From being ghosted by employers to having to customize a resume for every job, a recent CareerBuilder survey shows the biggest woes job seekers are facing. The top complaints? Nearly half of candidates surveyed said that they were frustrated by not knowing where they stand in the hiring process and 35% said that lengthy applications are a major pain point. So what are the keys to creating a better candidate experience? Understanding the major issues job seekers are facing is a great first step, but it doesn’t stop there. You also need to be proactive about developing a more personalized process that takes the guesswork—and the hard work—out of applying for a role.
Here are the biggest candidate woes, and what you can do to address them.
Overly complicated applications
Few things are worse than uploading your resume only to click through to the next page and realize that you have to type out all of the information again. And the frustration only gets worse when you’re faced with a long application that asks for a detailed description of your work history as well as behavioral screening questions. In addition to feeling like a waste of time, it can also make the application process seem pretty impersonal. What’s more, it can end up costing employers some serious talent. In fact, complicated applications can mean a big drop-off in the number of candidates who actually apply for a role. According to a recent Human Capital Institute report, 60% of job seekers report quitting in the middle of filling out an online job application because of how long the process took. Not a great outcome, right?
What you can do: Although online applications are a must these days—especially for busy HR departments—there are ways to streamline the application process and minimize time spent by candidates. Adding a resume parsing component to your applications is a good start, but to really keep candidate drop-off to a minimum, it’s important to also minimize the number of screening questions included in the application. The number to aim for: less than 20 questions. This can reduce candidate decline by up to 55% and give you higher-quality applicants.
Failure to set clear expectations
We’ve all been there: You submit an application, get an email from a recruiter and get ready to go in for an interview. Sounds like a great start, right? But not knowing what to expect from the interview—or the role—can make the hiring process fraught and leave you unsure about next steps. Will you be meeting with a hiring manager or a whole team? Is the salary range for the role in line with your compensation goals? Will you be required to undergo any assessments during the process? With all of these unanswered questions, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest job seeker woes across every industry is poor communication. What’s more, that frustration grows even bigger when it’s compounded by an unclear timeline. In fact, 47% of candidates say lack of timely responses are a huge pain point when looking for a job and not knowing what to expect as they move through the process can make it hard to stay engaged. What’s worse, it can make candidates more likely to ghost employers.
What you can do: You already know that it’s important to set clear goals for your employees, but if you’re not applying this same strategy to your recruiting process you could be making your hiring timelines longer and losing out on your top picks. Let candidates know up front about the job expectations and salary range, and keep them informed on how long the process will take and when they can expect to get feedback. Getting on the same page with your candidates from the start can make the process much smoother for everyone involved and help ensure a pain-free candidate experience.
A poorly structured interview process
If you’ve ever gone into an interview feeling completely unsure of what to expect—or worse, unprepared—you’re not alone. Maybe you only brought three copies of your resume when you actually need five or you aren’t sure of all the names and roles of everyone you’ll be meeting with. Although this sounds like a nightmare scenario, it happens more often than you think and, for many job seekers, it’s often the result of a poorly structured interview process. What’s more, the problem frequently begins before the interview even takes places with 50% of candidates saying that scheduling changes for interviews are among their top frustrations overall.
What you can do: Putting yourself in the candidates’ shoes can make a big difference when developing your interview process and focusing on things like easy scheduling, a clear interview format and full transparency about who will be involved in each step of the process is the best way to set your candidates up for success. Although this may require a bit more time to develop, the time it will save you in the long run is priceless.
Showing candidates that you’re aware of their biggest woes, and that you care about reducing them, can go a long way toward helping you get the hires you want. And as an added bonus, it can help you build the kind of strong employer brand that will make top talent come to you.
Looking to improve the talent journey at your company? Learn the three recruitment trends you should implement this year and how to build a potential candidate database.