Most small businesses know they have to invest in touchpoints like their social media accounts, website and offline events. Yet, when it comes to the recruitment process, it seems some of those sound marketing principles can fall by the wayside. When someone applies for a job, it’s important to remember they’re not just a potential candidate – they’re also a potential customer.
According to new research from Ph.Attraction, the recruitment marketing agency, having a bad experience as a jobseeker can leave a bad aftertaste. After polling 1,200 workers, the company found that nearly one in four British jobseekers have either stopped buying from a brand or bought less after a bad recruitment experience. And 22% of British workers believe how they’re treated as a candidate reveals more about a brand than their experience as a customer. However getting it right could have positive effect: 29% of respondents say would consider buying from a brand after a good experience as a candidate.
The way candidates get treated doesn’t just affect brand loyalty – it may also affect business’s bottom lines. Ph.Attraction reveals that after a bad recruitment experience with Virgin Media, some 500 candidates cancelled their subscriptions, costing the company roughly £4.4m in lost revenue. To put that in context, that was almost as much as it’s entire HR budget at the time.
However, despite the evidence pointing to the importance of treating candidates well, there still appears to be a disconnect between HR and marketing teams. A quarter of in-house recruiters still believe their role has “little impact on their brands’ wider customer reputation”.
Commenting on the findings, Bryan Adams, CEO and founder of Ph.Attraction, said: “Companies spend billions on customer-centric marketing campaigns and websites but for some reason the candidate always seems to be forgotten. Our research into the state of candidate experience in the UK reveals that jobseekers are not happy or comfortable with the application process. It’s vital that companies understand the risk to brand image, reputation and the bottom line.”
While it may be a struggle for small teams to respond to every application with detailed feedback, perhaps it’s time recruitment was seen as a branding and engagement opportunity in its own right.