A survey of more than 500 recruitment managers, by psychometric testing firm SHL, has offered findings suggesting that companies are damaging their employer brand and bottom line by engaging in poor recruitment practices

The survey found that around 25% felt overstretched by the number of applications they are receiving during the economic downturn. This is having a knock-on effect on their recruitment processes, with nearly half of the 1,600 workers surveyed reporting they were left with a bad perception of an organisation following an unsuccessful job application.

A further 18% said their recruitment experience had been so bad it had stopped them doing business with the company in the future . This was as high as 28% for those aged 25 to 34.

Recruitment practices most likely to put candidates off a company were not being told they had been unsuccessful (46%) and a lack of feedback (39%).
The professional and legal services industry and the public sector were found to be the worst communicators during recruitment processes.

David Leigh, chief executive of SHL, said it was vital HR remembered that “candidates are customers too”, adding it was “worrying” that many customers were applying for jobs but employers were not answering them. “Businesses could be losing significant sums over the lifetime of a disgruntled candidate.”

The survey also revealed 19% of employers were not notifying candidates on receipt of applications, 17% were not providing detailed feedback to interview candidates, and 15% were not letting candidates know if they were unsuccessful.

Leigh said: “Many businesses are simply not equipped to deal with the current surge in applications and unfortunately this means processes that may once have been standard are now being neglected. This is having a direct impact on employer brand and it appears candidates are voting with their feet.

“A bad recruitment experience is at least as damaging as a bad consumer experience in store,” he added. “It’s about giving those applicants a good experience and managing people so if they are rejected they can still have a pleasurable experience.”