a good recruiting process by treating them like valued consumers. The importance of regularly communicating with applicants, candidates and employees during the hiring and onboarding processes and beyond can't be over-emphasized.