Leading online jobs website Search.co.uk says the online recruitment procedures of many organisations are failing to treat job applicants with enough respect.
“A group of Scottish job seekers told me recently that they don't expect a response any more when they apply for positions advertised on most job advertising websites and most of their past applications weren’t even acknowledged. In fact, on average only 1 in 5 of recent online job applications resulted in any type of response.
That is a pretty sad indictment of those employer advertisers and their attitude to applicants. There is no excuse for not acknowledging job applications and keeping applicants informed at the key stages of the recruitment process,” says Peter Gillespie, Managing Director of Search.co.uk .
”With all the recent discussion about employer branding, it makes even less sense to create a group of disaffected applicants with a poor impression of your process and your regard for their effort in applying to them. People place more value on what employers do rather than what they say, and so ultimately employers get the reputation they deserve.”
“There’s no excuse as current online response management tools mean it can be as easy as clicking a button for an employer to acknowledge and respond appropriately to an application. So, why don’t more employers do it?
We've built openness, ease of use and transparency into all our own online response management processes for advertisers on Search.co.uk. To do otherwise is unfair on job seekers and reflects badly on the employers.”
Gillespie says that most organisations will tell you that their employees are their most important asset. If that's the case, shouldn’t they be treated accordingly right from the very start?
“Job descriptions in many advertisements are also poorly worded. This leads both to applications from people who are not appropriate for vacancies and to well-qualified candidates deciding not to apply because they don't understand the job requirements,” says Gillespie.
He recognises that some of the problems arise from the current strain on HR departments which are often being squeezed at the same time as they have additional pressure arising from cutbacks in other areas of the business. Bad recruitment procedures, however, can only add to the strain on an organisation.
In the current economic climate 'running lean' is the secret of success. That means every employee and, therefore, every new recruit has to have not just the capability and skills but the motivation to maximise their performance within the organisation.
Recruitment processes should focus on more than just simple selection. They should be seen as a way to communicate with candidates.
Every job applicant should know:
* Any information they provide is kept secure and confidential.
* What will happen next in the recruitment process.
* When they will learn the outcome.
* What the outcome is.
Search.co.uk has these steps built in to their online service for advertisers so every job seeker can be saved, initially assessed, acknowledged and responded to with a couple of ‘clicks’. There is no reason why other organisations should not offer the same, Gillespie explains.
“Quite apart from any poor experiences suffered by job applicants being bad for an organisation's reputation, it can start any subsequent new employees off on the wrong foot.
“Organisations which follow best practice, treating future potential employees fairly, will ultimately benefit from a more loyal and committed future workforce. And, they’ll enhance rather than damage that much talked about ‘employer brand’ and make it easier to attract future talent. That is the simple message we want to communicate,” concludes Gillespie.