The 2024 Candidate Experience Report highlights candidate perspectives on the job market, their challenges, and the factors they consider during the application and hiring processes. 

Greenhouse, which surveyed 1,000 job seekers in the United Kingdom, found that amidst continuous job growth, the majority (67%) have a confident outlook on the job market in 2024. Two-fifths (40%) would be open to new roles within the next six months.

Despite many companies struggling to recruit top talent, most candidates are still experiencing frustrating, inequitable, and poor hiring processes.

Bias and Discrimination Drive Candidates Away

Over two-fifths (41%) of candidates have faced discriminatory interview questions. The most common discriminatory questions encountered during interviews relate to protected classes such as age (40%), criminal record (22%), and gender (21%).

Dating Habits Beginning to Haunt Hiring Processes

Nearly a third (29%) report that companies have baited and switched job scopes, where the originally advertised responsibilities differed significantly once they started their role. Over half (56%) report experiencing ‘love bombing,’ where they received excessive praise and flattery during the hiring process only to be lowballed with a salary and title that didn’t match their qualifications, skills, and experience. Instead of a reasonable starting salary, employers may promise promotions.

Job seekers say they’re facing excessive interviews which makes them feel strung along. Nearly two-thirds (65%) are frustrated to have invested considerable time in multi-stage interviews only to be rejected. Most prefer to keep things efficient with just 1-2 interview stages, while 29% say 2-4 interviews are the maximum they’re willing to complete.

Daniel Chait, co-founder and CEO of Greenhouse, commented:

Organisations must address and mitigate habits like ghosting and discriminatory interview questions if they want to hire top talent in this competitive landscape. The hiring process needs to be professional and respectful for all parties, mirroring the values of fairness and equality we champion in society.

 Daniel Chait, co-founder and CEO of Greenhouse

Prioritising Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Crucial for Attracting Top Talent

Amidst a strong economy and job market growth, over half of job seekers (55%) say Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) is still an important consideration when deciding to apply for a position. The majority (86%) of historically underrepresented candidates are 37% more likely to consider it compared to white respondents (59%).

When considering a company’s commitment to equitable and inclusive practices, candidates look at diverse leadership (38%), positive employee reviews online mentioning DE&I (36%), and benefits that promote equity, like remote work and healthcare options (34%).

Poor Company Cultures & Broken Interview Processes Driving Away Candidates

Company culture plays a vital role in candidates’ decision to apply for a job. The majority of candidates (80%) say a company’s culture and external brand influence their decision to apply for a job. Negative reviews on platforms such as Glassdoor or viral posts on TikTok could cause companies to lose top talent. 9 out of every 10 candidates (92%) say that hearing or seeing negative information about a company’s culture or brand would affect their decision to apply.

Over two-fifths of job seekers (42%) report being ghosted during the hiring process. BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) candidates were 67% more likely to be ghosted compared to white candidates. The most common stages applicants were ghosted were after the initial conversation with a recruiter (45%), after the interview with the hiring manager (40%), and after a take-home test assignment (15%).

Carin Van Vuuren, Chief Marketing Officer of Greenhouse, commented:

Negative online reviews and viral posts exposing poor practices – in hiring or in business – can be catastrophic for a company’s ability to attract the best candidates. Organizations need to get serious about cultivating an authentic, positive employer brand and lived experience for employees if they want to win over discerning job seekers.

Carin Van Vuuren, Chief Marketing Officer of Greenhouse

For access to the full results from the 2024 Candidate Experience Report, visit the Greenhouse site here.

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.