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Ideas to curb bad candidate experience, including a free tool

Your hiring efforts should monitor job applicant resentment, which happens when candidates feel spurned by a company's recruitment process. Here's how to do just that.

Applicant resentment in HR is not discussed often, but a bad candidate experience can cost companies future hires -- and customers.

"The employee experience and the candidate experience are completely linked," said Kevin Grossman, president and board member of Talent Board, a nonprofit organization that promotes ways to improve the candidate experience.

It's hard to pinpoint what a bad candidate experience entails; however, it's more than a potential hire feeling dismayed about not getting a job offer. HireRight, which performs employee background checks, defines candidate resentment in its website glossary as applicants so fed up with the recruitment process, "they give up all interest in working for that company."

Kevin Grossman, president of Talent Board, offers advice to companies to avoid a bad candidate experience for job applicantsKevin Grossman

Resentment can also stem from a job candidate being turned down for a position poorly as opposed to being turned down well, according to a 2015 blog from the Society of Human Resource Management. For example, candidates might resent not receiving a job offer if they felt they didn't get a chance to explain their skills to a hiring manager, the blog noted.

Bad candidate experience can be costly

If candidates view a company poorly after applying and interviewing for a job, they will likely tell their friends or colleagues about the negative experience. That kind of a reaction can hurt an HR department when recruiting future talent, and it can potentially result in lost customers, said Grossman, who made the comments during a session at the 2018 HR Technology Conference.

The employee experience and the candidate experience are completely linked.
Kevin Grossmanpresident, Talent Board

The Talent Board offers a free online tool to show, in dollars, how candidate resentment can affect a company's bottom line.

"It spits out what the potential cost to the organization is," Grossman said. "Even if you're a B2B company [that doesn't service consumers], it gives food for thought."

Automation keeps applicants happier

Some technology-based ideas that Grossman suggested to curb a bad candidate experience include the following:

  • Automate the process for scheduling job interviews so that candidates can see times available and choose what works best for them.
  • Use HR chatbots on career sites to establish early communication with potential job applicants.
  • Encourage recruiters to text candidates who may prefer to keep in touch that way.
  • Review online job portals to determine how much time candidates spend applying for a position. Aim for a job application process that takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Also, a candidate's next steps after submitting a job application can be automated with software, which lets applicants know what to expect in the future, Grossman said.

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