The Lies That Will Ruin Your Candidate Experience

July 26, 2017 Guest Contributor

There’s no denying the struggle is real when it comes to finding great talent. Companies are putting more and more effort into how they find, attract and hire the employees they need. They do the best they can to create the perfect employer brand that job seekers just can’t resist. There’s just one problem: Job seekers now do copious amounts of research before they even think about working for a company.

Consider this: CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study found that 60 percent of employers don’t monitor their employer presence/brand on social media. This may make it easier for candidates to find skeletons in your closet.

They can sniff out things like poor management, a less-than-stellar company culture and an outdated benefits package on social media before the interview. And the more you try to downplay the negative parts of your organization, the worse it’ll be when they discover the truth.

It’s better to be open and honest from the beginning instead of trying to hide the information. Because, if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that job seekers will always figure out these dirty little company secrets.

High Turnover
Unfortunately, for organizations with high turnover, unhappy employees often vent their frustrations on social media, making it easy for candidates to find out how many people have left — or want to leave — the company.

Poor employee retention is a red flag for job seekers. If they see employees running from your company, it tells them there are issues in the workplace. Instead of letting their minds imagine the absolute worst about your company, get ahead of the situation.

Be honest about why so many employees have left recently. For example, maybe you’ve had a string of hires that turned out to be bad cultural fits. Let them know you’re aware of the issue and, more importantly, let them know what you’re doing to fix it. Tell them the plan that is in place and how you’re progressing so they are assured that the situation is improving, not getting worse.

Less-Than-Competitive Salaries
It’d be wonderful if we could pay every great candidate who comes our way exactly what they want. But, that’s not always possible. To hide the fact that their salaries are less than average, many organizations avoid the subject altogether during the hiring process. They give vague ranges of what the salary might be, and candidates quickly begin to suspect the offer they’ll receive might not be anything to write home about.

Yet, here’s what’s interesting. CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study found that 77 percent of candidates will accept a lower salary after a positive hiring experience, and a 2016 Payscale report found that 82 percent of employees would actually be happy with a lower-than-average salary as long as they were given the reasons why. That’s how much employees value salary transparency.

Have clear criteria for how pay is determined, and be open and honest about that with candidates. Explain why certain skills are given higher salaries than others so they know you’re not just low-balling them because you don’t see what they’re worth. You might be surprised how much they will value your honesty.

Lack of Career Advancement
Understandably, candidates’ professional future is important to them. According to CareerBuilder research, more than 1 in 5 workers (22 percent) plan to change jobs in 2017. If a worker isn’t finding advancement opportunities at their current company, they may seek out other opportunities that can help them grow.

If the employees in your company feel like there’s no room for them to move up, that’s a topic for a different time. When it comes to job seekers, however, the best thing to do is to begin a discussion about their future possibilities during the hiring process. Talk with them about their professional goals and let them know if and how they can accomplish them with the company.

Bad Leadership and Company Image
Employer review sites make it easier than ever for job seekers to discover the truth about a company’s leadership. If you’ve been plagued by bad employer reviews online, don’t act like they don’t exist during the hiring process. In fact, give job seekers the chance to meet and spend time with prospective managers so they can form their own opinions on whether or not the management style will be right for them.

What’s more, if your company has experienced negative publicity, it could be hurting your chances of finding the best candidates. According to a recent CareerBuilder study, 71 percent of U.S. workers would not apply to a company experiencing negative press. Rosemary Haefner, CHRO of CareerBuilder, says that employers who take an active proactive approach to issues or complaints will have a better chance of securing trust and loyalty and maintaining a positive reputation that can strengthen their recruitment and retention strategies. 

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

 Learn more about how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Behavior Study.

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