Negative candidate experiences hit the bottom line

New research from ManpowerGroup Solutions looks at candidate experience and its potential impact on businesses’ reputation and sales 

More than half (58%) of UK candidates say that a negative experience makes them less likely to buy a company’s products or services.

This is according to ManpowerGroup Solutions’ 2018 Candidate Preference Survey of more than 700 candidates in the UK. The report calls for equal energy and resources to be spent on the candidate experience as on the consumer experience.

The most impactful negative experiences on purchasing behaviour in the UK were:

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  1. Negative interview experience (60%)
  2. Lack of transparency on salary or job description (59%)
  3. No employer follow-up after initial interview (59%)

These negatives do not just impact the behaviour of the candidate in question – they have substantial ripple effects throughout a business’ potential customer base. While 69% of UK candidates say they would tell others about a negative experience, 47% also say the negative candidate experience of a friend would make them less likely to buy a product or service. Eight out of 10 candidates (81%) would share their negative experience in a one-on-one conversation, with nearly one in five (18%) posting it to social media.

Jill Bassett, Workforce Solutions Director for ManpowerGroup Solutions, comments: “Consumer brands work hard to cultivate relationships with their customers – focusing on customer experience, service and brand reputation. But all too often, the candidate experience is neglected. This report shows a clear link between the employer and customer brand. Consumers often connect with companies based on a perceived set of common values, so a breakdown in either the consumer or candidate experience can have serious implications on loyalty to the brand.”

Bassett continues, “In an era of growing talent shortages, understanding who candidates are, how to attract them and what drives their decision-making is essential to building and sustaining a successful recruitment and retention strategy. Individuals want value, choice and a personalised approach to help advance their careers. Shifting the recruitment process beyond transactional endeavours to an opportunity to develop relationships with potential customers and advocates will build trust and loyalty, ultimately impacting the bottom line.”

Here are five practical steps that brands can take to start to strengthen their employer brand and enhance the candidate experience:

  • Make a case for investment– Proper investment in human resources, the candidate experience, and employer brand will have a positive return on investment in the form of both human capital and revenue
  • Relieve overwhelmed recruiters– Reposition the HR function as a de facto customer service experience to help transform recruiting into an employer brand and consumer brand building function
  • Be transparent– Transparency is a key value for candidates so there is no substitution for cultivating stronger relationships with candidates and employees
  • Cultivate the consumer talent pool– Consumers are a valuable talent pool. In many cases they already understand and share many of the core values of an organisation
  • Pose as a secret shopper– Experience first-hand what candidates experience in the hiring process

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