CandE Companies Do Better, But Most Candidates Still Hear Nothing

Feb 20, 2013
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Bad cand experience CareerBuilder survey 2013Hard on the heels of the release of the Candidate Experience Awards Report comes word from CareerBuilder that the vast majority of candidates who apply for a job never hear a word after submitting their resume.

Surveying 3,991 employed, full-time workers, CareerBuilder found 75% of those who applied for a job never heard from the company. So common is that silence that only 82% of the candidates actually expect to hear something, even just a perfunctory, “Got your application.”

Contrast that with the experience of the thousands of candidates surveyed as part of the CandE awards research. Almost 78% reported getting an acknowledgement after submitting an application. And more than half of the applicants to the 90 companies taking part in the evaluation said they got a note describing the next steps in the process.

While even among the 37 winning companies the process wasn’t without its issues, overall 53% of the candidates would apply again. A majority are willing to tell their friends about their experience; some are willing to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or elsewhere.

CareerBuilder’s survey not only confirmed that candidates spread the word, 22% would tell others not to work there if they were unhappy with the way their application was handled. Forty-two percent would never apply to that company again.

“From the second job seekers are viewing your job ad and applying to your company, they are forming an opinion of who are you as an employer and as a business,” said CareerBuilder’s Senior Director of Talent Intelligence, Sanja Licina.  “One bad applicant experience can have a ripple effect with candidates not only vocalizing their dissatisfaction with how they were treated, but encouraging others not to apply or even buy products from that company.”

How many have a bad experience? Just over a quarter; 26% reported “a lack of follow through, inconsistencies from the employer or poor representation of the company’s brand as the primary culprits,” says the survey report. The biggest cause of a bad experience — cited by 60% — was not letting a candidate who was interviewed know the decision. Next, said 43%, was discovering during the interview that the actual job didn’t match the job posting.

In a separate bit of research, CareerBuilder did its own review of the candidate experience. CareerBuilder said it “tracked the opinions of more than 1 million job candidates who applied for positions in more than 1,000 companies.  The study was created to identify best-of-breed practices in engaging and interacting with job candidates and enable other companies to see how their own programs stack up.

“Companies were evaluated based on timeliness of response to applications and follow through, candidate’s assessment of how knowledgeable the company’s recruiters are and how well they represented their company brand, whether candidates would recommend the company or apply again, and other factors.”

Shell Oil Company, MB Financial Bank, Pinstripe, and Baptist Memorial Health Care won kudos from the company “for their excellence in providing a consistently exceptional candidate experience across their organizations.” More details are in the survey announcement here.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.