Tag: Interview

57% of candidates said no feedback from interview was their greatest demotivator

SRG, a UK scientific recruitment organisation surveyed 754 candidates on their biggest blockers to motivation in their job-search. 

According to the survey results, over half (57%) of candidates cited no feedback from a job interview as their biggest blocker. 24% of candidates cited burnout and 10% said staying on top of managing job applications was their biggest blocker as a candidate. Meanwhile 9% said not knowing where to find jobs posed the greatest challenge to maintaining motivation. 

Hannah Mason, Principal Resourcer at Search by SRG said: “In this candidate driven market, businesses often forget the ‘two-way street’ and their interview processes are like interrogations. It is key that businesses are selling themselves to candidates throughout the process as well as highlighting their Employee Value Proposition and culture accurately. Senior and executive candidates are more selective than ever in the opportunities they pursue, and the current model of one-way interviews seldom meets the expectations of high-level candidates.” 

As economic uncertainty in the UK continues, access to best-in-industry talent is more critical than ever to maintain business continuity and futureproof organisational success. 

However, 70% of senior leaders report a lack of confidence in their organisational agility, and just 29% have enough employees to meet current performance requirements. As digitalisation continues to impact industries across STEM and beyond, skills gaps are widening, heightening the competition for talent. 7 in 10 leaders are experiencing major staff shortages and finding recruitment challenging. 

In this climate of scarcity and competitivity, a strong talent attraction strategy is vital. 

Alison Jones, Operations Director at SRG also commented: “Businesses need to hire people, not CVs. Companies need to move beyond approaching CV screening with a tick-box to strategically assessing capability. If a person’s CV meets most of the technical remit, interviewing that individual will extend and improve your talent base. I’ve lost count of the number of applicants rejected on something innocuous, who our consultants have persuaded the client to reconsider, only to go on to be successful for the very role they were rejected for. Our talent pool is diverse; therefore, CVs will be.” 

SRG is the UK’s leading scientific recruitment organisation. SRG provides market-leading services

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Better communication recommended in order to avoid reducing potential talent pools 

A recent survey by The Conference Board revealed that 18% of candidates who did not hear back from a company after an interview took negative action against the company. Sixteen percent declined to recommend the company to others when the opportunity arose, and 2% left a negative review online.

In addition, only 7% applied for another job at the same company.

Rebecca Ray, Executive VP of Human Capital at The Conference Board commented: “It’s important for hiring managers to be aware of the potential consequences of not responding to job candidates, as it can lead to a reduction in the pool of future applicants. To avoid this, hiring managers should make sure to communicate with all candidates in a timely and respectful manner, regardless of the outcome of the hiring process.”

The report also noted a disconnect between the number of interviews both candidates and hiring managers think are necessary versus the number that actually occurs. Both candidates and hiring managers believe only two rounds of interviews are necessary, but nearly a quarter of candidates had four or more rounds of interviews.

Meanwhile, both candidates and hiring managers agreed that formal education is not as important as work experience, according to the survey.

The Conference Board polled more than 1,100 individuals – predominantly office workers –  for the report. Respondents weighed in on job-hunting preferences, hiring practices and interview processes.

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45% believe that employers should not do social media checks 

According to new research, job seekers in the UK and Ireland are concerned about social media background checks. The research from HR and payroll specialists Zellis revealed that 19% of job applicants hide their social media activity in order to pass background checks.

The research was carried out in May 2022 amongst recent job applicants and showed that job seekers across all age groups are concerned that their online activity may lead to missed employment opportunities.

Reports state that 70% of organisations perform background checks on applicants’ social media; however, many applicants do not understand the reasons for these checks. Online background checks are a tool to pick up risk factors, for example, discriminatory language or undisclosed criminal behaviour. On the other hand, it can also highlight positive attributes such as charity work or volunteering.

The research indicates that  45% of respondents believe that organisations should not carry out these checks. Many respondents feared that the company might be looking for too much information. Nine percent thought that social media checks could uncover confidential medical history. A further 12% felt that it could reveal characteristics such as age or sexuality.

The research also found that 27% lied in a job interview about experience or qualifications. Twenty-two percent of these said that not having the right experience for the job was their biggest concern when interviewing for roles.

Ian Howard, Co-Founder of Neotas, commented: “It’s a common misconception that social media searches are used to somehow illegitimately access or hack personal accounts, when in reality they are only used to retrieve publicly available information about a job applicant.”

“Social media background checks are now a vital tool for hirers, helping to review a candidate’s attitude, as well as aptitude, for the role they’re applying for. As a company, Neotas prides itself on helping organisations to understand potential employees better by empowering them to carry out AI driven background checks which help to identify red flags whilst maintaining the personal privacy of job applicants.”

