Communication during the hiring process can make or break your reputation

lynnea-tan-_FH38RD-Xx4-unsplash-1The recruiting process can significantly influence how jobseekers view your company — more than two-thirds feel the way they’re treated as a candidate indicates how a potential employer would behave if they were an employee, according to a SilkRoad and CareerBuilder survey.

Unfortunately, jobseekers’ initial interactions with employers aren’t always positive. A CareerArc survey found nearly 60 percent of workers have had a negative candidate experience; and communication issues are often a contributing factor.

Feeling ignored, isolated or otherwise dissatisfied during early exchanges could affect whether a candidate decides to accept a job offer, if you eventually extend one.

A negative candidate experience may also have larger implications for your employer brand, if enough jobseekers share information about it – which CareerArc’s research found 72 percent tend to do, either in-person or online.

If your company is hoping to offer the ideal candidate experience, tweaking its hiring process steps to incorporate the following practices may help improve jobseekers’ perception:

Tell candidates what to expect: The majority of candidates want to know upfront what the recruiting process will involve; 82 percent say employers should provide a timeline and keep them updated as things progress, according to CareerBuilder and SilkRoad’s findings.

Avoid automated responses: More than a third (39 percent) of candidates say a programmed reply is not enough to inform them their application has been received. Sixty-two percent of candidates, according to additional research from CareerBuilder, instead expect personalized communication; more than two-thirds (67 percent) believe they should receive a phone call from a recruiter after they’ve applied for a job. 

React quickly: Sixty-five percent of candidates say they’ve never, or have rarely, received any notifications about their application. More than half who have heard back say it’s taken a month or more.

Fifty-five percent of jobseekers, according to SilkRoad and CareerBuilder, will give up and move on if they haven’t heard from an employer within two weeks after they’ve applied. A Talent Board survey found candidates were more than twice as likely to sever the relationship with a potential employer if they didn’t get any feedback by the end of the day they’d interviewed.

Respond thoroughly: Nearly half of the candidates who were turned down by employers, when asked in a SmartRecruiters survey how clearly they understood why, said “not at all well.” Forty-six percent never received any official notification at all that they were no longer being considered for a position.

For more information about effective hiring process steps, view our blog posts on 4 clever techniques companies are using to recruit candidates; how to write a job description that rocks; Interview process phases you should never skip — and find out 3 ways big data can help improve hiring outcomes, and the methods some companies are utilizing to gain a better view of potential hires’ skills.