Yellow small sticky note on an office cork bulletin board


Candidates aren’t too thrilled with the hiring process nowadays. Let’s look at a few stats, shall we?



  • According to a Talent Q study, just 45 percent of college graduates reported being satisfied with their recruitment experience, while 11 percent claimed their experiences were “so negative that they would be unlikely to use the prospective employer’s products or services in the future.”
  • A survey showed that 47 percent of job candidates said they had not applied to a particular company because the firm’s hiring process was so frustrating. Another 44 percent were driven away by vague job descriptions and one-third of respondents skipped out on a potential employer because “it was simply too difficult to find company information.”
  • CareerBuilder’s Applicant Experience study revealed that more than half (56%) of employers who recruited new employees over the past year had a candidate reject their job offer—most often due to a negative candidate experience when they applied for the job.

And one of the main issues that negatively affect a job seeker’s experience during a company’s hiring process is…silence, i.e. no call backs or acknowledgment. Job seekers (me included) cannot stand when 1) a company assures him or her it will call the individual back and never does and/or 2) never acknowledges receipt of an applicant’s resume or application. And believe me folks, this is an all too-common occurrence.

A CareerBuilder survey discovered that a whopping 75 percent of candidates reported that “they never heard back from the employer.” Seventy-five percent?

And you may think, No big deal. But it’s actually a pretty big deal—one that can harm your employer brand, reputation and your company attracting top talent. The same study also showed that 42 percent of applicants who had a negative experience would never seek employment at the company again while 22 percent would tell others not to work there. And as we’re all aware, word of mouth is everything when it comes to employee referrals and securing talent.

An ADP study revealed that 74 percent of job seekers would tell others if they had been subjected to a poor recruitment experience, and I’ve seen firsthand how this can negatively impact a company. For example:

Lisa applied for an editorial assistant position at a small publishing company. The company contacted her and asked her availability for an interview. Excited, Lisa immediately sent her availability, yet she never heard back from the company. Months later her friend explained how a small publishing company had contacted him for an interview, yet he also had a scheduled interview with another business. Learning that he’d been contacted by the same company that stood up Lisa, she discouraged him from moving forward. Her friend now works at the other business.

A company contacted Michael and scheduled an over-the-phone interview with him for Tuesday at 1pm. Tuesday (and 1pm) came and went, but 1) the employer never called and 2) no one answered the phone at the company. The next day the HR person apologized to Michael saying he’d gotten busy. Michael refused to move forward in the hiring process.

Although names have been changed, both stories are about recent college grads and both are true. Both people also let their disappointments be known on Glassdoor reviews. Others can (and probably do) research these companies and discover negative reviews and complaints, which are never flattering when trying to secure top talent. And all this because they didn’t receive callbacks (even more frustrating because they were assured they would).

Employers, it’s pretty simple: You’re losing job candidates because you’re failing to reach out to and follow up with applicants. This lack of response is one of the main factors of why candidates are leaving your company to work for another place.

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