Nearly half (46 percent) of employees have left a new job within the first 12 months because expectations formed during the interview process were not met in practice, according to a new report published today by Hays Ireland, the specialist recruitment company.

Citing their reasons, almost half (47 percent) said on-the-job coaching or training was not provided as expected, while 40 percent said the actual job advertisement was misleading. 28 percent said that they did not mesh with the organisation’s culture.

The Hays Ireland What Workers Want Report 2018, which surveyed 1,800 employers and employees, found that a poor application process and interviewing experience not only harms employee attraction, but also retention.

First impressions matter

With Ireland nearing full employment, the jobs marketplace is increasingly candidate-driven. Oftentimes employees on the hunt for a new role are juggling multiple job applications at the same time. First impressions, trivial as they may seem, matter a great deal, and can be the difference between a candidate favouring one employer over another.

45 percent of employees said they had been deterred from pursuing a role due to a negative first impression of an organisation. Among those surveyed, 64 percent said the internal working environment appeared unwelcoming, while over a third (37 percent) said the receptionist or staff were unwelcoming.

Interviewers need to be prepared too

Another factor to emerge was applicants’ dissatisfaction with the interview process. Overall, 82 percent of applicants say they have had a negative experience during the interview stage. The main reasons cited were lack of interviewer preparedness (39 percent), an overly long and cumbersome interview process (34 percent), and poor communication of the interview process (33 percent).

Meeting their prospective colleagues is also important to candidates. 62 percent want to meet their direct reports during the hiring process, but only a small number of employers—11 percent—facilitate this.

Optimising the process

Simon Winfield, Managing Director, Hays Ireland, said that employers need to be more critical of their hiring process:

“As Ireland nears full employment, the market is very much a candidate-driven one. In this context, a poor application process and interviewing experience not only harm employee attraction, but also retention.

“As the market becomes more competitive, this requires employers to continuously review their recruitment processes to ensure they are fit for purpose. If a company’s hiring process was designed even five years ago, it may no longer deliver within the current candidate market.

“Our report also shows that candidates value the actual experience of the interview in many different ways. How they are welcomed into your office, who they meet, and how you interact with them before and after all subtly influence their opinion of you. Equally, meeting the boss is another important step in this interview process, and one that too many employers overlook. Neglecting these steps can be the difference between hiring an excellent employee and losing one.”

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