This past month a great Slideshare was being passed around online, “Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I will Never Hire You” by Mark O’Toole. As an HR pro who’s done her fair share of hiring, I loved it. Sure, none of the information is anything you haven’t heard before but it did a great job of putting it in an interesting, straight forward manner that hopefully will resonate with the intended audience.
But as much as those of us recruiting like to swap war stories about the craziness that we see from candidates, I think we often forget one simple truth: Recruitment is a two way street. Candidates are evaluating you too and trust me when I say you are being judged by your recruitment process.
Sadly, most of the time companies don’t even know how badly they come across to job candidates. And so they wonder why it takes them 6 months to fill a job, or why they can’t seem to attract top tier graduates, or why their turnover for new hires is at 50%.
So in the same vein but much less cooler format than the Slideshare, here are 11 reasons candidates don’t want to work for you:
1. Your job descriptions have minimal information, are riddled with errors, and/or are so generic and boring that they generate no interest at all.
2. Your application process takes over an hour, requires a reference from their 5th grade math teacher, and the blood of a unicorn harvested on a Tuesday during a leap year. (That was a slight exaggeration but you get my point)
3. You have a terrible Website/Facebook page/LinkedIn page/Twitter Page/Blog with minimal or outdated information and no engagement. Or worse, you have no online presence at all.
4. Online reviews of the company are damning in their consistent message of “Don’t ever work here” and worse, the only engagements with criticism are childish flame wars between the company and the reviewers.
5. In a more analog version of the above, your reputation amongst those in the industry is so tarnished that common knowledge and gossip is “Don’t ever work there” and unlike online, you don’t even have a chance to respond to these rumors.
6. You never keep your promises to follow-up, whether it is to schedule interviews, provide more information, or even to let the candidate know if they have been rejected.
7. The Job Description/Title/Pay/Location/Hours have changed more than once throughout the recruitment process and the candidate no longer knows what they are interviewing for.
8. You demonstrate a lack of respect for the candidate by being unapologetic about being late for the interview or being a no show, by not being prepared, or by being rude/inappropriate during the interview. It happens more than you would think.
9. You lack confidence in yourself, the position, or the company, and it comes through in everything you say and do.
10. Your overall compensation and benefit package is not competitive, the work is not interesting/unique/meaningful, and the advancement opportunities are minimal and move as fast as an iceberg.
11. Your company culture sucks and candidates know it. It is very clique-y and inclusive. It lacks diversity of opinions, thoughts, and creativity. It is inflexible and demanding to an unnatural degree. Management is harsh, green, and petty. You have an office supply Nazi who won’t let you order post it notes. And so on.
Oh, and one more important note for all the Recruiters, Managers, Executives, and HR Pros out there: Candidates are also Customers. All these bad impressions will stick with them long after they’ve started working somewhere else. Give them a bad enough experience and you will find yourself losing potential customers and their revenue now and in the future. It’s just something to keep in mind when you go to re-evaluate your recruitment process.