Recruiters get the blame, but are your hiring managers involuntarily sabotaging your Candidate Experience?
In this piece, we’ll help you figure this out, and we’ll share some advice for your hiring managers that can positively impact your Candidate Experience.

Your recruitment process has a huge impact on your company’s reputation as an employer, which we can refer to as employer branding. Poor employer branding can easily turn away potential talent – especially the star talent you need to make your business flourish and overcome difficult times like these.

This is the reason that companies pay great attention to Candidate Experience and do their best so that their job applicants will have good things to say about the organization, regardless of whether they were offered a role.

Generally speaking, the responsibility of delivering quality Candidate Experience throughout the recruitment process is thought to be entirely in the hands of the recruiter. So, if a candidate has a bad experience at any step of the process, it’s the Talent Acquisition professional who was managing the candidate who usually gets the blame.

In today’s hyper-connected world, news about poor Candidate Experience spreads quickly. As per a Glassdoor report, 72% of candidates share their negative experiences online, about 50% of job applicants read company reviews, and 55% of them report avoiding a company after reading negative remarks about the organization on websites such as Glassdoor.

Furthermore, as per the 2017 Millennial Hiring Trends Study MRI Network, 40% of early-career professionals consider a company’s reputation as an employer as the most important factor in choosing a company. Employer branding is shaped by the organization’s company culture, which includes its recruitment process.

How Often Are Hiring Managers to Blame?

It’s not uncommon for companies to fail to consider the responsibility that hiring managers hold on delivering quality Candidate Experience, and yet, as the individuals whom recruiters report, they might be partly to blame. The interview flow is decided not by individual recruiters but by a team of recruiters with hiring managers as its head. This flow is also signed off by the hiring managers, and the ultimate accountability for the success of the process lies with them.

Of their own admission, hiring managers make quite a few mistakes. As per a CareerBuilder survey, 30% of hiring managers are hurried into making hiring decisions as a result of external pressure to fill a role quickly.

Additionally, 29% of bad hires were a result of hiring managers not properly taking into account the attitude of the candidate. Hence, it’s unfair to avoid considering hiring managers as partially responsible for your business’ Candidate Experience and hiring decisions.

Here’s How Hiring Managers Can Derail Candidate Experience

Hiring managers lie close to the top of the roster when it comes to making decisions regarding the hiring of a new candidate. As observed in the statistics above, hiring managers can have an integral role to play in bad hiring.

Perhaps the greatest way that hiring managers can derail Candidate Experience is through the design of the interview process. While recruiters coordinate the recruitment process, the ultimate responsibility for its flow would lie with the hiring managers. If a candidate’s interview involves too many steps, it shows that the hiring manager has no respect for the candidate’s time. This shows disregard for the job applicant and communicates the wrong message.

Similarly, if the interview has no fixed format and is disorganized, the interviewee might take home an extremely negative impression of the business and the way it sees its potential talent. While preparation is expected from the interviewee, hiring managers must also be adequately prepared. If the hiring manager hasn’t read a candidates’ CV before the interview takes place, it’ll transpire, and it will negatively impact your employer brand.

Hiring managers can worsen the flow of communication, too: it’s not unheard of for recruiters to have to chase busy hiring managers to be able to tell their job applicants whether they’ve gotten the job or not.

Using Feedback to Monitor Hiring Managers

Over the past few years, multiple companies have started using Candidate Experience feedback to monitor the performance of their recruiters and hiring managers alike. At some point in their hiring process, many companies now send emails to their candidates seeking their feedback regarding the way they experienced the organization’s hiring process. These emails will generally contain a form in which the candidate is asked to quantify their experience on various metrics. These can address the quality of questions that were asked, the length of the interview, the attitude of the interviewers, and the overall experience the candidate has had.

With large corporations leading thousands of interviews per year, an appreciable amount of data is easily collected using Candidate Experience feedback. Once enough data has been collected, your Head of HR can evaluate hiring managers not just based on internal metrics but also external reviews. Independent external feedback can be essential in determining whether bad hires were the result of indiscretions of the recruiter or decisions of the hiring manager.

Candidate Experience feedback doesn’t have to be hard – there are some helpful tools that you can use along your path toward more satisfied job applicants. For one, Starred can help you understand your areas of improvement – we also share applicable insights to make your process hassle-free.
If you’d like to benchmark your own Candidate Experience feedback, at Starred we release a yearly benchmark report which will help you compare your results to what the competition has achieved.

Using Feedback as a Recruiter

As an HR head or HR manager, when you are looking for the real reason behind bad Candidate Experience, data can be useful to have. Data collected using Candidate Experience feedback can help you in backing up your hypothesis with numbers. When speaking to the senior management regarding the performance of your team, this data can help you point out the real reason why your company’s reputation might be on the slide. This isn’t merely aimed at shifting blame from recruiters to hiring managers whenever necessary – it’s aimed at identifying your recruiting process’ weaknesses so that you can finally improve.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

When you’re on the lookout for great talent to join your organization, there are certain things that are compulsory for the fruition of that goal. Taking care of your employer branding is one of them.

Candidate Experience has a huge impact on how many applicants you’ll get for your job vacancies and on the quality of the potential future talent that you’ll be able to access.

Whereas recruiters are often erroneously considered the sole responsible parties when it comes to delivering positive CandE, hiring managers can also negatively affect your job applicants’ experiences. It’s, therefore, important to understand if your hiring managers are derailing your organization’s Candidate Experience so that you can make your employer branding stronger.

How? Through feedback. If properly used, this powerful tool will help you understand your weaknesses and derive actionable insights so that you can strengthen your reputation as an employer.