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‘Ghosting’ a candidate is the quickest way to lose credibilty

Technology is Important, But….  Korn Ferry Survey Finds Recruiters and Candidates Agree the Human Element Still Critical to the Hiring Experience

Despite ongoing technology enhancements in the talent acquisition industry, recruiters and candidates agree that an informed, responsive recruiter is critical to creating a positive candidate experience and to finding the best person for the job. That’s according to two new global surveys – one of candidates and one of talent acquisition professionals – by Korn Ferry.

The surveys found that 90 percent of candidates and 80 percent of recruiters say it is either very or extremely important that the candidate like the recruiter with whom they are working.

“Technology has allowed us to make tremendous strides in talent acquisition, such as the use of AI to source the best candidates for a role, but it’s the positive interaction with a recruiter and/or hiring manager that can make or break a candidate experience,” said Jeanne MacDonald, global co-operating executive and president of global talent solutions for Korn Ferry’s RPO and Professional Search business.

When considering what is the top way a recruiter can gain credibility with a candidate, both surveys cite being knowledgeable about the specific job, organisation and industry.

More than half (53 percent) of candidates say that the top way communications break down is when a recruiter “ghosts” them by not calling them back or letting them know where they stand in the hiring process.

“The best philosophy is to treat candidates like customers of the company for which they are applying”, said MacDonald.

“We want every part of the recruiting process to run smoothly, and a big part of that is being responsive and treating each candidate with respect.”

When asked for the top reasons as to why candidates are looking for a new job, recruiters cite a better title/more responsibility as the top reason (20 percent), followed by salary (19 percent) and they are bored/need a new challenge at 16 percent.

When a candidate is trying to decide between two offers, they say the best thing a recruiter can do is discuss why the recruiter’s offer better aligns with their career aspirations (44 percent). Only 5 percent said giving them more money would be the top move for causing them to accept one offer over another.

And when it comes to convincing a candidate to choose their job offer, only half (50 percent) of candidates say the recruiter can convince them to take the job if they are unsure of the position. When asked the same question, recruiters were much more confident, with 83 percent saying they can convince an uncertain candidate to take the job.

About the Survey – The two global Korn Ferry surveys of job candidates and talent acquisition professionals were conducted in the spring of 2019 and garnered responses from 830 candidates and 161 talent acquisition professionals worldwide. Due to rounding, percentages may not equal 100.

Candidate Survey Responses:

Can a recruiter convince you to take a job even if you are unsure about the position?

Yes                                                                                                      50 percent

No                                                                                                       50 percent

In your experience, where do communications fall down most between you and a recruiter?

They “ghost” me by not calling me back,

and not letting me know where I stand                                               53 percent

They don’t tell me enough about what the role entails                       17 percent

They don’t seek to understand what motivates me                           18 percent

I am given conflicting information by different people during

The process                                                                                        12 percent

What is the best thing a recruiter can do if you are trying to decide between two offers?

Offer me more money                                                                        5 percent

Offer work-life balance                                                                       8 percent

Up the benefits off (e.g. vacation, flex time)                                      5 percent

Help me decide which offer is best suited for me                              36 percent

Discuss why their offer better aligns with my career aspirations       44 percent

Do nothing and hope for the best                                                         1 percent

What is the best way a recruiter can gain credibility with you? (No. 1 is the top way a recruiter can gain credibility)

No. 1. Be knowledgeable about the specific job, industry and the organisation

No. 2 Understand my background and what motivates me

No.3  Regularly update me on where I stand during the recruiting process

No. 4 Give me detailed advice on how to thrive during the interview process

No. 5 Be honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation

What is the top way a recruiter can lose credibility with you? (No. 1 is the top way a recruiter can lose credibility)

No. 1 Not knowing much about the company or position for which they are trying to recruit me

No. 2 Not understanding my background and what motivates me

No. 3 Not updating me regularly on where I stand in the recruiting process

No. 4 Not giving enough information on how the recruiting process will unfold

No. 5 Not being honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation

How important is it that you like the recruiter with whom you are working?
Extremely important                                                                           35 percent

Somewhat important                                                                           55 percent

Not important                                                                                      10 percent

Survey of Talent Acquisition Professionals

Where do communications between the recruiter and the candidate fall down the most?

Not clearly articulating what the role entails                                       17 percent

Not understanding the candidate’s motivations                                 13 percent

“Ghosting” the candidate by not communicating where

they stand in the process                                                                    55 percent

Candidate receives conflicting information from different people

during the process                                                                              16 percent

In what part of the recruiting process is a candidate most vulnerable to dropping out?

After initial contact with the recruiter/hiring manager                         36 percent

After taking a written assessment                                                        8 percent

After the interview                                                                               29 percent

After being made an offer                                                                  17 percent

After being hired but before the candidate starts work                      10 percent

What’s the primary way you make initial contact with a candidate?

Email                                                                                                   33 percent

Text                                                                                                       2 percent

Phone call                                                                                           42 percent

AI/chatbot                                                                                               0 percent

Social media such as LinkedIn                                                           23 percent

Grassroots, e.g. networking event                                                       0 percent

How important is it to ask candidates what motivates them (e.g. title, pay, challenges) to determine if they are a good fit for a role?

Extremely important                                                                           60 percent

Very important                                                                                    36 percent

Slightly important                                                                                  4 percent

Not at all important                                                                               0 percent

What are the top factors motivating a candidate to start a job hunt?

Higher salary                                                                                       19 percent

Better title/more responsibility                                                             20 percent

Better work-life balance                                                                      14 percent

Relocation                                                                                              1 percent

Culture doesn’t fit with their values                                                    10 percent

Difficulties with their manager/boss                                                    10 percent

They’re bored and need a new challenge                                          16 percent

They have either lost their job or expect to                                           5 percent

Do you mostly rely on assessment data or your instincts and intuition when recommending a candidate?

Rely on assessment data                                                                   37 percent

Rely on my instincts and intuition about the person                           63 percent

Rank the top ways for a recruiter to gain credibility with a candidate, with one being the top way to gain credibility

No. 1 Be knowledgeable about the specific job, industry and organisation

No. 2 Understand the candidate and their background

No. 3 Regularly update the candidate on where they stand during the recruiting process

No. 4 Give them detailed advice on how to thrive during the interview process

Rank in order the ways a recruiter can lose credibility with a candidate, with one being the top way they can lose credibility

No. 1 Not knowing much about the position or the company for which the candidate is being recruited

No. 2 Not understanding the candidate or their background

No. 3 Not updating the candidate regularly

No. 4 Not giving enough information about how the recruiting process will unfold

No. 5 Not being honest about the negative aspects of the job/organisation

If a strong preferred candidate is considering another offer, how do you react?

Offer them a higher salary                                                                              9 percent

Look for a strong second candidate                                                               7 percent

Up the benefits offer (e.g. vacation, flex time)                                               7 percent

Explain the value of the brand/culture or the organisation                             57 percent

Do something to make them feel special, such as meeting an executive    19 percent

Do nothing and hope for the best                                                                     2 percent

How important is it that a candidate like the recruiter with whom they are working?

Extremely important                                                                                       25 percent

Very important                                                                                                55 percent

Slightly important                                                                                            18 percent

Not important                                                                                                     1 percent

Can a recruiter convince a candidate to take a job even if they are unsure about the position?

Yes                                                                                                                  83 percent

No                                                                                                                   17 percent

 

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