Negative first impressions are deterring PAs from pursuing jobs

First impressions mean everything, especially when it comes to new job roles.

According to new research carried out by recruiting expert, by Hays PA & Secretarial, 55 per cent of PAs surveyed have been deterred from pursuing a role due to a poor first impression.

Over two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents claimed that they had felt discouraged to apply for a role due to negative employee reviews.

Meanwhile, impressions during an initial interview can also be a put off for some candidates, as 64 per cent said that an unwelcoming internal office environment also stopped them from pursing the role.

Half of PAs interviewed said they wouldn’t continue with their application due to unwelcoming staff, while almost a third said they wouldn’t due to the office exterior or location.

“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,” said Roddy Adair, director of Hays PA & Secretarial.

“Often working closely to the head of an organisation, it’s not surprising that a PA or EA would be deterred by a poor first impression of an employer. It’s evident that employers need to review what they need to do to improve their overall interview process in order to secure top PA talent.”

Delays throughout the recruitment process are also an issue for many applicants. 59 per cent claimed that they are only willing to wait one week after submitting a job application before they begin looking elsewhere.

In addition, more assistants are likely to leave at least one new job within the first 12 months if it didn’t meet the expectations set during the application process.

The key reasons cited by respondents for leaving within the first year were misleading job adverts (43 per cent), training not provided as expected (39 per cent), mismatched management expectations (36 per cent) and cultural fit (30 per cent).

Adair added: “PAs 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.”

The Hays What Workers Want 2018 report, examines the steps a candidate takes from initial job search, through to acceptance of a new role and joining an organisation and is based on a survey of over 14,600 professionals and employers with over 300 responses from PA professionals.