Many businesses still put their trust in recruitment agencies to find the best talent for niche and specialist roles. However do you know the impact on your candidate experience.

Employer brand is now pretty much universally accepted as important in the pursuit of top talent, however a negative candidate experience can do serious damage to your reputation and impact your future hiring efforts.

Whilst some organisations are taking a closer look at the candidate experience, few are assessing the impact recruitment agencies are having on their brand. The Trust in Recruitment campaign found that half of people that have used recruitment agencies in the last 12 months did not feel they were dealt with honesty. Eek!

This negative view is inevitably going to reflect on your organisationyou’re your brand. And it’s going to get shared far and wide, from our research we know 8 out of 10 people will share their experience with friends and family and over half will take to social media to vent their disappointment.

And of course we’re in the age of the peer review, like tripadvisor for holidays, potential candidates place a premium on Glassdoor reviews, with candidates on average reading at least 6 reviews before forming an opinion about a business or brand.

On the flip side, according to the clever folks at IBM, candidates who rate their experience as ‘great’ will buy more from you. Nearly 8 out ten would refer someone from their network in the future and close to two thirds reported a better relationship with the company and brand.

Candidate experience isn’t a nice fluffy thing to do, there is a real impact to the bottom line. Leaders in candidates experience, see 10% high revenues than the laggards.

You may have seen the cost of bad experience had on Virgin Media. They that of 123,000 rejected candidates each year, 6% cancelled their monthly Virgin Media subscription as a result of their experience. This cost the company £4.4 million annually; a significant sum of money.

I should at this point say, external recruitment partners, can and do deliver positive candidate experiences. For example we are RPO partner for Virgin Media and through our partnership have improved their candidate experience net promoter score from – 30 to +12, making a substantial indent into that £4.4 million a poor experience costs them each year.

Sadly the recruitment industry is viewed negatively (and often in the same category as estate agents).  Many agency recruiters still work to their own agenda, rather than what matters for their clients and candidates. The performance metrics and rewards are typically heavily focused on sales and commission, not quality and candidate experience.  

Without genuine demand from business, recruitment agencies have no incentive to change. Moreover each negative experience impacts your brand, not the agency, they are representing you and the recruiter is seen as an extension of your team. Ouch!

We work with some of the world’s leading employers, candidate experience is an integral part of our strategic partnerships, embedded in our performance metrics and is rigorously evaluated.  As Leadership Guru, Peter Drucker once said ‘what gets measured gets done’.

So… do your recruitment partnerships measure the impact on your candidate experience and employer brand? Where there continues to be challenges recruiting niche and specialist talent maybe now is the time to let go of the status quo and put trust in a different approach that drives better outcomes for everyone.

If you would like to know more about our Candidate Experience Diagnostic, get in touch.