What candidates hate about the application process

Nolan Gray Tips & Tricks

You’ve heard it before: In an applicant-driven market, the job seeker’s experience is everything. However, companies still have a lot of work to do on improving the application process. Here are some of the top issues job seekers still have with the application process:

They don’t know who you are
For many, the job hunt begins with a job posting. The position may be just what they’re looking for, but they have no idea who you are. In many cases, the application process will end here if qualified candidates don’t want to apply somewhere they’ve never heard of. The fix? Create content that plays up your employer brand and link to it job postings so candidates have a chance to learn more about the organization behind the opening.

The application process is cumbersome
Is your application process still taking up too much applicant time? That’s strike No. 1. Is your application system difficult for candidates to use? That’s another strike against you. For instance, will your application system shut down or run slowly if candidates aren’t using Internet Explorer? This is sure to irritate your savvier candidates who sent that browser to the trash bin years ago. Even if a candidate is dead-set on applying to an opening, an unwieldy application system will deter her. If you need to stop halfway through a long application to do other things, you should be able to easily log back in afterward.

You ignore their resume
Another common complaint is the recruiters don’t read candidate resumes, according to ERE.net. Nearly everyone has had this complaint at some point. They crafted an awesome application and sent it off, only to never hear anything. There are a few reasons for this. First, applicant tracking systems read keywords, which means if the keywords aren’t there, candidates may not hear back from you. There are a couple of fixes to this situation. First, determine if your ATS is to blame. Maybe its search capabilities aren’t up to par and you’re actually losing great talent into the void. Second, write better job posts that make it more obvious what skills and background are needed to apply for the specific position. Vagueness invites applications from unqualified people, and they are bound to be ignored.

The interview process
Candidates hate interviews more than anything. According to a survey from After College, 34 percent of students called the interview the biggest problem with the hiring process. Why? Probably because it’s so stressful. But there are other reasons too. It can take way too long. For an already stressful ordeal, multiple interviews can be particularly onerous. Changing your recruiting process won’t happen overnight, but you can clue applicants into the number of interviews they can expect and who they will be speaking with.

Applicant experience can never be taken for granted. Whenever you implement new tools or processes, like a new applicant tracking system or mobile recruiting solution, be sure that it works well from the candidate side too, otherwise it’s not a beneficial change.

Jobscience | Are you having a relationship issue with your ATS? Fix it.

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