Candidate Resentment Rises When Employers Don’t Communicate

Waiting Candidates

Candidate resentment is steadily rising, showing an increase of 40 percent from 2016, according to the Talent Board. And this year candidates are less likely than they were in 2018 to apply to a company, or recommend it to others, if they’ve suffered negative experiences in the past.

The Talent Board’s annual North American benchmark study looked at the candidate experience at more than 170 employers across a range of industries. Some 195,000 job seekers participated, as well.

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Communications—or the lack of it—was one of the driving factors turning candidates off, the study found. Job seekers told the Talent Board they were particularly irked by a lack of post-interview follow up, extended processes that ended with unexplained rejection, and the sound of crickets: “I elected to withdraw after I sent multiple emails but never heard an update,” one candidate said.

Even more important was feedback. When employers provide feedback to rejected candidates on both general areas and specifics such as qualifications and fit, resentment drops by 29 percent. Meanwhile, the candidate’s sense of having a “great” experience increases 20 percent and the likelihood the candidate will deepen their relationship with the employer rises 20 percent.

Employers also benefit when they ask for candidates’ opinions on their recruiting and hiring processes. The feeling seekers have had a great experience and may increase their relationship with the company shows increases by 72 percent when they’re asked for feedback. It swells to 148 percent when they’re asked to provide feedback on screens and interviews.

Chatbots can be a particular help to employers, the study found. It said candidates who could consistently ask questions with a chatbot rated their experience higher than those who couldn’t. Those who conversed via chatbot were 80 percent more likely to increase their relationship with the company. They also appreciated text updates during the research process.

However, bad news should be delivered personally, the Talent Board said. Even though they were rejected, candidates who were informed by a personal phone call showed a positive experience rating increase of 23 percent.

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