David Crewe, Customer Operations Director at Zellis, said: “The job market has never been as competitive as it is today, but that doesn’t mean hirers can get complacent. Background checks should be commonplace for any organisation, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be mindful about how they feel for candidates.”

“It is crucial to offer candidates reassurance about the process, particularly the steps being taken to eliminate unconscious bias, or information about protected characteristics which should never be used in the hiring process. Background checking is not about catching applicants out or looking into their personal life, but rather about building confidence for the best candidates and ensuring a safe, accepting and positive workplace.”

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68% admitted that they are concerned it will have a negative impact on their career 

According to new research from people analytics company Visier, more than three quarters (76%) of Brits have admitted they’ve been ghosted by an employer or prospective employer in the past 18 months, despite over half (59%) having ghosted themselves.

The study asked 1,000 UK employees who have looked for work during in the past 18 months about their experiences with ghosting, using Psychology Today’s definition of the term as ‘abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation’ in association with the workplace from recruitment through to starting a new role.

The survey’s findings indicated that ghosting has become an accepted phenomenon in the workplace, with 37% of Brits admitting to ghosting an employer in the last 18 months, 30% ghosting a potential employer and 10% to both. This is despite more than a third of Brits stating that they’d be angrier if an employer or prospective employer ghosted them, than they would be if they were stood up by a date.

Hypocritical Britain 

Study results insinuate that employees are perpetuating the poor behaviours they hate from their prospective employer counterparts because when it comes to these behaviours, job seekers’ willingness to ghost increased steadily with job level seniority, which, the study suggests means that the more senior the worker, the more comfortable they are with ghosting their current or prospective employer.

According to results, the highest levels reported that they had ghosted a current or prospective employer within the last 18 months: C-Suite (95%), mid-level management (84%), first-level management (67%), entry-level (48%).

Professional ‘Ghosters’ 

The research also served as a stark reminder that ghosting is no new fad. It’s been around for some time and it’s a trend that is likely to pertain, especially as an increasingly buoyant labour market and skills shortages across almost every industry place more power into the hands of employees. In fact, some 61% of job seekers say they feel perfectly comfortable with ghosting an employer or prospective employer.

And, with more job opportunities available because of the hybrid working model (46%), a less personal recruitment process (45%) and the fact that ghosting is so common (37%), job seekers admitted in the survey that the pandemic has made them more likely to partake in ghosting.

The challenge for employers in the current candidate-driven market is that the right position, right salary and good company culture are not enough. The interview itself must be a top-notch experience to attract prospective candidates to a company. A negative first impression (25%) was cited as the number one reason job seekers have ghosted their employer or prospective employer, followed closely by the job role being inaccurate (24%) and a lower salary than expected (24%).

In spite of Brits’ willingness to engage in ghosting, the survey revealed that an overwhelming 68% admitted that they are concerned about the negative impact it may have on them and their career. It’s clear that a level of cognitive dissonance is at play. Despite understanding the potential negative impacts of doing this, job seekers at all levels are willing to do it anyway.

Daniel Mason, VP EMEA of Visier commented: “As recruitment teams continue to rethink their hiring strategies in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ now is the time to also implement measures that can reduce the fallout of job seeker ghosting. Embedding people data into every stage of the recruitment and employee engagement process is one way that recruitment teams can interest potential candidates and retain them. For example, by using data to highlight at which stage a job seeker is most likely to leave the recruitment process, more emphasis can be placed on improving the overall experience based on what the data is telling us prospective employers expect”.

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Jobseekers think it’s easiest to get through a job interview for a role in the transport sector, while technology positions make for the toughest interviews.

This was the finding of research carried out by Reboot Digital Marketing, which cross-referenced Nasdaq listings with Glassdoor to rank the various sectors and companies.

Candidates were least daunted at being put through their paces for jobs in airlines, parcels and logistics firms, with the transportation sector getting a difficulty score of just 2.48 out of 5. Among the companies covered, Old Dominion Freight Line (with an average difficulty score of 2.20) and FedEx (average rating of 2.50) were felt to be the easiest to interview for.

The next easiest sector was consumer services, with job interviews for industries such as hospitality, entertainment and leisure ranked only slightly harder than transport at 2.60. Candidates found interviews for jobs at McDonald’s (1.8) and Walmart (2.20) especially painless.

In third place was the materials sector, which includes jobs in manufacturing, mining and metal refining. Here, the easiest companies were ranked as NextEra Energy (2.60) and Sinopec (2.70).

Tech firms toughest

At the other end of the scale, jobseekers found it most difficult to get through a meeting for a position in technology, which had an average difficulty rating of 3.10.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given it typically subjects potential Googlers to three or four interviews – and this number was once as high as 12 – Google had the highest difficulty rating in the sector at 3.30. The next hardest company to interview for was NVIDIA at 3.20.

