A new study reveals that nearly one in four British jobseekers sever ties with brands following a bad interview process. Is this cancelling out the proven positive impact of investing in customer experience?
Nearly one in four British jobseekers have either purchased less or entirely stopped purchasing products and services from brands following a negative candidate experience.
Roughly the same percentage of in-house recruiters seem unaware of this, according to research from recruitment digital marketing agency Ph.Attraction.
These in-house recruiters still believe their role has little impact on their brands’ wider customer reputation, but Ph.Attraction’s study suggests the brands have more to think about when it comes to branding: potential recruits are customers, too.
The agency recently worked with Virgin Media, where it discovered that poor candidate experience can cost individual British businesses millions in lost revenue.
“Companies spend billions on customer-centric marketing campaigns and websites, but for some reason the candidate always seems to be forgotten,” Bryan Adams, Ph.Attraction’s CEO and founder said.
In 2014, more than 130,000 candidates applied to work at Virgin Media. Ph.Attraction found that 18 per cent of these applicants were existing Virgin Media customers.
As a direct result of poor candidate experience, more than 7,500 candidates cancelled their subscriptions and switched to competitors.
Those 7,500 customers – on various subscription packages – equated to roughly £4.4 million in lost revenue, or nearly the entire sum of Virgin Media’s HR budget.
Ph.Attraction has since worked with Virgin to turn this loss into a profit by redesigning its careers website and improving its candidate experience.
“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,” Adams explained.
This survey was a follow-up study, taking into account responses from 1,200 British-based workers on their most recent candidate experience.
Over 75 per cent of workers aged 16 to 24 said they had applied for a job at a company where they were an existing customer, and nearly a third of all candidates would consider becoming a customer of a brand if they had a positive candidate experience.
Most notably for growing brands, 22 per cent of the respondents believe a company’s candidate experience is more revealing about brand culture than its customer experience.
The popularity of Glassdoor.com as a gateway into company culture and ethics underscores this.
For SMEs looking to build their market reputation, this study is a sobering reality check that brands have a responsibility to customers and potential employees.