Its not uncommon for companies that having some trouble acquiring talent. Potential candidates who are looking out for better opportunities, decline attractive career offers – sometimes even before they are told of the details.
I like to offer an additional but often over-looked reason why this could or has happened – and its not something that happens overnight. Many of these potential candidates could have either heard or had bad experiences with the company before. These could be in the course of work, for example at business meetings, at joint marketing exercises, or even when competing for a business. They see an obvious mismatch between what the company professes to be and what is been practiced.
Closer to home, it could be that he or she has had a bad hiring experience with the company. In the normal course of recruitment, there are probably 5 or 6 rejected candidates for every successful candidate. Let’s focus on these rejected candidates. Did they, even though rejected, had a good experience with the company’s recruitment process? (either with the company directly or through its recruitment agency). When rejected, how was the rejection communicated? Did they go away thinking that they missed a great opportunity to work with a great company, or did they go away telling themselves they will never want to work for the company again?
A company could profess that it wants to be the employer of choice – but during in the first meeting, the candidate had to wait for more than an hour for the hiring manager who’s busy with other priorities. The candidate was put down during the interview, and told flatly that he will not ‘make it’ in the company. For some, its the deadly silence – they are not notified that they have been rejected after an interview and been kept waiting. For others, by the time they are to go for a second interview, they have already found another position – with the company’s competitors.
Other than being rejected candidates – who are these 5 or 6 individuals? They could, either now or in future, be one of your vendors/suppliers/business partners or competitors. He could even be a potential client/customer deciding who to give the company business to. These are also the ones that other potential candidates may check with – whether your company is a good company to work for. Their answers would be obvious. They may be personal friends, or connections made by word of mouth and through the internet community and discussion sites.
Over time, a community of ‘ex-applicants’ who gives the company bad references has been built. And it all starts with a bad hiring experience.
These rejected candidates could have been a community of strong advocates if managed properly.