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5 Recruitment Mistakes That Candidates Hate

Rewrite the candidate experience playbook with these 5 tips. 

Includes a bonus video containing additional tips.

Attracting and wooing top talent should receive as much (arguably more) attention and resources as we lavish on our customers.

But candidates report quite a different experience and it can have dramatic consequences. In fact Korn Ferry research has shown,

  • 81% of candidates are unlikely to accept a job offer, if they weren’t impressed by a company’s recruitment strategy
  • less than 19% would remain a customer of a company if they had a bad experience as a candidate
  • 48% would actually be likely to urge their friends and family members to stop being a customer
  • 25% would consider taking to social media to share their bad experience as a candidate applying for a job.

Here’s 5 common recruitment experiences that candidates hate. Rewrite the candidate experience playbook to keep talent warm and engaged during your recruitment process so when you’re ready to offer, the best candidate is ready to accept.

1. The Silent Treatment

What candidates hate – when they submit their application but either don’t hear back from the recruiter or it takes months to be notified of their application status.

Time is money, recruiters!

Playbook Tip#1 – Improve Candidate Communicate

Respond to every candidate. Even advising applicants that “Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted” is in my view unacceptable. No exceptions.

No excuses, job boards have the ability to generate group emails to save you time. Generate the following email templates to save even more time.

  • Thanks for your application
  • Rejection email, didn’t make it to interview
  • Rejection email, unsuccessful after interview

Here’s a template from the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman to notify applicants who are unsuitable, to get you started.

Download this bonus video containing more tips to engage candidates during the recruitment process.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus

2. Is This Really An Interview?

What candidate’s hate – an interview where the interviewers dominate talking time or the interview unexpectedly finishes, or where the interviewer makes its obvious they’re really not into you.

Playbook Tip#2 – Better Candidate Screening 

This will increase your chances of shortlisting more qualified and suitable candidates for interview. Making the interview process more productive for you and candidates.

See our article and companion video on the most effective way to screen candidates.

Download this bonus video containing more tips to engage candidates during the recruitment process.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus

3. We Know We Shouldn’t Ask This But….

Candidate hate- Yes, you shouldn’t ask, so don’t!

Playbook Tip#3 – Be Interviewed Prepared

Not only do such personal questions make candidates feel uncomfortable and damage your reputation (there are countless examples of inappropriate interview questions plastered over the internet) they’re also illegal.

Be interview prepared. The less prepared the more interviewers are likely to ‘wing it’. Have interviewers have their list of prepared questions, an answer guide along with a scoring sheet. This will focus the interviewer on the process and prevent ad libbing. See our article on structured interviewing to get you interview prepared.

Download this bonus video containing more tips to engage candidates during the recruitment process.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus

4. Unreasonable Requests

Candidate hate- when the job offer becomes contingent on ‘specific’ requests, which are unreasonable.

Playbook Tip#4- Seek Candidate Feedback

If you feel this is a potential issue, ask candidates “did anything about the interview make you feel uncomfortable?”. They’ll think more of you as a company and you’ll get some valuable insights. Send out surveys randomly or after every interview. Letting hiring teams know could be enough stamp out the problem.

Download this bonus video containing more tips to engage candidates during the recruitment process.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus

5. You Tell Us, But We Can’t Tell You

What candidates hate- when candidate questions are requested but not welcomed

“they asked me what I was currently getting paid and what my desired salary was…..they said that my desired pay was too high…., even though I would have excepted less …..I then asked what salary they were offering, the interviewer replied saying “we do not disclose that information”, acting insulted like I had just asked a rude question. I thought it was pretty sneaky and hypocritical that they wanted me to tell them what I was being paid but wouldn’t tell me what they were offering.” Source Reddit.

The evaluation process is a two way street, you’re getting to know the candidate and they’re getting to know you. Holding back on information requested by candidates impedes their ability to understand  how well matched they are to your company. This leads to costly hiring mistakes.

Playbook Tip #5 – Be Open and Provide Information Candidates Need to Make a Smart Decision

Be open and provide information and materials to candidates to help them understand more about the role and your company.

Be prepared with answers to candidates commonly asked questions, such as your company values, culture, vision and employee benefits.

Be willing to answer candidate questions. Whilst you mightn’t be able to give precise answers about commercially sensitive issues, provide more aggregated data eg “Whilst we’d prefer not to disclose the exact value of customer segment X, we can say it’s our largest segment by value and fastest growing one”

Be honest, if you can’t answer immediately get back to candidates. Do this as soon as you can

Apply these 5 tips to rewrite your candidate experience playbook and keep candidates not only interested in your vacancy, but attract top talent and more critically stop them destroying your company reputation. This candidate comment sums it up,

“I wrote them back a really long email to the recruiter saying that the dude never showed up, twice, [to interview] and if this was the way the company values the time of their candidates, I’ll be happy to tell anyone to avoid applying to them……” Source Reddit.

Download this bonus video containing more tips to engage candidates during the recruitment process.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus
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More Ways to Improve Candidate Experience More Easily

10 automated ways to attract and retain candidates during the hiring process

Yvonne Bowyer

Yvonne Bowyer is CEO and Co-Founder of the Start Up RemiPeople, Recruiting and Diversity software to fix recruitment. Now in her third career, first as a Dietitian, then in various Executive Leadership positions and now launching her first Start Up. Passionate about driving business performance through diversity and trying ever so hard to balance career and motherhood.

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