To help recruiters fine-tune their hiring, in Hudson/HRO Today’s Global Candidate Study, we asked candidates: “How important is the organization's job application and interview process in your decision to join the company?”
The job application process is often the first impression a company makes upon a candidate. The experience communicates whether the company is technologically savvy, straightforward and responsive, or simply lacks respect for the candidate’s time.
In an employee-centric market, candidates are less likely to tolerate a cumbersome job application and interview process. Overwhelmingly, 85.7 percent of respondent candidates feel the job application experience is important, with nearly one-half (46.1 percent) stating it is very important. Active and passive candidates responded similarly.
According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior study, “One in five candidates said they are not willing to complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or more, and 76 percent want to know how long it will take them to finish an application before it starts.”1
The exception to this is if the company is offering a higher base salary. Then the majority of job seekers said they would be willing to endure a lengthy application process.
FROM THE TALENT ACQUISITION PROS
“The use of video continues to gain ground in the application and interview process. For high-volume, lower skilled jobs such as call center or bank tellers, prerecorded videos ask the candidate the first initial screening questions, and the candidate records the answers.
This is convenient for the candidate and the recruiter. The candidates don’t need to wait around for an interview, but rather record their answers whenever they are ready.
And it’s more efficient for the recruiter who avoids the need to schedule a high volume of initial screening interviews, but rather can skip to the more qualified candidates.
Likewise, the use of Skype for professional jobs is becoming more common, particularly for recruiters interviewing in different geographies or for candidates who may need to relocate. It’s the difference between taking two hours off from work compared to two days to fly to a location.” Mike Wolford, Sourcing Manager, Hudson Americas
“As a rule of thumb, when things go wrong, disgruntled candidates go to Glassdoor to write about it, which means everyone else looking up your company on Glassdoor will see it. The younger the candidate, the less patience they’ll have with a cumbersome application process. That’s why more companies are allowing candidates to apply using existing LinkedIn or Facebook profiles. Companies also need to measure where candidates are falling off in the application process to fix it. Otherwise it’s hard to pin down where the issues are.” Kasey Butler, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Hudson Americas
Candidates: What are the most important things to you during your application and interview experience? (Please select the top three).
FROM THE RECRUITMENT PROS
“Whatever is important to candidates should be important to employers. It all comes back to candidate experience and employer brand. Treat your candidates like you do your customers. Recruiters must set expectations with candidates early on in the process so the candidates know what to expect. This makes candidates feel they are being treated fairly and equally. Recently a silver medalist for a senior IT role reached out to thank me for meeting my set deadlines for follow up, and now I can call on that candidate for other roles. In my experience, the one question everyone should ask candidates after the recruitment process is ‘Would you go out of your way to discourage or encourage others to apply to this company?’ On a 1 to 4 rating scale, 1 = discourage and 4 = encourage. The results will give you excellent insight into the candidate experience with your company.” Kasey Butler, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Hudson Americas
“The lack of communication on application status has to do with the paradox of the application black hole. Applying for a job can make a candidate feel like the resume is being thrown into a black hole. Rather than discouraging unqualified candidates from applying, this black hole feeling turns the job application process into a numbers game. The more a candidate applies for jobs (qualified or not), the more confident the candidate feels that he'll eventually get an interview. This onset of unqualified candidates creates a lot of extra work (and frustration) for the recruiters, and the time needed to get through the resumes takes time away from finding and communicating with the actual qualified candidates, and the communication problem compounds itself.” Mike Wolford, Sourcing Manager, Hudson Americas
In almost all instances, “Ongoing communication about application status,” “A reasonable time frame for a final decision,” and “Ease of application submission” become steadily less important as the candidate’s age increases.
FROM THE PROS
“Technology is the reason for this. Older candidates remember when applying for a job meant you had to fill out a lot of paperwork and mail or fax it to the company. They are used to the process taking longer, whereas the younger candidates have grown up with instant gratification and answers.” Mike Wolford, Sourcing Manager, Hudson Americas
“We have all become accustomed to efficiency, and when a recruitment process is inefficient, it frustrates everybody of all ages. I think that the more experienced the person, the more they understand that some things take time, and that is reflected in these results.” Kasey Butler, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Hudson Americas
In almost all instances, "Understanding the details of the position requirements" and "Knowing the next steps in the process" tend to become more important as a person ages.
FROM THE PROS
“The more experienced the candidate, the more concerned they are with the outcome rather than the paperwork and time required.” Mike Wolford, Sourcing Manager, Hudson Americas
“People 55+ are likely to have experienced more in their careers, so they are more aware of what they want and need and they are cautious. Those in the 18-24 range have more opportunities and are likely to give something a try. As you age, you have made good and bad decisions and you’ve learned from those experiences." Kasey Butler, Senior Client Relationship Manager, Hudson Americas
To download the complete results of HUDSON/HRO TODAY’S Global Candidate Study, click here
1 “New CareerBuilder Study Unveils Surprising Must Knows for Job Seekers and Companies Looking to Hire.” CareerBuilder. Web 1 June 2016