A recent survey of 95,000+ job candidates and 150 companies revealed what is going right and what is going wrong in the job application process. For many months since my last blog post on this subject, I was led to believe that one of the largest turnoffs for candidates during the application process was its length and many cumbersome hurdles. A recent report by Talent Board on the candidate experience tells a different story. The results show that dissatisfaction was not correlated to the length and complexity of the process but rather to the lack of information provided to candidates before, during and after the application process. Additionally candidates wanted a clear means to demonstrate their qualifications relevantly and to provide feedback.
Here is what average employers are properly providing:
- 94% are providing job descriptions
- 87% provide information about why people want to work here
- 78% provide benefits details
Here is what average employers are not providing that candidates want to know:
- Only 57% provide employee day-in-the-life information
- Just over 49% provide career path examples
- Only 22% provide salary ranges
The surveyed companies provide the following responses after the candidate completes the application for submission:
- 99% acknowledged the candidate’s application was received
- 90% sent a note thanking the candidate for considering the firm
- 46% provided a statement that only candidates for whom they have further interest will be contacted
- 37% provided a statement that informs a candidate how to learn about their status
- 18% provided a statement that says they will inform the candidate when the position has been filled
Acknowledging receipt of the application is one step in battling the application black hole about which so many applicants complain, however the statistics begin to drop sharply thereafter leaving many candidates disgruntled. More concerning is the data showing that 91% of employers make no contact with external candidates who were unqualified beyond the initial automated acknowledgement of receipt. In other words if the company’s ATS screened the candidate out from the start, that candidate likely won’t receive any communication beyond that initial email from a do not reply address.
This lack of communication affects the hiring company adversely. According to an early 2013 survey, 32% of candidates would be less likely to purchase an employer’s products if they did not hear back from them after the application process.
Out of five stars with five being the best, 80.6% of candidates rated the communication they received from companies as being three or less. Candidates expect to be screened and in some instances screened arduously but they also have expectations of being acknowledged. Good or bad they want feedback. Maybe as a recruiter or hiring manager you are too busy or too unconcerned with how candidates feel. Perhaps then you should treat job candidates as current or future customers. With an average of 200 applying to each open position, do you really want to send 160 customers away ticked off at you?