The Cost of Bad Hiring Experiences

CareerBuilder study proves that employers lose talent and business due to bad hiring practices.


Image by Andrew Magill

A bad hiring experience can be a setback for a job search. But according to a recent study by CareerBuilder, bad hiring practices and job application experiences also have blow back on to the employer.

With more than half (56%) of employers who recruited new employees reporting that the candidate rejected their offer, the CareerBuilder study confirms something many career professionals have known for a long time: the candidate’s experience with the employer plays an important role in determining whether the candidate will ultimately accept the job offer.

In another sign that employers may be missing the boat when it comes to the quality of the hiring experience is the fact that one in seven job seekers said they had a worse opinion of the employer after they were contact for an interview.

“How your employment brand is presented to job seekers from the moment a job is posted can have a lasting effect not only on your ability to acquire talent, but your business overall,” said Sanja Licina, Ph.D. and Senior Director of Talent Intelligence at CareerBuilder.

“First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge candidates and keep them informed. Make sure that the dynamic work experience you describe in your job posting is further supported in phone or face-to-face conversations. In addition, continually ask for feedback to see where your applicant process shines or where there are opportunities to improve.”

CareerBuilder’s research model was designed to address misconceptions surrounding typical recruitment processes and candidate retention strategies, including the following myths taken from the study:

1. Application Acknowledgements

MYTH: The failure to acknowledge a job application won’t impact the company.

FACT: CareerBuilder’s Applicant Experience study found 44 percent of workers who didn’t hear back from an employer when they applied for a job said they have a worse opinion of that employer. In a separate study, nearly one-third of job seekers (32 percent) reported they are less likely to purchase a product from a company who didn’t respond to their job application.

2. Experience Sharing

MYTH: What happens in the recruitment process stays in the recruitment process.

FACT: Bad experiences can go viral or at least spread throughout someone’s personal network. Three-in-four workers – 78 percent – said they would talk about a bad experience they had with a potential employer with friends and family. Seventeen percent said they would post something about their negative experience on social media and six percent said they would blog about it.

 3. First Impressions

MYTH: Just hearing from an employer in a tight job market is enough to keep the candidate’s interest.

FACT: First impressions can sometimes cause job seekers to eliminate the employer from consideration altogether. When asked to assess the recruiters who contacted them, one-in-five job seekers (21 percent) reported that the recruiter was not enthusiastic about his/her company being an employer of choice. Seventeen percent didn’t believe the recruiter was knowledgeable and 15 percent didn’t think the recruiter was professional.

 4. Candidate Motivation

MYTH: The top reason why workers apply to a job is salary.

FACT: What will initially pique the candidate’s interest in applying is often tied to proximity, perception of the company and industry, and growth opportunities. Location was the number one reason candidates submitted an application (45 percent), followed by desirable industry (33 percent), reputation of the company (25 percent), interesting assignments (23 percent) and advancement opportunities (22 percent). While competitive compensation is important, it ranked sixth for why candidates said they applied to a job.


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