Virgin Calculated the Value of a Bad Candidate Experience, And the Results are Astounding!

Every company desires to retain and attract more customers. And all efforts must be in place to block all channels of losing one. Surprisingly, a recent study found that your company can lose a customer due to a bad recruitment experience. Now that’s bizarre, right? In the light of the following information, no employer would want to repeat a bad candidate experience.

Virgin’s study on bad candidate experience

A research team in Virgin Media studied the data of rejected candidates, who were also customers. The candidates had threatened to cancel their cable subscription after a bad recruitment experience. Collating the data of candidates that actually switched to their competitors, the team found that Virgin lost about $5 million dollars in revenue within the year.

This shocking revelation at Virgin Media started as a mere quest by their former HR Manager Graeme Johnson, to investigate how rejected candidates viewed the brand. Alas, his discoveries were alarming! First, he studied the post-interview surveys of the rejected candidates and observed that a lot of them complained about a bad recruitment experience. He was further worried that 18% of them were Virgin Media customers and their Net Promoter Scores (NPS) indicated that over 65% of them are not likely to recommend the company to others.

bad candidate experience

Many employers could be facing a similar challenge without even recognizing bad candidate experience as a contributing factor hindering the explosive growth of their firms.

At this stage, it became apparently clear that a bad candidate experience could actually be bad for business. Johnson went further to investigate the numbers that actually canceled their subscriptions and had the analytics team do the calculations. About 6% out of the rejected 123,000 candidates actually canceled their monthly cable subscription. Going by a $60 monthly subscription fee in a year, that’s a staggering $5.4 million lost.

Virgin Media Intervenes

Armed with this troubling data, Johnson informed the Virgin Media executives about the devastating effect bad candidate experience has on the company’s success. He sought for their intervention through more investments and emphasized on the need to retrain hiring managers, an in-house recruitment team and the engagement of a sourcing team.

Through many consultations, Virgin trained its entire staff on the benefits of providing a high standard of service to not only their customers but also job candidates who are also potential customers. And the company focused on transforming bad recruitment experience to a memorable one to attract more customers.

Solution: raising the recruiting experience

To attain a higher standard of interview program for candidates, Virgin inspired their employees by introducing incentives for employees offering the best candidate experience. The program was embraced by all and soon it became one of the company’s priorities.  Further investments were made; the recruiting team was sent on trips that they shot videos and developed great contents – to improve the recruiting experience from the application stage to post interview sessions, where rejected candidates were counseled on self-improvement.

Today, the entire initiative has paid off. Virgin Media has recorded a steady increase in its Net Promoter Score and a significant financial impact. The company has been able to grow its customer base at a cheaper rate by transforming bad candidate experience into a high standard recruiting experience.

Many employers could be facing a similar challenge without even recognizing bad candidate experience as a contributing factor hindering the explosive growth of their firms. Employers should treat all parties encountered at their firms and beyond as potential customers; otherwise, they score chances of limiting their brands.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

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