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Poor hiring practices are increasingly repelling top talent

A new report reveals companies are hindering their ability to attract top talent through discriminatory hiring practices like ghosting candidates and asking illegal interview questions. Despite candidates deeply valuing diversity and inclusion, over 40% faced discrimination during interviews.

In today’s competitive job market, companies are struggling to attract and retain top talent – and often sabotaging their own efforts with outdated and discriminatory hiring practices, according to a new report.

The 2024 Candidate Experience Report* surveyed 2,900 employees including 1,000 in the UK. It reveals major issues plaguing the hiring landscape that are turning off discerning job seekers.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) remains hugely important to candidates, with 55% of UK job seekers saying it’s a key factor when considering potential employers. For underrepresented groups, that number jumps to 86%.

However, 41% of candidates report facing discriminatory interview questions related to protected characteristics like age, gender and criminal records. Over two-fifths (42%) say they’ve been “ghosted” – having communication abruptly cut off by potential employers.

The practice appears even more prevalent for BAME candidates, who were 67% more likely to be ghosted than white candidates. Common ghosting points include after the initial screening and post-interview.

Unfair tactics like “love bombing” (excessive flattery followed by lowball offers) and misleading job descriptions that don’t match the actual role are also widespread. 56% of candidates say they’ve experienced love bombing, while 29% report a bait-and-switch on job responsibilities.

Poor communication and inefficient processes are further frustrations. 45% of candidates heard back from half or fewer of the jobs they applied to, despite expecting updates within two weeks. 65% are annoyed by excessive interview rounds only to be rejected.

Company culture is pivotal, with 80% of candidates saying it influences their decision to apply. 92% would rethink a company based on negative reviews or social media exposure of problematic practices.

Daniel Chait, Greenhouse CEO, states: “Organizations must address habits like ghosting and discriminatory questions if they want to hire top talent. The process needs to respect fairness and equality.”

Carin Van Vuuren, CMO, adds: “Negative online reviews can be catastrophic for attracting candidates. Companies must get serious about an authentic, positive employer brand.”

The data reveals an urgent need for organizations to modernize their hiring approaches to meet candidate expectations around DE&I, communication, efficiency and ethics. Those that fail to evolve risk alienating the very talent they need to succeed.


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