In a UK survey of 179 candidates over 75% said that they had withdrawn their application at least once in the previous two years because of things the hiring organisation or the recruiter did badly.
This represents a huge challenge for organisations in the current climate of skills shortages, not least given the difficulty of finding strong candidates and getting them into a recruitment process for the management consultancy job you need to fill
It is however also a great opportunity for recruiters to tighten up their processes and ensure they give management consultancy candidates a top quality and professional service. And yes that’s a key way to think of applicants: as vital to you as clients and customers, if not more so.
The main reasons for applicants withdrawing their applications were:
- 87.5 % cited “communication issues” namely failing to keep the candidates informed
- 72.1% mentioned “timescales” and while mainly this reflected slow and protracted processes causing them to lose interest in a minority of cases it was too short!
- 70.6 % were unhappy with the interview and assessment process: inappropriate for the level of the role, repetitive questions, attempts to find out about competitors and “jumping through hoops” were regular complaints.
- 68.4% blamed recruiter behaviour/attitude. This covered both internal and external recruiters.
- 64% referred to interviewer attitude: sometimes appearing rude, arrogant, aggressive or ill informed
Other less frequent reasons included discovering the role wasn’t what they thought it was i.e. “not as advertised, negative research about the employer and lack of rapport between the applicant and the people they met in the process.
The survey excluded answers where the candidates withdrew because they had found another job elsewhere. However the poor experience may have contributed to them doing so: in other words the figure is probably an underestimate!
This suggests that while many employers are concerned about candidate and talent shortages that a modest investment in improving processes and communication could significantly improve the likelihood of getting good candidates.