Businesses that fail to apply their brand values to the interview process stand to lose out on top talent and revenue, according to global research released today by Alexander Mann Solutions, the provider of world-class talent and resourcing capability.

The research, which examined the opinions of consumers across the UK, US and China, saw more than half (52 per cent) of respondents admit that a negative interview experience would have an impact on their willingness to buy products or services from that organisation in the future, presenting a major bottom-line threat to businesses.
UK respondents were particularly sensitive to a bad interview experience with 58 per cent saying that a poor or negative interview experience would either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ have a damaging effect on future buying decisions.

A bad interview experience is also unlikely to stop with the candidate. 77 per cent of respondents across all regions said they would be likely to share the experience within either their personal or professional network, rising to 87 per cent in the UK.

The research shows that a bad interview experience can have a serious and lasting impact on a candidate’s perception of that brand, which they are more than happy to share.
The saying that ‘bad news travels fast’ has never been more true and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook provide a platform for the disgruntled few to reach millions of people in a matter of seconds.

“Companies need to give people a consistent brand experience to ensure they don’t put off potential customers by failing them in the recruitment process. Customers are potential candidates and candidates are potential customers and as the saying goes; the customer is king.” says Rosaleen Blair, chief executive of Alexander Mann Solutions.

“Companies invest millions of pounds in their brand, making it one of their biggest assets. However, many businesses overlook the importance of putting equal time and financial investment into their employer brand, which ultimately weakens the overall brand. To protect their investment, businesses must clearly define their brand values and ensure that they are consistently applied across all locations, channels and stages of the recruitment process. Otherwise they risk losing out both on potential talent and revenue – neither of which is an option in the current economic environment.”

While social media can pose a clear threat to a business’s brand, it is also an opportunity. Many HR decision makers have historically been hesitant over using social media to interact with a candidate and validate their behaviour but AMS’s research shows that many candidates now welcome the opportunity.

Sixty-one per cent of UK candidates said that it would not make any difference if a potential employer checked their social networking profiles as part of the application process and 20 per cent said that it would have a positive impact on their view of that employer, compared to just 16 per cent who said it would have a negative impact on their view of that company. Chinese respondents were particularly open to this form of interaction with 38 per cent saying it would have a positive impact on their view of that company.

Blair continues: “Interacting with candidates on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets gives recruiters and employers the chance to provide candidates with a more profound, engaging experience. It also gives candidates the opportunity to show off their potential beyond their CV. Many brands have been slow to embrace these channels but these findings should open the doors for them to be confident in their online interactions and take the candidate experience beyond a one-off interview to a longer, more rewarding relationship.”