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Hiring Process Leaves Lasting Impression on Candidates

Hiring Process Leaves Lasting Impression on Candidates
Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock

Your company's hiring process might have a lot more impact on its future than you think.

The experiences job seekers have throughout the application process significantly affect their impression of a company, according to a CareerBuilder study. It influences both their decisions to apply and accept job offers and their customer loyalty.

Today’s candidates want ongoing communication from companies during the application process, and when companies fail to meet those expectations, 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," Haefner said in a statement. "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 Best Way to Reject a Job Candidate ]

To help employers, CareerBuilder highlights five strategies to ensure they are keeping job seekers happy.

Understand that candidate experience makes a difference: More than 80 percent of employers believe there's little to no negative impact when a job seeker has a poor experience during the hiring process. However, about 60 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a company they've applied at if they don’t get a response to their application or have a bad experience in the interview. The reverse can also be true as nearly 70 percent of candidates are more likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they’re treated with respect and receive consistent updates throughout the application process.

Find more outlets to connect with job seekers: Businesses might be missing out on quality candidates because they aren't promoting their open jobs where candidates are actually searching. CareerBuilder found that job seekers check up to 18 resources throughout the search process, including job boards, social networking sites, search engines and online referrals. Despite that, nearly 60 percent of employers don't track where candidates are coming from to ensure they're making the most of their recruiting efforts.

Make more of an effort: Candidates want more from potential employers. While the majority of businesses respond to less than half of candidates who apply, 84 percent of job seekers expect a personal email response and 52 percent anticipate a phone call. In addition, 25 percent of applicants want to hear from employers even if they aren't being considered for an interview.

Communicate regularly: Don't leave applicants in the dark. CareerBuilder found that 36 percent of candidates expect to be updated throughout the application process. Despite that, just 25 percent of businesses communicate with candidates about what stage of the hiring process they’re in.

Form a smooth application process: Employers are hurting their reputation by creating a frustrating application experience. Research revealed that 40 percent of candidates think the application process has become more difficult in the last five years. Of those, nearly 60 percent complain the process is too automated and lacks personalization and 51 percent are aggravated they don't know where they stand in the process.

Improving the candidate experience can really pay off for businesses. More than 75 percent of job seekers would accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression throughout the hiring process.

The research was based on surveys of more than 5,013 workers ages 18 and over and 2,002 hiring decision-makers.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.