Recruiters Beware: Treat Candidates Well or Lose Them as Future Employees and Customers, According to Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey

- Majority of Those Treated Poorly During Recruiting Process Wouldn’t Accept Job Offer -

- More than Half Say They Would Not Remain a Customer After a Bad Recruiting Experience –

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A new survey of professionals conducted by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) shows how critical it is for organizations to place a strong emphasis on the candidate experience during the recruiting process.

Editor’s Note: Survey Results at Bottom of Release, Click Here for Infographic.

Three-quarters of respondents say it is unlikely they would accept a job offer if they were treated poorly during the recruiting experience, even if they felt the role was a good fit.

In addition, more than half (56 percent) say it is unlikely that they would remain a customer of a company if they had a bad experience as a candidate, and more than a third (34 percent) say they would also be likely to urge their friends and family members to stop being a customer.

When considering applying to a company, 98 percent of the respondents say they take to social media sites to see what others say about both the hiring experience as well as working at the organization.

“Companies risk alienating not only strong candidates, but loyal customers if they don’t make a concerted effort to create an efficient, welcoming and informative environment during the hiring process,” said Adam Blumberg, Korn Ferry Futurestep Vice President, Key Accounts. “This equates to significant costs, both in terms of the time and money wasted during the hiring process, as well as loss of revenue from fleeing customers.”

When asked what would aggravate them most during the recruiting process, the majority (53 percent) cited not hearing back from the recruiter or hiring manager.

“There is absolutely no excuse for recruiters and hiring managers to not respond to candidates, even if that communication is electronic such as email or text,” said Blumberg. “New technology and AI tools are automating many of the traditionally manual recruiting tasks, freeing up time for recruiters to provide stronger candidate care and strategic counsel to their clients.”

According to the survey, respondents believe there is a real need for recruiters and hiring managers to do their homework about the company for which they are recruiting. Nearly half (47 percent) do not believe recruiters paint a clear, accurate picture of the company and of the role for which they are being considered, and more than a third (36 percent) do not believe the recruiters give them the tools and tips they need to land a job.

“The best recruiters and talent acquisition professionals take the time to understand the strategic objectives of both the company and the role for which they are recruiting, and communicate to the candidate how they will fit into the organization if hired,” said Neil Griffiths, Korn Ferry Futurestep’s Global Brand, Marketing & Communications leader.

A key tactic to help bring the employer brand to life is to use digital channels. Survey respondents said that beyond recruitment process details, the elements that matter most to them on a career website are information about the company’s culture and its philanthropic efforts.

“An employer branding strategy is a key way to engage with candidates,” said Griffiths. “Recruiters and hiring managers should take a look at the company culture and make sure the go-to-market strategy is authentic to the brand. In the recruiting world, we don’t want surprises that can lead to attrition, such as candidates expecting one thing when hired and finding an entirely different situation when they start their job.”

About the survey

Korn Ferry Futurestep fielded the survey in September and early October of 2017. It garnered 1,108 responses. Percentages are rounded to the nearest decimal. Totals may not equal 100 percent.


If you had a bad experience as a candidate applying/interviewing for a job, how likely would you be to remain a customer of that company?

Not at all likely 26 percent
Somewhat unlikely 30 percent
Wouldn’t make a difference 44 percent

If you had a bad experience as a candidate applying/interviewing for a job, how likely are you to urge your friends/family to stop being a customer of the company?

Very likely 9 percent
Somewhat likely 25 percent
Somewhat unlikely 23 percent
Very unlikely 44 percent

How likely would you be to accept a job offer from a company if you thought the position was a good fit but you were treated poorly during the interview process?

Not at all likely 26 percent
Somewhat unlikely 49 percent
Wouldn’t make a difference 25 percent

When applying for/interviewing for a job, how often do you research online sites that give feedback on working for the company?

All of the time 64 percent
Some of the time 34 percent
Never 2 percent

What would aggravate you most during a job application/interview process?

Not hearing back from the recruiter/hiring manager 53 percent
People being rude during an interview 8 percent
Not enough information about what the role would entail 12 percent
Getting different information about the role form the people with whom I interview 14 percent
Lack of transparency on salary 3 percent
Poor visibility on the different stages of the process 10 percent

Aside from a listing of available jobs, what is the most compelling part of a Careers website?

CEO Video 14 percent
Company Background 5 percent
Benefits 10 percent
Company Culture 20 percent
Philanthropic initiatives 24 Percent
Recruitment process details 27 percent

To what extent would you agree with the following statement: “Recruiters with whom I have worked paint a clear, accurate picture of the company and of the role for which I am being considered.”

Agree strongly 13 percent
Agree somewhat 20 percent
Disagree somewhat 20 percent
Disagree strongly 27 percent
Neither 20 percent

Recruiters with whom I have worked have offered me the tools and tips I need to help me land the job

Agree strongly 15 percent
Agree somewhat 24 percent
Neither agree or disagree 17 percent
Disagree somewhat 20 percent
Strongly disagree 16 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent global people and organizational advisory firm. We help leaders, organizations and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. Our more than 7,000 colleagues deliver services through our Executive Search, Hay Group and Futurestep divisions. Visit for more information.

More information on Futurestep can be found at

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner

Source: Korn Ferry