Earlier this month, I wrote about the importance of candidate experience during the recruitment process.

I believe candidate experience is a cornerstone element of any employer brand.

After 10 years of hearing anecdotes about candidate experience during the recruitment process (the good, the bad and the ugly!), I decided it would be good to do some research on this topic.

Late last year, Heart Recruitment asked our candidates – marketing and communication professionals – about their experience during recruitment processes with potential employers.

Here I share the key findings and my thoughts on why candidate experience is the most memorable aspect of your employer brand.

  • 85% of people said they’ve had a bad recruitment experience with an organisation they previously considered a ‘dream’ brand or company they’d love to work for.

  • 87% said they would share this experience with a friend, colleague or family member.

  • After a negative recruitment experience, 76% said they’d think twice about buying the company’s products or services in the future.

The moral of the story? Even if your employer brand ‘speaks’ to people, a poor candidate experience during the recruitment process can be damaging to your brand.

You might’ve seen the rest of these research results in a previous post but here they are, in case you missed them:

  • 61% of people surveyed have applied for a job and never received a response.

  • Perhaps even worse, 50% have received no communication after attending an interview.

  • Almost 50% have attended an interview without seeing a job description first.

From the job description to the advertisement, every conversation you have and every email you send to the prospective employee – it pays to be straightforward and clear.

We all know that looking for a new job can be stressful, so everyone can appreciate clear communication and knowing where they stand.

Organisations spend plenty of time and money getting customer service right, why is this any different?

  • 24% of marketing and communication professionals we asked believe they have been lied to during a recruitment process.

  • 43% have received ‘flaky’ or ‘empty’ feedback which left them feeling they weren’t told the whole story.

In my books, honest and authentic is the only way.

Yes, feedback can be difficult to give (and receive) but we should treat the prospective employee just like a loyal customer or member of staff. You wouldn’t lie to your staff or customers, so being anything less than honest with prospective employees won’t do your brand or reputation any favours.

There isn’t one perfect way to manage your employer brand. However, being mindful about how you interact with prospective employees is a good place to start.

If you work with a recruiter, you should expect that they follow these principles and manage your employer with care.