How to turn rejected candidates into customers

Smart recruitment functions are realising the importance of providing a great candidate experience, and are going further by thanking candidates for their interest and even welcoming them as customers by offering vouchers to use their products or services at discounted rates.

“It’s no surprise to see marketing working with HR on many recruitment projects,” said Sean Howard, Talent Q managing director – international.

“Organisations are realising the importance of giving a great candidate experience because in the current environment, and are being swamped with applications for all levels of role,” he said.

“This means that recruiters are doing a lot more rejecting than accepting, and many of these unsuccessful applicants could well be current or potential customers. So the challenge is to ensure that rejected applicants still feel positive towards the organisation after applying.”

Howard also said organisations could do a better job of engaging candidates via their websites’ careers pages, and use a number of techniques to ensure a better culture fit with potential employees.

“Offering a realistic job preview as an engaging quiz using animation or graphics is a great way of giving people real insight”

“It’s essential to give browsers (prospective applicants) a really good insight into what the job and company is really like,” said Howard, who explained that this needs to be realistic and include job content business values and culture, and not omit the ‘bad’ stuff’ as “they will find out soon enough.

“Offering a realistic job preview as an engaging quiz using animation or graphics is a great way of giving people real insight.”

The quiz should then give the preferred right answers as this can reassure people that the job is worth them applying for, or help them to decide not to waste time applying but still remain positive about the organisation.

In research conducted by Talent Q during 2013 (which took in 102 organisations that recruit at least 200 plus front line staff) 37 per cent of companies admitted to knowingly recruiting the wrong people in a desperate attempt to fill vacancies.

A further 48 per cent of respondents claimed that staff are leaving positions because their expectations of the job are not matched by the reality of the job, while 62 per cent say that finding the right talent remains the biggest challenge.

4 common recruitment pitfalls

  1. Long assessment processes and non-engaging websites
  2. Not using objective assessment tools
  3. Recruiting the wrong people knowingly
  4. Eliminating great people on the wrong grounds (eg, no experience when they may have potential or educational qualifications)