The second toughest sector was found to be consumables, with an average difficult rating of 3.0. Interestingly, among the firms analysed, those selling alcohol proved toughest for jobseekers.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch proved the trickiest for candidates to make a good first impression on, with its score of 3.30 putting it right up there with Google in terms of interview difficulty. Fellow beer and spirit producer Diageo was the second most difficult at 3.10.

The energy sector was ranked the third hardest with an average score of 2.96. However, included within the category there were a couple of firms believed to be easier to meet with, with both TOTAL and Duke Energy Corporation scoring below the sector average at 2.80.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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Randstad – More Hoops For Job Seekers As Interview Process Lengthens

  •  Interview process for a new job lengthens by 1.5 hours
  • Number of roles requiring aptitude or technical testing doubles to 29%
  • Employers take 5 weeks and 6 days to fill a role, up from 3 weeks and 4 days five years ago
  • Interviewees relying on internet to prepare take twice as long to secure a role

Over the past five years the interview process has lengthened by more than a quarter for the average successful applicant, according to research by the specialist recruiter Randstad.

Brits who successfully changed jobs in the last year spent 27% longer on the interview process for that role compared to 2008, according to an independent poll of 2,000 members of the Great British public.  On average, they spent 7 hours either preparing for, or taking part in, interviews – an increase of 1.5 hours compared to five years ago. In fact, nearly 7% of respondents took more than 20 hours in preparing for and attending their successful interviews.

As a result, the total time taken to find a new job has risen by 23% since 2008. Job hunters in the UK spend an average of ten weeks and five days in the process of finding and securing a new job, compared to the eight weeks and five days taken five years ago.

More than half (52%) of those who have interviewed for a job in the last year state the process was harder than five years ago.

Mark Bull, UK CEO of Randstad, said: “Employers have become increasingly selective when it comes to interviewing staff. Prospective employees have to jump through many more hiring hoops today than they did pre-recession. Employers are often looking for more bang for their buck, and a skill set that was satisfactory for a job five years may no longer be now, as employers look towards the long-term potential of new hires. It’s not enough to demonstrate you can do the job they’re currently advertising for – you need to show you can develop in the role and bring something valuable to that organisation in the future.”

The number of interviews employers conduct with a successful candidate has also risen sharply over the past five years. For a junior role, employers required an average of 1.6 interviews five years ago, a figure that has risen to 2.4. Employers now interview successful candidates for senior roles an average of 3.4 times, up from 2.6 five years ago.

A separate poll of Randstad’s UK consultants suggests that the level of testing during the application process has increased, too. Five years ago, 14% of roles required some form of psychometric, technical or aptitude test, a figure which has now more than doubled to 29%. 

The number of vetting checks carried out after the interview process has concluded has also increased. Five years ago, employers vetting credentials such as qualifications, CRB checks and references delayed the hiring process by an average of 10.1 days. Currently, consultants state this delay has increased to an average of 15.2 days.

As a result, the increased number of tests, interviews and level of checking, has lengthened the hiring process from the employer’s perspective too. Employers now spend an average of five weeks and six days on securing a new hire for a specific role, a figure that has risen by 71% from three weeks and three days five years ago.

Interview Preparation: Google is Not Enough

Despite the increasingly demanding nature of the hiring process, one in five Brits (18%) still didn’t perform any research prior to their last interview other than to read the job specification and application. A further 9% relied solely on a company’s website for their research.

Just over a third of respondents (35%) conducted an internet search as part of their preparation. One fifth (20%) of respondents spoke to employees and former employees of their prospective employer, while 15% consulted colleagues in industry as part of their preparation, and one in eleven spoke to a recruitment consultant for a briefing.

Alongside undertaking internet research and browsing an employer’s website, candidates with ideal preparation would read the company’s marketing literature, check for news about the company as well as seeking information from former or current staff, industry colleagues, and their recruitment consultant. Currently, just 1% are doing this.

Personal insight is proving invaluable in interview preparation. The average time of those who at least spoke to a former or current staff member AND their recruitment consultant secured a job, on average, within eight weeks and three days (two weeks and two days faster than national average).

Whereas, the average time it took for those who just conducted internet research to successfully interview was eighteen weeks and five days.

Mark Bull concludes: “The importance of thoroughly researching a potential role can’t be overstated. A Google search is simply not enough in today’s competitive market. It’s clear from our research the longer people prepare from a wider variety of sources, the more likely they are to be the successful applicant in the shortest possible time.

“The rise of condensed information sources such as Wikipedia has added a certain laziness to interview preparation. People are seduced into thinking the Internet has all the answers. It certainly offers a valuable insight but the perspective of former employees – not to mention the insight of a recruitment consultant, will fill in many blanks about a company that an online search can’t. In today’s marketplace it is the candidate who understands the nuances of an organisations’ culture and skills requirements that really stands out.”   

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