The Candidate Experience: 6 Facts Every Employer Should Know

Whether it’s keeping candidates guessing as to where they are in the application process or simply neglecting to acknowledge their application, some employers are unwittingly leaving candidates with a bad impression—and it’s taking a toll on their business. In today’s Advisor, we reveal the first 3 of 6 facts about the candidate experience that employers can’t afford to ignore.

According to a new study from CareerBuilder, the experiences candidates have with a company throughout the application process can make or break their impression of a company, affecting not only their decisions to apply and accept a job offer but also their loyalty as customers.

The 2015 Candidate Behavior study, conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder, sheds light on the differences between what candidates expect from potential employers during the job application process and what employers actually deliver. More than 5,013 workers ages 18 and over and 2,002 hiring decision makers were surveyed between February 3 and February 18, 2015.

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“Today’s candidates expect ongoing communication from companies during the application process, and when companies fail to meet this expectation, it can be bad for business,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. “Candidates remember when companies don’t respond to them, fail to update them on the status of their application, or don’t follow up after an interview. Not only do these experiences make candidates less likely to apply to the company again, but they also make them less likely to purchase from the company as customers.”

The six facts every employer should know about the candidate experience include:

Fact 1: Candidate Experience Matters (More Than You Know)

According to the study, 82% of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process. The reality, however, is that the majority of candidates do not take poor treatment lying down: 58% are less likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they don’t get a response to their application; 69% are less likely if they have a bad experience in the interview; and the same is true of 65% if they didn’t hear back after an interview.

Conversely, a good candidate experience can have the reverse effect: 69% of candidates are more likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they’re treated with respect throughout the application process, and 67% are likely to do the same if they receive consistent updates throughout the recruitment process.

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Fact 2: Employers May Be Missing Opportunities to Connect With Candidates

Job seekers may be searching for jobs in a lot of places where employers don’t have a presence. Candidates consult up to 18 resources throughout their job search—including job boards, social networking sites, search engines, and online referrals—but the majority of employers (58%) don’t use tracking or coding technology to learn where candidates are coming from and ensure they are making efficient use of their recruitment marketing efforts.

Without any data on where candidates are coming from, employers may be missing opportunities to connect with candidates where they are actually searching.

Fact 3: Candidates Expect More Than You’re Giving Them

For some candidates, the myth of the infamous application “black hole” is all too real. More than half of employers (52%) respond to less than half of the candidates who apply. What these employers may not realize, however, is that not only do most candidates expect an automated reply that acknowledges their application, the majority (84%) also expect a personal email response, and 52% anticipate a phone call.

Even when the news isn’t what they hope to receive, candidates expect a response: one in four candidates (25%) expect to hear if the employer will not be bringing them in for an interview.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, we present the final 3 candidate experience facts revealed by CareerBuilder’s study, plus an introduction to the free interactive webcast from SilkRoad, How HR Technology Drives Business Transformation: Views on Integration, Data Analytics, Usability, and More from Talent Management Leaders.


3 thoughts on “The Candidate Experience: 6 Facts Every Employer Should Know”

  1. This is only possible when you have the time to do it. I already work 45-60 hours per week in a one-person department. We reply to anyone we have phone screened or interviewed. We always receive resumes from people who have none of the job requirements and who are likely just sending a resume to fulfill the requirements of their ongoing unemployment. Yes, it would be nice to get a reply, however, this is not possible for companies that are already stretched on their staffing and work requirements.

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