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Sucky Candidate Experience: Questions Applicants Want Answers For

There’s a lot of talk about candidate experience in the recruiting world – how candidates are treated during the application, interview, and post-interview process affects what they have to say about your company, and whether or not they land the job.

The number one most annoying aspect of the application process for candidates – you’re not communicating well enough with them.

Whether it’s before the interview or during the selection process, candidates want information about how they performed – faster, and in the form of higher-quality feedback:

“5.5% of candidates were given feedback that they found even moderately useful from employers when notified that they were not selected; of that, a scant 2.6% of candidates received “specific and valuable feedback.”

Of course, candidates were lucky to receive any feedback at all; 55.9% reported not receiving any feedback in the first place. Another 20% of those that did were provided “general or limited feedback.” – Recruiting Daily

Communication is key if you want to retain candidates through your recruitment funnel. That same survey from Recruiting Daily shed some light on how candidates are feeling about selection processes, as well as the types of questions they’re annoyed that they don’t have answers to.

Here are some common questions annoyed candidates ask, and the statistics that prove their answers are important:

Why does your online application take so long to fill out?

43% of candidates spend 30 minutes or more on the average online application. 10% spend an hour or more – that’s a long time for someone with a full time job.

Why haven’t you told me anything about the interview I have with you next week?

Only 38.2% of candidates received any information prior to their actual interview. 4 in 10 of you are letting people know the names of the hiring managers they’ll be meeting in advance.

Why isn’t your company listed on a career site?

65% of applicants want to look at a career site when researching a company for hire.

What do you actually stand for? And no, telling me you’re progressive doesn’t count.

14.4% of candidates stated that the most important marketing material influencing their decision to apply was the company’s values. These count more than awards like Best Places to Work Lists (12.7%) or corporate social responsibility (13.8%).

While some of these applicant concerns could be fixed with minor adjustments in your recruiting strategy, some of them – such as candidate feedback and application length – are bigger issues to tackle.

The answer lies in taking a look at your overall talent acquisition strategy – you need to streamline your processes to increase your bandwidth.

Streamlining Your ATS can lessen candidate’s annoyance with the applicant process.

candidate experience

It can be annoying to submit your application to an automated system – an automated system that the candidate doesn’t always realize is set up to feed your applicant tracking system (ATS).

Candidates are wondering things like, “why did I work so hard on formatting my resume if I just have to reformat it in each individual applications system?” or, “I’m missing a requirement for this position on paper, but I explained that in my cover letter. Are they even going to look?”

Streamlining your ATS and your online application portal can reduce your applicant headache, and attract more people to apply to your open positions.

Some suggestions include letting the applicant choose between inputting their information manually and uploading a resume, or being more explicit about which requirements you consider mandatory before they begin the application.

Communication is key: candidates are no longer satisfied with automatic-response emails.

candidate experience

Basically, automatic response emails are only good for one thing – letting the applicant know their resume made it through your online application vortex, and landed in someone’s inbox.

As the survey by Recruiting Daily demonstrated, automatic responses are not considered valuable communication on behalf of an organization – but they are immediate.

While automatic have a purpose, consider assessing whether or not you have the bandwidth to reply to each applicant individually – let them know whether or not their application is being seriously considered for review.

If you know this isn’t possible with the personnel restrictions you’re currently working with, consider increasing your team’s bandwidth by leveraging direct hire recruiting agencies.

Recruiting agencies can help you talk to your applicants – and they’ll make sure you only have to provide feedback on the good ones.

candidate experience

Working with direct hire recruiting agencies can improve your candidate experience on some of the most difficult levels – they have more time to dedicate to specific candidates, they manage the candidate interaction and feedback, and they’re responsible for submitting the candidate application and information.

A recruiter’s expertise coupled with agency bandwidth will exponentially increase your ability to provide feedback to each candidate on a personal level – not to mention they won’t submit anyone they don’t think is good for the job.

Candidate experience is a prevalent issue for recruiters looking to better attract and retain top talent. Increasing your communication bandwidth and streamlining your application process are two of the most effective paths to better candidate experience. Lean on a recruiting agency to help with the process only if you need to.

Here at BountyJobs, we help you manage your direct hire recruiting agencies while the recruiting agencies help you manage your search process. If you’re interested in an analytical view of your recruiting agencies, check out our marketplace.


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