Careers

Why screwing up job interviews is literally bad for business

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Jamie Grill | Getty Images

Hiring managers shouldn't approach job interviews in a self-serving way. Instead, they should view each candidate as both as potential employee and customer.

In a new survey of over 1,000 employers and job seekers, in partnership with Career Arc, we found that the job search experience actually sways consumer behavior. When a job seeker isn't notified of their application process, or goes on a series of interviews without ever hearing back, they are more likely to purchase products or services elsewhere.

We found that 64 percent of job seekers say that a poor experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from the employer. And while 91 percent of employers agree that candidate experience can impact consumer-purchasing decisions, only 26 percent measure this effect.

Now that more job seekers are posting negative reviews of their experiences online, it can impact the company's bottom line if they don't adjust their interview process.

Most companies don't recognize that the way they treat job seekers can actually impact their revenue and future talent pool. In earlier research, we found that job seekers will never apply to a company again if they have a bad experience the first time around. This year, we found that they may stop shopping at the company if they aren't treated properly.

This means that it will not only cost companies more to continue the interview process, but they may also lose revenue as a result.

"Most companies don't recognize that the way they treat job seekers can actually impact their revenue and future talent pool."

Some hiring managers will put job seekers through an intensive and exhaustive interview process, where they have to meet a dozen employees over a few months and then never notify them if they got the job or not. Other managers are so concerned about filling the position with someone who can immediately add value, and fit in their culture, they completely disregard the candidate's needs.

This lack of care can lead to employer resentment and to negative online reviews on sites like Glassdoor, which may, in turn, discourage other candidates from applying for jobs.

Here are some tips for how to improve your interview process:

1. Set expectations

Make sure that all of your candidates know the approximate length of your interview process and how many of your co-workers they have to speak to. When a decision is made, let the candidate know immediately instead of delaying because you're too busy or you've already moved onto a more qualified person.

If you have a career site where candidates submit their application, update their profile noting that a decision is either pending or that they have been declined or hired.

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Image Source | Getty Images

2. Ask for anonymous feedback

Instead of assuming that you are the best interviewer of all time, be humble and welcoming of ideas as to how to improve. The best feedback will come from those you've already interviewed, whether you've hired them or not.

Have a process in place where the candidate receives a short survey where they can grade the process and offer some comments on what they liked or didn't like about it. Make it anonymous so that they feel comfortable responding without any potential future repercussions.

3. Learn more about the individual needs of candidates

Each candidate you speak to will have different personal and professional goals. An interview is a two-way process and for a match to happen, both sides need to feel like they'll benefit.

Ask the candidate about what would make them happy and fulfilled at work if you hire them. They might be more interested in flexibility than compensation or they may desire to be the future Chief Marketing Officer. You will never know what they want unless you ask and until you really care about serving them, not just yourself.

Dan Schawbel is the New York Times-bestselling author of "Promote Yourself" and "Me 2.0," and the research director at Future Workplace.