Aug 24, 2018

Why You Should Treat Candidates as Customers

The recruitment process can be stressful for both company and candidate. Although most focus on candidate behavior, companies should also treat their candidates well during the interview process.

When treating candidates unprofessionally, a company can expect backlash in the form of top candidate withdrawal, negative word-of-mouth on social media, or a missed opportunity for conversion from candidate to client. These can all be costly consequences when trying to grow a business that needs to recruit the best talent.

Why You Should Treat Candidates as Clients

1. Candidates Are an Excellent Source of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The recruitment process bring double the number of candidates through the doors of your company than the number of clients served per year. With a more plentiful number of candidates than clients, it’s important to treat them well.

There is potential to either convert them to customers if they aren’t hired into the position or send them away without a bad taste in their mouth.

Due to the major difference in the ratio of candidates to clients interacted with per year, candidates are your major source of word-of-mouth advertisement. You want to be sure that what is being spread around about your company is positive.

2. A Candidate Can Bring in More Clients

People tend to trust those they know more than they would an advertisement or a company’s sales pitch. Oftentimes we turn to our peers for advice on where to go for a specific product or service.

By creating a pleasant opinion of your company in the minds of candidates, you are doing your company a favor. When that person inevitably gets asked what their thoughts are on the company in the future, they will give good feedback and potentially a full on recommendation. Treating a candidate like a client might even convert that candidate to a client following the hiring process.

Candidates behave in the same way that a customer might in regards to how they interact with other potential clients. 95% of customers stated that after a bad experience they usually told a friend about it. With that in mind, it is important to limit bad candidate experiences to preserve the reputation of your company.

3. Reputation is Important

Reputation is on the line when interacting with candidates just as much as it is when having client interactions. Candidates are also much more likely to talk to others about a negative experience than a positive one.

Professionalism should be displayed at all times and in all contact with candidates. Emails should have correct grammar and an overall professional tone and phone calls should be at reasonable hours of the day.

It is also important to note that your behavior when interviewing the candidate is important in maintaining a professional image. Have you looked over the candidates resume prior to their interview and do you know the intricacies of the role, if asked.

4. Top Candidates Don’t Apply at Unprofessional Companies

Having to jump through hoops simply to get an answer back about an application or being dealt with in an unprofessional manner does not establish trust in a company. Candidates must feel that the work environment that they will enter, if offered the position, is the right fit for them as an individual. There are things you should avoid in your hiring process to make sure you get the best candidates:

  • A lack of respect shown for the candidate
  • Arriving late or delaying the start of an interview
  • Repeatedly canceling and rescheduling the interview
  • A lengthy and complicated application process
  • Unprofessional emails or phone interactions

Complicated hiring processes and unprofessional interactions such as correspondence that contains typos or rescheduling an interview on multiple occasions will show that a company is not serious about the applicant. This might also pass the message that the work environment is cluttered and difficult to deal with - all ideas that you do not want to inspire in a candidate’s mind.

Remember: Just as a candidate wants to impress you, you should want to impress candidates. We explain how you can do this in our next section

6 Simple Ways to Treat a Candidate Like a Customer:

In order to reap the benefits that come from treating candidates like customers, you must first understand what actions to take when treating a candidate like a client. Below you will find our simple process to get every candidate feeling good about your company.

  1. Be timely in letting candidates know they are not the right fit for the position
  2. Respond quickly to applications
  3. Make each candidate feel as though they are a top priority
  4. Just as you expect your candidate to know details about the company, you should know information about your candidate that is disclosed in their resume
  5. Understand the role that you are hiring that candidate for
  6. Thank them at the conclusion of the process

Recruiting top talent requires treating candidates well. Just as a client can become irritated with a company and take their business elsewhere, a top candidate can do the same. Talented professionals are in high-demand and will be able to find placement with a company that they feel treats them as they wish to be treated. Your goal is to be that company.

Treating Your Candidates like Clients Sets Your Company Up for Success

Creating a more candidate-friendly hiring process and treating candidates as you would a customer can bolster your company’s image as an employee-friendly establishment. This will make it easier for you to attract more candidates to your company and will help you maintain a positive reputation to the public about your company.

Structuring your hiring process is hard enough – and knowing that your company’s reputation is on the line makes it all the more daunting. Any misstep can equal losing a desired candidate, which is why it is important you stay on top of the best hiring practices. On our blog, you can learn how to hire the best candidates and even get tips on how to close top candidates if you need more information. Should you need any more assistance hiring the best employees, Kaplan Executive is well-positioned to help you land the manager or leader you need to continue growing your business.

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