Potential Customers v Potential Employees - What's Your Approach?

15 January 2019

Most organisations manage and monitor closely the experience of any potential customer. The future value that they’ll be adding to the business means that real care is taken to make sure they get a great first impression, their requirements are established and discussed, and if these can be met then the business will work quickly to convert to convert the initial sales enquiry

Whilst employees are equally – if not more - important to commercial success, so often the approach taken to potential employees is so completely different. Talent has never been harder to find, yet so many organisations still fail to address the obvious failings in their recruitment processes, as highlighted in the recent Hays What Workers Want Report 2018



Key findings of the report on Recruitment:

  • 48% deterred from pursuing a role due to a negative first impression of the organisation
  • While 65% of employers think they provide a good or excellent overall applicant experience, only 55% of applicants agreed
  • 64% percent of applicants have been deterred by an unwelcoming internal environment
  • 44% were also put off by unwelcoming employees.
  • One of the main deterrents for applicants was a bad experience at interview, as 59% of applicants say they have been put off further pursuing a role for this reason.
  • 84% of applicants surveyed say they have had a negative experience at a job interview, with the main complaints being unprepared interviewers (39%), and poor communication or a lack of clarity on the steps involved (38%)
  • 62% of applicants also say they want to meet their direct reports during the interview, but only 13% of employers offer this.

Key Findings of the Report on Retention:

  • 49% employees have left at least one new job within the first 12 months because it didn’t meet expectations set during the application process
  • The key reasons cited by respondents for leaving within the first year were misleading job adverts (42%), training not provided as expected (42 %), mismatched management expectations (34 %) and cultural fit (33 % ).


The Process Itself

Delays throughout the recruitment process are a key issue for many applicants. Over half (57 %) say they are only willing to wait one week after submitting their application before looking elsewhere, and a similar number (58 %) are prepared to wait only 1-3 days after an interview for an offer before considering or accepting another opportunity. A quarter (25 %) had accepted a job verbally, but because of a long wait for a formal written offer, had accepted another job in the meantime.

Simon Winfield, Managing Director, Hays UK & Ireland, commented on the findings: “In today’s intensely competitive market, the challenge isn’t just finding prospective candidates, it’s keeping them engaged throughout the entire application process to the point of hire and beyond. Our findings show that many organisations are letting future talent slip through their fingers as applicants experience frustrations and delays throughout the process, or leave the role early in their employment.

So What’s Your Approach?

Think about your whole approach to Recruitment, and consider how this differs from your customer experience – it needs to be slick, professional, open, transparent and individual, and in particular we recommend that you focus on the following:

  • Simplify the process as much as possible, appropriate to the position being recruited - for example is a lengthy application form really necessary for every position
  • Limit the stages and processes, and so the length of time taken
  • Be open and transparent about the organisation and the job role
  • Remember this is a two way process – it’s as much about potential applicants buying into your organisation and their leader, as it is about selecting the right candidate
  • Manage expectations in terms of next stage – explain the process, deadlines and stick to this
  • Keep the candidate continually updated and informed right through the process, post offer and pre start date – you may want to provide a buddy or mentor to keep new employees engaged before official start date.

And finally, make sure that you handle unsuccessful candidates professionally and appropriately, as even if on this occasion they don’t join as an employee,  they too have a positive experience  of the organisation which they may well share with friends and colleagues.

Need some advice on setting up or improving recruitment in your business, then contact InspiringHR www.inspiringhr.co.uk info@inspiringhr.co.uk.




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