Engagement counts, even for candidates you reject

Even a rejection can be handled gracefully to leave applicants feeling better about the company.

Even a rejection can be handled gracefully to leave applicants feeling better about the company.

Companies and candidates may not see eye-to-eye when it comes to the most crucial aspects of the recruitment process. Recently, a CareerBuilder survey of more than 5,000 respondents found that most candidates tend to rate the interview as the most important part of hiring.

While this is certainly an important area, it's not the entire picture, and businesses may need a special HR system to guide them towards aspects of human capital recruitment they are neglecting. This includes the way they treat the candidates they don't hire.

Among other things, the survey revealed interesting statistics from both the applicant and employer side of the interview. Nearly three-quarters of employers granted an in-person interview to more than half of their applicants, and more than 30 percent of employers "don't think they need to respond to everyone." 

Turning down someone the right way could still leave them a "fan" of your company.Turning down someone the right way could still leave them a "fan" of your company.

In contrast, several different statistical findings show that the way a candidate is treated by a company while seeking a position with them impacts what they think about that business in general. Almost 70 percent of candidates "say they are more likely to buy from a company who treated them with respect during the application process."

CareerBuilder CHRO Rosemary Haefner told SHRM that businesses should put more thought into how they are being judged by their prospective employees.

"Three-fourths of candidates are willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process," she said. "As disappointed as they will be, candidates would rather hear bad news than be strung along in hopes they will hear back," she added. 

Both personnel and technology may need to be updated to match a company's intentions if they want to be more candidate-friendly. HR consulting solutions offer help in assessing possible systems vendors and matching them to the most pressing HR problems.