Why Poor Candidate Engagement Can Damage Your Company Brand

By Charlie Knight |

When you’re interviewing candidates for jobs, it’s easy to put all your focus on the person who you might hire. Or, even just the candidates who you believe will be successful through the interview process. It almost makes sense because these are the people who are most likely to end up working for you. However, there are certain issues with not maintaining candidate engagement. For the candidate, you can cause them to lose hope that they will ever get a job in the industry. You may cause them to wonder what they did wrong. Or, what they lacked that made you dismiss them completely. As most headhunters will tell you, sometimes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the CV or the candidate. They just get passed over because they are not quite as good as the rest. This doesn’t mean they should make any changes to their CV or interview technique, but many do because they did not receive any feedback.

If you think the problems with poor engagement relate only to the candidate, you would be wrong. Not maintaining engagement with candidates for a position could ultimately damage the business reputation. If this occurs, your business will be in a weaker position on the market and the industry. Let’s look at some of the ways not engaging with potential employees could damage your brand.

1) Word Of Mouth

Arguably, this is the biggest danger when you don’t engage with potential candidates. If you don’t pick up the phone or even send an automated email, the potential candidate might be annoyed. If they are a graduate, they may have a large number of friends who are seeking the same type of job in the industry. They may then tell other graduates, that you showed them very little respect by not contacting them or replying at all. Typically, employers often claim they have no time to reply to candidates who are not successful.

Again, they are concentrating on candidates who reached the interview stage. Or, who reached the second round of interviews. At the CV stage, you will probably receive very little poor word of mouth if you do not respond to every CV. Many candidates do not expect to receive a response if they do not get the job at this stage. They have been warned that this is often how the industry works. However, if you ignore a candidate at the interview stage, you may receive backlash. The potential employee may wait several weeks for a response. If they do not receive one, they might contact the company directly. This means that you are not saving any time because, at some point, someone will have to talk to them. At this point, they may again lash out on your company, telling their story to anyone who will listen.

2) Competitors Might Hear Of Your Failure

Due to a few disgruntled candidates, your direct competitors might hear of your failure to communicate. At this point, they could use it against you. They may make a promise to candidates when they apply for a job that they will receive a response. Often, this promise or guarantee is reassuring to candidates. It is the uncertainty that makes the situation worse. If they know they are going to get a response, they might be more interested in applying for jobs from this company. Ultimately, this could mean that you lose a lot of noteworthy candidates. Not because you decided to dismiss them, but rather because they never bothered to apply.

You should remember that replying to candidates who were not successful is about respect. If you contact them, you are showing these candidates that you do respect them. That’s an important message that you want to convey about your company. You want to show the world that you do respect the people who may end up working for you. If you do not do this, it will slowly damage your brand and your reputation.

3) You May Have Given False Hope

In many cases, candidates may feel that they had been given a hint the job was theirs to lose. Often, interviewers will say things like “I can’t think of a reason not to hire you.” Or, “you would make a great addition to our team.” Employers know this doesn’t mean the candidate has been chosen, but the interviewee doesn’t. This is usually because employers have become excited after finally finding a candidate that fits the bill. However, they might find a better candidate further through the interviewing process. At that point, someone who thought they were sure to be hired is passed over. This isn’t a big problem, if they at least receive a phone call, explaining why. If they receive no word at all, they may feel as though they were given false hope. At that point, you have another negative idea attached to your business brand. Your business is now a company that potential employees may not trust.

4) A Build In Experience

Business owners should be aware that a large part of having a successful brand is having the right employees working for the company. They know that the employees are who customers are going to see on a regular basis. They understand that the people working for them are the ones who build up the brand image and make it strong.

Business owners may also be aware of one of the key reasons why otherwise brilliant candidates are passed over. Typically, it’s a simple lack of experience. The paradox here, of course, is that to gain experience, candidates need to be given a shot in the industry. If you don’t grant this chance, there’s a good possibility that someone else will. After a few years, that employee may be back on the job market with fresh experience under their belt. As luck would have it, you have a position open that you need to be filled by a candidate with a lot of years in the industry.

In this situation, the interview process is often reversed. Rather than the candidate explaining why they should get the job, the employer is left in a position, explaining why they should take it.

If you engaged with the candidate after they were dismissed by your company the first time, they might accept your offer. If you didn’t, they are more likely to look for a company that showed them respect.

5) Candidates May Be Customers

This is one of the most important factors that employers often forget. When you’re dealing with job candidates, you may also be dealing with customers. In fact, it's likely that you will be. Employees often apply for jobs with businesses that they already know. This may be because they use them in their social lives or on a more personal basis. It might also be because they have heard of them and have thought about using the offered services. Thus, they way you treat a potential employee is the way you are treating a customer. If you treat them poorly, you are damaging both your employee brand and your customer brand.

The damage to the employee brand will make it more difficult to build a strong workforce. The damage to the customer brand will mean you are losing profit. Every time you don’t respond, you might be losing someone who may have bought your services.

This issue is only made worse by the huge impact social media has on businesses these days. Any negative information about your business is sure to spread fast across social networks.

Your interview is a window into your business and the people who work there, so it is crucial to ensure the interviewee is given a good impression of you and your business. Learn how to create a great interview environment.

Source: Vine 2

Charlie Knight

Written by Charlie Knight

Charlie has 3 years experience in digital marketing, helping B2B technology companies grow their businesses through inbound marketing before joining Vine Resources as Content Marketing Manager. In his spare time, Charlie enjoys travelling and the great outdoors, and he recently hiked from Mexico to Canada for charity.

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