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Study: Candidates rate what they dislike most about the job application and interview process

Study: Candidates rate what they dislike most about the job application and interview process

What do you dislike most about the job application and interview process in general when seeking a new job?

This is what we asked candidates for Hudson/HRO Today’s 2016 Global Candidate Study to help recruiters fine-tune their hiring strategies.

An unresponsive recruiter is the most disliked aspect of the hiring process, with an average rank of 2.39 out of 5. The next biggest frustration for candidates is being uninformed about their status in the hiring process, with an average score of 2.63 out of 5.

Frustrations with Job Application and Interview Process
Rank from 1-5 with 1 being the most disliked
and 5 being the least disliked

Source: Hudson/HRO Today 2016 Global Candidate Study, North American results

Candidates come to positive or negative conclusions about recruiters, hiring managers and the company during the job application and interview process. 

These reactions, both positive and negative, have broader implications than many companies realize. According to a 2015 Candidate Behavior Study by CareerBuilder, 82 percent of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process. In reality, however, 58 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a company that doesn’t respond to their applications. Additionally, the study found that 69 percent of candidates are less likely to do business with an organization if they had a negative interview experience, and the same is true of 65 percent of candidates when they don’t hear back after an interview.1

On the other hand, a 2012 study by CareerBuilder found that 56 percent of candidates who had positive application experiences would consider seeking employment with the same company in the future, and 37 percent would suggest others seek employment with the organization.2


“Ongoing communication is crucial, even if it’s to inform the candidate that there is no update. If candidates don’t hear anything, they lose interest and move on. You must set expectations up-front regarding frequency and method of communication and keep them in the loop. Our talent acquisition team acts as consultants to the hiring manager, and we drive the recruitment process to keep it moving quickly. At our account, if a requisition is not filled within a specific timeframe, it gets cancelled, so hiring managers have consequences if they fail to act in a timely manner.” Kasey Butler, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Hudson Americas

“It’s almost impossible to over-communicate with a candidate.” Jenifer “Jak” Kihm, Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, Operant

“The failure to communicate is the biggest systematic challenge we face, but there are two sides to this story. Candidates assume that if they do not hear from a recruiter, nothing is progressing. However, often the silence is due to the hiring manager’s unresponsiveness. In MRI’s 1st half 2016 recruiter sentiment study, 56% of recruiters surveyed said that "lengthy hiring practices" holds back managers from hiring.

Underlying “lengthy hiring practices”…the reason why candidate experience is so universally poor is simple…because there are no metrics attached to keeping candidates warm. Corporations don’t tend to measure this, so recruiters don’t care. It’s the downside to running a business just by the numbers. It’s great for profits but horrible for anyone trying to provide a positive candidate experience. Without measuring, no consequences exist for hiring managers that don’t read resumes, fail to provide feedback after interviews, or even fail to give the correct job spec upfront. Often these causes are the bottleneck, not the recruiters’ lack of desire to communicate.

In my experience, the companies that conduct candidate experience surveys are the ones that win candidate experience awards, and it is good for their employer brand.” Mike Wolford, Sourcing Manager, Hudson Americas


You may not know how good or bad your hiring process is in the eyes of candidates. Only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like. Test the experience as if you were a job seeker. Go to your career site, apply for a job and interact with your company through the eyes of a candidate so you can make improvements where needed.3

To download the complete results of HUDSON/HRO TODAY’S 2016 Global Candidate Study, click here


Sources cited

1 ”Nationwide Study From CareerBuilder Reveals Six Facts Every Employer Should Know About the Candidate Experience.” CareerBuilder. Web 21 May 2015
2 ”Seventy-Five Percent of Workers Who Applied to Jobs Through Various Venues in the Last Year Didn’t Hear Back From Employers, CareerBuilder Survey Finds.” CareerBuilder. Web 20 Feb 2013
3 “New CareerBuilder Study Unveils Surprising Must Knows for Job Seekers and Companies Looking to Hire.” CareerBuilder. Web 1 June 2016

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