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Seventy-Five Percent Of Workers Who Applied To Jobs Through Various Venues In The Last Year Didn't Hear Back From Employers, CareerBuilder Survey Finds

CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Job hunting can be a frustrating process especially if you have no idea whether the employer made a decision or even saw your application.  More than one in four workers reported that they have had a bad experience when applying for a job.  The vast majority (75 percent) of workers who applied to jobs using various resources in the last year said they never heard back from the employer, according to a nationwide CareerBuilder survey.     

While this speaks to the challenges of finding employment in a highly competitive market, it also brings to light negative implications for today's employers.  The survey shows candidates who have had a bad experience when applying for a position are less likely to seek employment at that company again and are more likely to discourage friends and family from applying or purchasing products from that company.  The study of more than 3,900 U.S. workers was conducted online by Harris Interactive © from November 1 to November 30, 2012. 

How important is it to acknowledge every job applicant? Eighty-two percent of workers expect to hear back from a company when they apply for a job regardless of whether the employer is interested.  Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers said they would be less inclined to purchase products or services from a company that didn't respond to their application.*

What constitutes a bad applicant experience?Twenty-six percent of workers have had a bad experience as a job applicant, citing a lack of follow through, inconsistencies from the employer or poor representation of the company's brand as the primary culprits.

  • Employer never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview – 60 percent
  • Found out during the interview that the job didn't match what was written in the job ad – 43 percent
  • Company representative didn't present a positive work experience – 34 percent
  • Company representative didn't seem to be knowledgeable – 30 percent
  • Employer never acknowledged receiving my application – 29 percent

What would workers do if they have a bad applicant experience?The effects of one candidate's negative experience can lead to a broader impact on the employer's ability to recruit or sell products.  Workers said if they are dissatisfied with the way their application is handled by an employer, they would:

  • Never seek employment at the company again – 42 percent
  • Tell others not to work there – 22 percent
  • Tell others not to purchase products or services from the company – 9 percent

What would workers do if they have a good applicant experience?The study found that a good applicant experience can have positive long-term effects for organizations regardless if the candidate was actually hired.  Workers said if they are happy with the way they are treated by an employer when applying for a job, they would:

  • Consider seeking employment with the company again in the future – 56 percent
  • Tell others to seek employment there – 37 percent
  • Be more likely to purchase products or services from the company – 23 percent

"From the second job seekers are viewing your job ad and applying to your company, they are forming an opinion of who you are as an employer and as a business," said Sanja Licina, Ph.D. and Senior Director of Talent Intelligence at CareerBuilder.  "One bad applicant experience can have a ripple effect with candidates not only vocalizing their dissatisfaction with how they were treated, but encouraging others not to apply or even buy products from that company.  It's so critical that your employment brand effectively carries through at every touch point with candidates."

CareerBuilder's Salute to Excellence in Applicant ExperienceIn a separate 2012 study spanning 10 months, CareerBuilder tracked the opinions of more than 1 million job candidates who applied for positions in more than 1,000 companies.  The study was created to identify best-of-breed practices in engaging and interacting with job candidates and enable other companies to see how their own programs stack up.

CareerBuilder salutes Shell Oil Company, MB Financial Bank, Pinstripe and Baptist Memorial Health Care for their excellence in providing a consistently exceptional candidate experience across their organizations.  Companies were evaluated based on timeliness of response to applications and follow through, candidate's assessment of how knowledgeable the company's recruiters are and how well they represented their company brand, whether candidates would recommend the company or apply again, and other factors. 

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