Over Half of the Irish Job Seekers Would Refuse an Offer Due to Negative Recruitment Experience

New research published by the hiring platform, IrishJobs.ie, reveals that, amidst a context of near full employment, over half of Irish job seekers would refuse a job offer if they had a negative experience during the recruitment process.

With over 90,000 global respondents, the Future of Recruitment survey, undertaken by IrishJobs in partnership with Boston Consulting Group and The Network, an association of global hiring platforms, is the world’s largest study on the future of recruitment and includes responses from 955 professionals across a range of industries in Ireland.

The study reveals that 59% of job seekers in Ireland would refuse a good job offer due to a negative experience during the selection process (for example, discriminatory questions or bad chemistry with interviewers) – slightly higher than the global average of 52%.

Meanwhile, 41% of Irish respondents would refuse an offer due to an unprofessional selection process (for example, an overly lengthy recruitment journey, a disorganised experience or outdated recruitment tools). The same percentage would refuse due to an employer’s lack of flexibility to match the jobseeker’s needs.

Conversely, the survey also provides insights into how an employer can improve their chances of attracting jobseekers to a role. Just over two-thirds (67%) of respondents in Ireland say that an employer could motivate them to take the offer by being open to negotiation. Meanwhile, 52% say they could be persuaded by being offered a tour of the workplace, while the same percentage could be persuaded by being given the space and time to decide.

Sam McIlveen, General Manager, IrishJobs.ie, part of StepStone Ireland, said: “Amidst a context of near full employment, today’s Future of Recruitment research offers much-needed global and local data-driven insights for employers into the talent attraction process. From outdated hiring tools to lengthy delays, it’s clear that workers face many frustrations throughout the talent recruitment process.

It’s important, therefore, for Irish employers to get it right because a negative experience for job seekers during the recruitment process is a major reason for Irish professionals to refuse an otherwise attractive job offer, something which will have a knock-on impact on an employer’s talent attraction and acquisition goals.”

When it comes to job hunting deal-breakers, the results show that work-life balance is the most important factor for Irish professionals, cited by 31% of respondents. This is in contrast to most global respondents who cite financial compensation as a top deal-breaker, followed by work-life balance. For Irish respondents, financial compensation comes in second place (26%), followed by flexible work location and/or work schedule (22%).

The results align with what most Irish professionals would consider their ideal career path, with almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents saying they wish for a stable career with a good work-life balance.

As the second most important deal-breaker for Irish professionals, salary continues to be a significant deciding factor for jobseekers around Ireland. In addition to this, almost half (45%) of respondents say they look at salary or financial compensation first in a job ad, followed by location (36%) and then whether the role offers remote work (27%). Over half of respondents (54%) also say that indicating a salary range is what matters most in a good job ad.

Actively searching for roles

The research also reveals the motivations of Irish professionals who are actively searching for new roles. Nearly a third (31%) are looking for a more interesting position or higher seniority, while almost a quarter (24%) say they want to explore a different occupation.

Of those respondents who are not actively looking but would consider an offer if it came along, 67% said a higher salary or better benefits at a new job would raise their interest. Meanwhile, almost 4 in 10 (37%) said they would consider an offer if it presented better opportunities for upward career progress, while the same percentage would be attracted by a better work-life balance.

Sam continued: “The research shows that, increasingly, people work to live, not live to work, and, while a negative recruitment experience can dissuade a lot of people from accepting a job offer, work-life balance is still the number one deal-breaker for Irish professionals. Therefore, employers need to ensure that corporate culture is up to the expectations of modern job seekers.

Increased salary and higher seniority may be enough to attract candidates – but what they look for in the longer term is good work-life balance and flexibility. This may include being able to work from home, having a supportive manager, and having access to employee well-being services.

It’s also interesting to note that while location and flexible working are important, the majority of Irish professionals consider salary to be the most important feature in a good job ad. This means that employers should focus on ensuring their job specs are transparent, up-to-date and attractive to potential candidates.

“By taking on board the insights contained in this report, the world’s largest study on the future of recruitment, I’m confident that employers and recruiters can make better choices at all stages of the talent acquisition journey, helping to increase their chances of attracting and retaining new talent and matching more professionals across Ireland with their dream roles.”

Today’s research also points to the continued preference amongst Irish professionals for hybrid work. Some 55% of respondents say they would prefer to work under a hybrid model. However, even after two years of flexible working, the survey also reveals that a greater percentage (29%) of respondents would prefer to work fully on-site compared to just 16% of respondents who say they would prefer to be fully remote.