The saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” does not extend to the world of hiring.
In fact, a bad employer reputation can annihilate your chances of finding that superstar candidate that will help your growing business thrive.
And, unfortunately, a bad reputation is really easy to get. You don’t have to make an applicant cry or keep them waiting for three hours in the lobby to incite some hate on Twitter or Glassdoor. Your job candidates will get enraged by (seemingly) smaller things – hiring habits that, in fact, you might be doing every time and don’t even realize are bad form.
But every time you upset a candidate, they’ll let people know. According to CareerArc’s 2016 State of the Candidate Experience, 72 per cent of seekers that had a bad candidate experience told others about it, either online or in-person.
And other job seekers listen. As we’ve mentioned before, according to research by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, 69 per cent of job seekers wouldn’t take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed at the time.
Ready to improve your employer reputation? Here are five interview habits to stop doing.
Habit #1: Being late
The annals of Quora, Glassdoor, and other sites are filled with stories of candidates waiting hours for their scheduled job interview to take place. Many end up walking out. Others stick around, but know they’d never work for a company that would treat candidates this way. All of them took to the internet to rant about it.
If you’re going to be keeping a candidate waiting – even if it’s just 15 minutes – let them know. Apologize for the wait. Do exactly what you’d do if you were keeping a customer or a client waiting. After all, that’s what you’d expect a candidate to do if they were running late, right?
Habit #2: Being mean
You’ve probably been burned by a bad candidate before. You’ve probably given someone the benefit of the doubt, and then had it lead to disaster. You’ve probably been lied to more than once. These are all unfortunate things to happen. But they don’t mean that you can go into each job interview like an angry detective bursting into an interrogation room.
Don’t question a candidate’s credibility. Don’t ask “gotcha” questions to deliberately try to stump them. Don’t act superior, patronizing, or demeaning. No candidate will show their true selves under this kind of treatment.
Instead, come to the interview with well-crafted, genuine questions that will get at who a candidate is – and listen carefully to their answers. That’s all you need to do to sort the bad from the good.
Habit #3: Being vague
As we’ve mentioned before, the most qualified candidates are usually already employed. That means, if you’ve managed to entice them into a job interview with your company, they’ve probably taken time off their current job. They’ve probably spent hours preparing, learning as much as they can about your company, the opportunity, and the industry.
So, if you come into the interview with anything less than clear, concrete information about the role you’re looking to fill, and the next steps in the hiring process, your candidates are going to be disappointed. Vague information about a role is a red flag for any candidate, but it’s also frustrating for them to walk away without a clear picture of what’s happening next. And that frustration can quickly translate into criticism on social media, to peers, and on employer review sites.
Habit #4: Asking inappropriate questions
Before you wave this habit off as “not applicable to you,” give it some thought. Have you ever asked an applicant if they have a family? Have you ever asked a candidate when they graduated? Have you ever asked about their native language, nationality, physical limitations, or marital status?
Many of these questions might seem harmless, but they all fall into the category of inappropriate – and many are considered discriminatory, and, in turn, illegal.
Habit #5: Ghosting
There’s one thing that job seekers – all job seekers – hate about the search: the silence.
Here’s the thing: you might not remember every job applicant that comes through your office. But they remember you and your organization. They remember when they do one, two, three, or more interviews with your team, and don’t ever hear back. And they’ll tell other people about it. And those other people will think twice before applying to your company.
Don’t ever leave a candidate hanging. They will be grateful for any feedback, and you will come across as professional and courteous. If you do otherwise, you risk damaging your brand reputation.