Recruiters, have you ever had a bad candidate experience as a job seeker?
No one is immune to a bad candidate experience. But as recruiters, you also have an eagle eye on identifying when other recruiters are behaving badly.
We asked recruiters on Linkedin and Facebook to share some of their bad interview experiences as job seekers, and put together five lessons that everyone can learn from:
Lesson One: Be Prepared
“I had a recruiter interview me with someone else’s cv then accused me of being dishonest as my stories didn’t align with my CV. Should of seen her face when I told her she had the wrong CV and that she would get out of recruitment.”
Takeaways: Okay, so there are two things wrong here. First, the recruiter interviewed the candidate with the wrong resume — a misstep that could have easily been an honest mistake. But where this really went wrong was how the confusion was ultimately handled. Instead of accusing a candidate of dishonesty (which is an instant turn-off) make sure to get to the root of any inconsistencies first. No one likes to be called a liar, especially if they aren’t one.
Lesson Two: Do Your Homework
“I recently had a nightmare experience when I had a recruiter reach out to me about sales job. Now, if you look at my profile you will notice that I haven’t done an “Account Executive” title in about 6 years. As I am talking to this guy, he is absolutely clueless that I am NOT interested and he starts asking me about my GPA in college, if I belong to any clubs in college, why did I not go away to school, all irrelevant stuff. After about 40 mins I literally hung up on him because he kept trying to sell me into taking a job that I did not want.”
Takeaway: Personally, I’m impressed this recruiter stayed on the phone as long as they did. Just like candidates do research on your company before they apply, recruiters need to do their homework so they can offer the right information, answer relevant questions, and ultimately get interested talent on board for an interview. Contacting a candidate while unprepared gives the impression a candidate is just another name on a list, rather than a prospective hire who’s valued.
Lesson Three: Be Prompt
“I had a company call me six months after posting the job and and ask me if I wanted to go for an interview. This was after asking for feedback continually on what was going on for about three months.”
Takeaway: As we’ve written about before, prompt communication makes a BIG difference when it comes to candidate experience. More than half of candidates want employers to list how they plan to communicate with them in their job description, which could imply that timing can be a deal breaker for some. And honestly, most candidates don’t have six months to wait around for you to call them back — in fact, recent numbers show that most top talent is off the market within 10 days — so if you want to hold on to good candidates, you have to act fast.
Lesson Four: The Honesty Policy
“I had a SVP of HR tell me she hates interviewing candidates while interviewing me for a Recruiting Manager opening.”
Takeaway: Yikes. Nothing screams “RED FLAG!” like a manager that hates their own position. In an interview, candidates are interviewing you to assess whether they’d even want to work for your company, just as much as you’re interviewing them as a potential fit. It’s your job as a recruiter or hiring manager to paint an honest picture of what it’s like to work for your organization. You’re likely one of the first people they meet representing your company, so make a good impression.
Lesson Five: Handle Rejection Right
“I had a recruiter literally scream at me on the phone when I said that I wasn’t interested in his position.”
Takeaway: So a candidate didn’t want your job. Instead of screaming about it, turn it into a learning experience. Ask for feedback on why they didn’t want the position, or weren’t interested in the opportunity — their responses will help you identify weaknesses you may have had in creating an optimal candidate experience. And, if you leave on a good note, you also have the opportunity to keep them in your pipeline for other opportunities later on down the line.