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Employer Branding, Research

Do we care about the candidate?

There’s been a lot of increasing chatter about the candidate experience lately. Like it matters. Surely it’s not the least bit important when considering employers and recruitment consultants have their pick of candidates with so many of them around? What really matters is sorting the wheat from the chaff and pulling through the ones who have decent credentials, interview sensibly and make a reasonable fist of the job once they’re through the door. The recruitment consultants get paid, the vacancy is filled and we all move on. The ones who didn’t get a job will keeping trying and eventually something will stick.

Or so it would seem that’s the attitude that prevails in some quarters. There are many people looking for jobs who are out of work and there are also a large number of people in jobs who will be looking to move as soon as the economy picks up. There is a workforce on the move and every one of these people will be influenced and have their views shaped towards future employers on the experiences they are going to experience as a candidate.

A recent survey by SkilledPeople.com showed that 87% felt badly disposed towards companies that treated them badly. The survey was reflective of older workers – described as being over 50 – who complained of little or no acknowledgement of applications and 1 in 5 saying it would influence whether or not they would buy the company’s product.

The over 50s are one example of a demographic that will be highlighted in the focus on the applicant experience. Which bring us onto the issue around diversity for people applying for jobs. This is clearly a big topic in itself, but close scrutiny should be paid to the way recruiters conduct themselves in regard to this. As well as the focus on age, gender and race discrimination employers also need to look at those with disabilities – not just the physical – but those who have other verbal and communication challenges. Autism is one aspect of this broad spectrum where people are facing prejudice and misunderstanding in their own challenge to find paid for work.

We cannot forget that the work that people do and the impact it has on their lives and the lives of those around them is is tremendously important. This starts when we apply for a job. The hope, the expectation, the satisfaction it can bring and the financial security it offers. Those in recruitment have a responsibility to manage this – not just for the sensible approach to managing the organisation’s reputation, but also out of respect for the person who is applying for a job.

So when it comes to the candidate, we should care.We should care very much.

At TruLondon on the 18-19th Feb I’ll be running a Track with Michelle Fisher of Creative-Leadership, Sarah White Chief Strategy Officer at HRMDirect Talent Management Software and blogger of ImSoCorporate and Jon Ingham who provides HR Consultancy to a range of clients. We’ll be discussing the topic of employer branding and how this is viewed by organisations across the candidate and employee lifecycle.

About Nick Price

Employer branding and communications, insight and engagement, talent attraction and HR analytics


One thought on “Do we care about the candidate?

  1. What a great post!

    Whether we are in the midst of an economic downturn or in growth mode we do need to care about the candidate. It is short sighted (not to mention unkind) not to.

    Older workers are accustomed to the courtesy of replies to inquiries. The *modern* way of recruiting is anonymous and blind. The modern way also reduces the depth of communication and in essence lowers the the expectations of younger job seekers as well. Can anything good come from this approach?

    Posted by Caleb Stewart | March 19, 2010, 7:52 pm

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