How to bungle the hiring process

Poor communication, stalling on decisions, not respecting social matters cited

How to bungle the hiring process

The labour shortage remains something that keeps corporate recruiters up most nights these days.

But for many who are not tapped into what the younger cohort are demanding, the wrong decisions during the hiring process are bedeviling their efforts to bring them on.

Recently, a new report shone light on just how bad it is for organizations looking to add staff: 75 per cent of generation Z candidates have dropped out of a job application they were interested in because of poor hiring processes, according to Bullhorn, a software company dedicated to the staffing industry.

By 2025, gen Z employees are forecast to make up 27 per cent of the global labour force, according to the report.

“Work has become commoditized for younger generations, and enjoying a consumer-grade experience throughout the entire hiring journey has become just as important as the work itself,” says Andre Mileti, product evangelist for talent experience at Bullhorn.

“Talent is abandoning job applications and interviews at the same rate they abandon online shopping carts in search of a better deal, or faster shipping. They apply to numerous jobs in the time it took earlier generations to find and apply to one.”

Better opportunity beckons

But what are some of the reasons these workers are looking elsewhere?

The most common reason cited for giving up on a potential job application is receiving a better opportunity while waiting for the other hiring process to finish (31 per cent), finds a survey of 1,000 generation Z candidates based in North America throughout the summer of 2022.

However, many also complain about a general lack of communication from the recruiter (17 per cent), along with the process taking too long (14 per cent) or being too complicated (13 per cent).

Paying prospects for their time might be one measure that could dissuade these younger candidates from looking elsewhere.

Employers such as FoodShare are paying for people’s time.

When a job candidate comes for an interview at the food justice organization in Toronto, they’re given $75. If they go for a second interview, they’ll receive another $75, and if they’re asked to prepare any kind of presentation, they’ll be compensated at the hourly wage of the position they’re applying for.

It’s about respecting people for their time and labour in preparing for and undergoing an interview, says Paul Taylor, executive director at FoodShare.

“Things like paying for transit, paying for childcare, the cost associated with taking a day off, the time spent reviewing, researching, preparing for presentations — countless amount of hours go into that that we feel employers have been allowed to get off the hook by not having to compensate prospective candidates for.”

How bad is it?

While this practice might become more commonplace in the future, leading to a lessening of the labour shortfall, a new Robert Half report in Australia is showing just how acute the problem is becoming.

According to the report, 66 per cent of workers have declined a job offer they’ve already accepted, with 54 per cent doing so in order to accept an even better proposal.

In addition, 21 per cent of workers said they’d be open to leaving a role during their probation period, because of:

  • Poor company culture (53 per cent)
  • A better offer (43 per cent)
  • Job not aligning with what was advertised (40 per cent)

Nicole Gorton, director of Robert Half Australia, stressed the importance of developing a “strong rapport” with new hires through open and constant communication.

“Securing top talent doesn’t stop when they sign the contract. Once a candidate has accepted a role, it is essential to develop a strong rapport with them by maintaining communication. While not new, many companies today still allow there to be a communication gap between the moment the contract is signed and the new employee’s first day,” she says.

While these seemingly prosaic basic needs are being sometimes ignored by companies, organizations better not forget about some of the things that millennials and generation Z really care about: social justice.

Almost two-thirds of workers (64 per cent) want their employer to take a public stand on social issues — and for younger employees, the number is even greater (82 per cent), according to a recent survey done by JobSage in Austin, Texas.

“Don’t just take into account what you’re hearing from your candidates, or your current employees, because there’s also a large group of people who aren’t even getting to your inbox because of what you’ve done, or what you haven’t done,” says Kelli Mason cofounder and COO at JobSage.

A large percentage — 24 per cent — of respondents actually declined a job offer or decided not to buy because of a company’s public stance or lack thereof, on social issues, she says.

Messaging matters

The message to employers is not only to make an organization’s views well known during times of social upheaval and news events around these issues, but to follow through on that talk, she says.

“If you’re a company that’s saying, ‘We stand with our LGBT community,’ and then you’re making political donations to politicians who are actually creating legislation that doesn’t stand with LGBT people, more employees are able to access that information and spread that news and it just honestly looks worse to be hypocritical. I encourage employers to take stands on social media if they’re actually backing it up; if they’re not then, they’re not.”

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