How did your most recent candidate feel about your company’s application and interview processes?

The odds are that you’re not entirely sure – and the truth is, you’re in the same boat as most other employers.

But is this lack of insight minimizing your candidate pool and undermining your ability to attract top talent?

Probably.

Employers’ recruitment efforts can be (and often are) thwarted by their inability to curate a positive candidate experience.  Candidates who feel that they had a negative experience are unlikely to accept a job offer and likely to spread damaging reviews.

Fostering a streamlined candidate experience can be a daunting and time-consuming task, so it can be difficult to make the business case for it. This approach, however, is detrimental: a positive candidate experience is a vital component of any company’s recruitment efforts and attainable with industry expertise and the right tools.

 

What Candidates Want & Expect

Candidates consider clear and regular communication to be the most important aspect of their experience with a potential employer.  Continued, regular interest in their candidacy, as well as updates on the process, are expected, but not often provided. 89% of candidates say being contacted by their recruiter can make them accept a job offer faster, but a shocking 75% of applicants never hear back from employers. 

The speed with which the process is carried out can also make or break the candidate experience, with 62% of job seekers reporting that it should span no more than two weeks. However, in the United States, the process is rarely that brief. At 23.7 days, it’s nearly twice as long. Clearly, time is of the essence in this demanding process, but employers are falling behind.  

Similarly, ease and simplicity play into a candidate’s decision to apply. The most frequently cited reasons for failing to finish applications are related to the level of difficulty and duration:

  • 38.26% of respondents have abandoned an application because it took too long, 
  • 30.05% because the required information was not readily available, and
  • 19.01% because of technical difficulties. 

If the process is not simple and clear-cut, candidates move on. They are likely applying to multiple jobs and therefore choose not to waste their time on lengthy, complicated applications.

Finally, candidates value feedback from their recruiters and interviewers. After their application is reviewed or their interview conducted, 91% of individuals want to receive feedback – but in one study, only 41% had actually ever received it. They report that the lack of “feedback to their application or resume” is extremely discouraging, and expect to hear why they were or were not chosen for the position. Candidates who are provided with this information are four times more likely to consider a company for future opportunities, which means a larger candidate pool in the future.

 

How to Match the Candidate Experience to Candidates’ Expectations

After understanding what candidates want, the next step is to align your company’s application and interview processes with these desires and expectations. 

To ensure timely responses and regular communication, a logical choice is the use of automated responses. While automated, they should not be glaringly impersonal. A rough schedule or timeline of the process should be included in these responses, outlining the next steps and how long candidates can expect to wait before receiving a response.

Furthermore, fully-branded career portals are essential in creating an easy, streamlined experience that allows candidates to apply without a hassle, and they also are a great avenue to promoting your employer brand. They can be memorable, increase engagement, and even inspire candidates to apply.  

The Consequences of a Negative Candidate Experience

The consequences of a negative candidate experience can be overwhelming. Past candidates don’t reapply, and new candidates often follow suit.  A surprising 46% of candidates rate their experience applying for jobs as poor to very poor and frequently share this information with their networks: 72% of candidates said they share their negative experiences either directly or via social media, and 59% of the Class of 2019 responded that they would be “likely” to leave a negative review of a company online (i.e., Glassdoor) after having a bad job application or interview process.  

For any company, even a few publicly shared, unfavorable reviews have the power to devastate. Negative reviews can damage your employer brand’s perception, which may, in turn, dramatically reduce your candidate pool to a fraction of its original size.

 

Interested in additional ways to curate a positive candidate experience? Reach out → 

 

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