Recruiting

Bad Reputation Means Bad Hires

The vast majority of Americans would not work for a company with a bad reputation even if they are unemployed. There are a lot of ways a company can offend the average applicant, and mending its ways might be the only way to score great talent.

Bad Reputation Means Bad Hires

According to a recent survey by CR Magazine and Cielo Talent, 86% of America’s females do not seek employment at companies that have a bad reputation. According to that same survey, only 67% of America’s males wouldn’t join a company with a bad reputation. The survey involved a mix of 1,000 Americans, both employed and unemployed. The purpose was to learn about how corporate reputations influence job choice in America.

Clearly, regardless of gender, a bad reputation hurts a company. If that company has a bad reputation for hiring only men, you could see how its situation isn’t likely to improve anytime.


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When asked what kinds of behavior was most damaging to a company’s reputation, respondents said:

  • 33%—publicly revealed criminal acts
  • 30%—failure to recall dangerous products
  • 21%—publicly revealed workplace discrimination
  • 15%—public disclosure of environmental scandal

Some mitigating circumstances do alter how individuals might overcome their aversion to working for companies with bad reputations. Some of those circumstances follow:

  • 67% of employed Americans would take a job at a company with a bad reputation if offered more money, according to the 2015 survey.
  • 70% of respondents to the same survey in 2014 said they would take a job with a company with a bad reputation if offered more money.
  • Of those polled in 2015, 46% said they would need a pay increase of 50% or more to move to a company with a bad reputation.

Age made a difference when it came to corporate responsibility. 77% of those aged 18 to 34 years said they would take a job with a company with a bad reputation while only 61% of those 35 years or older felt the same way.

The same respondents were asked about how they felt about companies with a good reputation. Almost everyone, 92%, said they would think about leaving their current employment if they were offered a job at a company with a stellar corporate reputation.

Among 35- to 44-year-olds, 45% would leave their current job for less than a 10% pay increase in order to join a company with a great reputation. Only 12% of the same age group would leave their company for the same pay increase to join a company with a bad reputation.

Common sense says that companies with good reputations attract quality talent. And the numbers back up that common sense.

Employment Branding Best Practices

How does your company’s reputation stand? Are you tracking that? Do you have a plan to improve it? This study reinforces how vital it is that your employment brand is a good one.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Consider the candidate experience.
  • Make room for your employment branding.
  • Keep it honest.

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Candidate Experience

As powerful as public media is, reputations can be made or lost outside of the public media landscape. One way is through the candidate experience. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder®, 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 to buy from a company if they have a bad experience in the interview; and the same is true of 65% if they didn’t hear back from the company 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.

Keeping the candidate experience in mind with your company’s recruitment is an opportunity to build a reputation as a company that treats every potential employee with respect.

Tomorrow, we’ll cover the remaining suggestions for keeping your company’s reputation aboveboard, plus an introduction to BLR’s research report, Employment Branding Today: Putting the Company’s Best Face Forward.