Alienating job applicants can hurt employers

Many American employers are unwittingly leaving job applicants with a bad impression and that’s hurting their bottom lines, says a new study from CareerBuilder.

About 80% of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process, the 2015 Candidate Behavior study shows.

Read: Companies more willing to negotiate to attract talent

But 58% of candidates are less likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they don’t get a response to their application; 69 percent are less likely if they have a bad experience in the interview; and the same is true of 65% if they didn’t hear back after an interview.

Conversely, 69% of candidates are more likely to buy from a company to which they’ve applied if they’re treated with respect throughout the application process, and 67% are likely to do the same if they receive consistent updates throughout the recruitment process.

Read: Attracting millennials important for small businesses

The study also shows 77% of applicants are willing to accept a salary that is 5% lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; 83% would do the same if the company had a reputation as a great employer. Candidates would also accept a lower salary if the company had a lot of positive press recently (69%) and had great online reviews (73%).

Information black hole

Additionally, the report reveals 52% of employers respond to less than half of the candidates who apply. However, 84% of applicants expect a personal email response and 52% a phone call. Even when the news bad, candidates expect a response: 25% expect to hear if the employer will not be inviting them for an interview.

Read: Majority of employers have caught resumé lies

And 36% of candidates expect to be updated throughout the application process, while 41% expect to be notified if they weren’t chosen after an interview. Yet only 26% of employers proactively communicate with candidates what stage of the hiring process they’re in. Even when they’ve made it as far into the process as an interview, many candidates are still left in the dark: 73% of applicants who interviewed with companies said they never received an explanation for why they didn’t get the job.