Hays have released the results from their latest report “What Workers Want” which surveyed 14,600 professionals and employers. The report examined the steps a candidate takes from initial job search through to acceptance of a new role and joining an organisation.
Poor first impressions are costing UK employers talented office support staff, as 46% of those surveyed by Hays Office Support, say they have been deterred from pursuing a role due to a negative first impression of the organisation.
Employers should closely consider the first impression a potential employee has of their organisation, as over two thirds (62%) of office support candidates have been discouraged from applying to a role by negative employee reviews.
First impressions at the interview stage may also be off-putting to top office support applicants as 61% have been deterred by an unwelcoming internal office environment and nearly half (48%) were also put off by unwelcoming staff.
Beyond these first impressions, one of the main deterrents for office support applicants was a bad experience at interview, as 46% of applicants say they have been put off further pursuing a role for this reason. The majority (83%) of applicants surveyed say they have had a negative experience at a job interview, with the main complaints being poor communication (38%), a lack of structure to the process (36%) as well as unprepared interviewers (35%).
A poorly managed applicant experience can create staff retention problems, as over half (53%) of office support professionals have left at least one new job within the first 12 months because it didn’t meet expectations set during the application process. The key reasons cited by respondents for leaving within the first year were that training was not provided as expected (54%), misleading job adverts (44%) and cultural fit (36%).
Delays throughout the recruitment process are also an issue for many applicants. Over half (57%) say they are only willing to wait one week after submitting their application before looking elsewhere, and a similar number (61%) are prepared to wait only 1-3 days after an interview for an offer before considering or accepting another opportunity.
Roddy Adair, Director of Hays Office Support commented on the findings: “In today’s intensely competitive market, the challenge isn’t just finding prospective candidates, it’s keeping them engaged throughout the entire application process to the point of hire and beyond. It’s evident that employers need to review what they need to do to improve their overall interview process in order to secure top office support talent. Professionals are telling us that first impressions really matter, so employers must audit, assess and refine the applicant journey to consistently present their organisation in the best possible light to prospective candidates.”
Request a copy of the Hays What Workers Want report at hays.co.uk/what-workers-want