What Do Candidates Think about Recruitment Agencies?

With social media being used so much, word of a bad experience can spread like wildfire; you don’t bother getting back to a candidate who has gone out of their way to make contact with you? It’s highly likely that you’ve just wiped out any possibility of working with them, their friends and colleagues too. Your performance doesn’t just reflect badly on your own work ethic, but that of your company brand too.

Mystery Applicant is a tool used to provide real time candidate experience feedback, allowing you to see how you’re really doing at work. We check out a Mystery Applicant survey to figure out why candidates are feeling so disheartened with our work, where candidate experience is deteriorating, and how you can work to improve!

Initial Application

What Are Candidates Saying About Recruitment AgenciesAccording to a Mystery Applicant survey of jobseekers, ran by Jane Downes, 77% of applicants receive no communication from a company after applying for an advertised position. Candidates are not receiving so much as a polite thank you, let alone a constructive rejection email offering advice on why their applications were not progressed. These guys are doing just what you’re asking them to do; apply for advertised roles – you haven’t had to go out and find these candidates, they’ve voluntarily come to you! This is a crucial point for candidates, and one which shows a blatant lack of respect. Not only does this damage relationships with potential candidates, but candidates talk and this lack of courtesy could really damage your brand as a whole. Avoid this situation by using technology to your advantage; you don’t need to spend hours sending rejection emails manually, create a template email to keep unsuccessful candidates informed and send in bulk.

Interview Stages

During the application procedure candidates often find that recruiters are either attentive (the remainder of that 77% mentioned above…) or quite simply, not. These guys that receive feedback on their applications generally have a skill set that is in line with the job specification. So after initial telephone screens performed by the recruiter the result is a split between happy candidates achieving first interviews with clients, and candidates rejected early on in the process. Unfortunately the percentage of rejected candidates usually far outweighs that of successful ones, leaving a largely disgruntled pool of individuals getting progressively more frustrated with your brand as a whole.

That’s not the end of unhappy candidates though. The same survey found that 40% of candidates experience an ‘unacceptable time lapse’ between feedback from a first interview and scheduling of a second interview. That unacceptable time lapse is defined as being 2-3 weeks - weeks! This is the most crucial part of the process; making sure that your candidate is happy, informed and comfortable with the role, and keeping them warm through the wait for client feedback. Failing to build the relationship during this period could result in your candidate turning down a second interview, or even worse, getting to offer stage and turning that down! That’s without thinking of the knock-on effect when they start talking to other candidates in the market…

The End Result – Offer!

You’ve brought the candidate right through from initial screenings to receiving an offer, hoorah! Your efforts should not stop here, ensuring your candidate takes an offer that is right for them is key. Using your powers of influence and forcing a candidate into a role that’s not a great fit for them may well boost your figures in the short-term, but you can guarantee that they won’t come back when they’re looking for their next move. Guide these individuals through the offer stages, negotiate with the client on salary or benefits if required; first and foremost, be in your candidate’s corner.

How would your mystery applicant survey look? Do you have feedback processes in place with your candidates? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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Credit: Images from Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net
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Heidi Gardner

Heidi is PhD student at the University of Aberdeen. Her research focuses on the issues surrounding the recruitment of patients into clinical trials.

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