CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Job hunting can be a frustrating process especially if you have no idea whether the employer made a decision or even saw your application. More than one in four workers reported that they have had a bad experience when applying for a job. The vast majority (75 percent) of workers who applied to jobs using various resources in the last year said they never heard back from the employer, according to a nationwide CareerBuilder survey.
While this speaks to the challenges of finding employment in a highly competitive market, it also brings to light negative implications for today's employers. The survey shows candidates who have had a bad experience when applying for a position are less likely to seek employment at that company again and are more likely to discourage friends and family from applying or purchasing products from that company. The study of more than 3,900 U.S. workers was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012.
How important is it to acknowledge every job applicant?
Eighty-two percent of workers expect to hear back from a company when they apply for a job regardless of whether the employer is interested. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers said they would be less inclined to purchase products or services from a company that didn't respond to their application.*
What constitutes a bad applicant experience?
Twenty-six percent of workers have had a bad experience as a job applicant, citing a lack of follow through, inconsistencies from the employer or poor representation of the company's brand as the primary culprits.
- Employer never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview – 60 percent
- Found out during the interview that the job didn't match what was written in the job ad – 43 percent
- Company representative didn't present a positive work experience – 34 percent
- Company representative didn't seem to be knowledgeable – 30 percent
- Employer never acknowledged receiving my application – 29 percent
What would workers do if they have a bad applicant experience?
The effects of one candidate's negative experience can lead to a broader impact on the employer's ability to recruit or sell products. Workers said if they are dissatisfied with the way their application is handled by an employer, they would:
- Never seek employment at the company again – 42 percent
- Tell others not to work there – 22 percent
- Tell others not to purchase products or services from the company – 9 percent
What would workers do if they have a good applicant experience?
The study found that a good applicant experience can have positive long-term effects for organizations regardless if the candidate was actually hired. Workers said if they are happy with the way they are treated by an employer when applying for a job, they would:
- Consider seeking employment with the company again in the future – 56 percent
- Tell others to seek employment there – 37 percent
- Be more likely to purchase products or services from the company – 23 percent
"From the second job seekers are viewing your job ad and applying to your company, they are forming an opinion of who you are as an employer and as a business," said Sanja Licina, Ph.D. and Senior Director of Talent Intelligence at CareerBuilder. "One bad applicant experience can have a ripple effect with candidates not only vocalizing their dissatisfaction with how they were treated, but encouraging others not to apply or even buy products from that company. It's so critical that your employment brand effectively carries through at every touch point with candidates."
CareerBuilder's Salute to Excellence in Applicant Experience
In a separate 2012 study spanning 10 months, CareerBuilder tracked the opinions of more than 1 million job candidates who applied for positions in more than 1,000 companies. The study was created to identify best-of-breed practices in engaging and interacting with job candidates and enable other companies to see how their own programs stack up.
CareerBuilder salutes Shell Oil Company, MB Financial Bank, Pinstripe and Baptist Memorial Health Care for their excellence in providing a consistently exceptional candidate experience across their organizations. Companies were evaluated based on timeliness of response to applications and follow through, candidate's assessment of how knowledgeable the company's recruiters are and how well they represented their company brand, whether candidates would recommend the company or apply again, and other factors.
Shell Oil Company
With more than 90,000 employees in 80 countries, Shell is one of the best known brands around, and they focus on providing a consistent, welcoming candidate experience wherever you are in the world. Clearly written job postings, an easy-to-find, user-friendly career site, an efficient application process, engaging interactions with all key Shell personnel during interviews, timely job offers and a fun, informative onboarding process – these are all elements that leave a positive lasting impression on job candidates. Shell Human Resources directs these activities but engages cross-functional teams from areas such as Communications, Information Technology, Brand and business managers to ensure an integrated and collaborative approach is taken. They also routinely survey candidates to establish targets for benchmarking and ongoing improvements.
MB Financial Bank
As one of the leading financial services companies in the Chicagoland area, MB Financial Bank works hard to make sure their recruitment process embodies their organization's culture and brand. They liken the recruitment process to providing elite customer service. From the early stages of applying all the way to onboarding, their standard is to greet candidates with enthusiasm and show them they value their applications. They use their Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to keep candidates apprised of timelines and keep them updated if anything changes. They personally follow up with candidates who are no longer being considered and invite them to sign up to learn about future opportunities at MB that may be a good fit. MB Financial Bank says they know searching for jobs can be difficult, so they make the candidate experience as easy as possible. The company has a current advertising campaign "Be treated better," and this applies not only to their clients but to their candidates as well.
Under its We Become You™ philosophy, Pinstripe, a top Recruitment Process Outsourcing company, provides a dedicated team to every single client. They become a natural extension of their client brands, providing each client with access to the Impression Center, a dedicated service that removes the candidate black hole of voicemail from the recruiter desk. Every call is answered and candidate inquiries are resolved within that one call, regardless of how long it may take. They put the human element back into the experience, carrying it through all forms of communication, including social media. Keeping job seekers informed about where they stand in the decision process and closing the loop with every candidate on behalf of every client is a top priority. They believe a considerate, quality experience is just good business.
Baptist Memorial Health Care
As one of the premier health care systems in the nation, Baptist Memorial Care's approach to everything is holistic, from patients to candidates to the communities they serve. They believe in making a great first impression, starting with the candidate experience on their Web site and with their ATS. Being professional, user-friendly and easy to communicate with is central to their approach and they design their communications to help candidates decide for themselves if they really are the best fit for the job. They continually evaluate their application process for excellence and a key measure of success is the amount of "word of mouth" marketing they receive for their employment opportunities.
*CareerBuilder's March 2012 survey of more than 5,000 workers.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,991 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 1 and November 30, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 3,991, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.55 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from talent and compensation intelligence to employment branding and recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.