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Post by Rich Moy on Dec 27, 2016 12:00:00 PM

It’s never fun to hear that a developer had a negative interview experience with your company. But as easily as you could dismiss that as “one person’s opinion,” delivering a poor candidate experience has far-reaching implications that make it much more difficult to meet your hiring goals. Beyond leaving a bad taste in a developer candidate’s mouth, here are a few of the hidden costs of a poor candidate experience.

It Negatively Impacts Your Employer Brand

Your top developer candidates typically have a few things in common. They’re smart, they have strong opinions about a wide variety of topics, and they’re eager to share information with colleagues. Those things not only apply to the way they approach their jobs, but also to how developers discuss previous interview experiences with each other.

Not surprisingly, Talent Board recently found that 66% of job seekers share their negative interview experience with their inner circle, with 51% of respondents also stating that they share their thoughts via social media as well. Sure, you might run into a few developers who simply lash out because they didn’t receive an offer from you. But if you ignore the candidate experience best practices that developers have come to expect, it won’t be long before your employer brand takes a hit.

It Makes it More Challenging to Re-engage Previous Candidates

Common wisdom might lead you to believe that candidate experience best practices aren’t particularly important when it comes to people you’ve decided not to hire. When I was a recruiter, I made the mistake of assuming that once we rejected a candidate, we’d probably never reach out to that person again. It didn’t take long for me to realize that was the furthest thing from the truth.

The developers you don’t hire today will likely go on to learn new skills and become even more attractive candidates down the road. When this happens, it’s only natural to say to yourself, “I’d better reach out to that person again ASAP and offer a billion-dollar salary.” However, competitive pay alone won’t make up for a negative interview experience. In fact, CareerBuilder found that 42% of candidates won’t reapply for jobs with companies that treated them poorly during the interview process.

It Affects Your Company’s Bottom Line

Happy job applicants often make for ideal brand applicants, whether they receive an offer or not. In a recent study, Software Advice found that candidates are 71% more likely to buy a company’s products when they’re met with a positive interview experience. Conversely, 42% of respondents stated that they would avoid purchasing a company’s products if they had a poor candidate experience.

On the surface, it might be difficult to articulate how a bad candidate experience can impact sales. If you’re anything like I was when I was a recruiter, it’s not always easy to see how the people you interview can have such a dramatic affect on your company’s bottom line. But as Dr. John Sullivan writes, “By providing a bad candidate experience, you frustrate and anger candidates. And a significant portion of those disillusioned candidates strikes back by no longer buying your retail product.”

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