The Application Process Top Talent Can’t Stand Anymore

ThinkstockPhotos-182292683In the past, applying to a job was considered a company or recruiter-driven affair. According to the MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study, 79% of recruiters feel that is simply not the case anymore. With 49% of candidates refusing job offers at companies in order to take a position with another, the sentiment is pretty understandable.

The application process is an organization’s chance to win the heart of the candidate. Conversely, this first step is known to present just as much of a challenge as it does a friendly introduction. If plagued with complicated hoops and frustrating tech issues, the beginning of the employee lifecycle might be more of an end. While pleasing all applicants is impossible, job seekers do have standards that they, more often than not, expect from company application processes.

It’s a mobile world. Today’s job seeker is turning to the internet. Visiting the business and scanning classified ads just isn’t how people find available positions anymore. In fact, 76% of job seekers prefer to apply through a career site and 9 out of 10 job seekers will use a mobile device during at least one part of the job searching process. Though the switch was a drastic increase in the beginning, the idea to have a mobile-friendly recruiting process is becoming old news. A few smart companies are decreasing the application process to a one-click apply button that will send a stored resume or online profile.

Unfortunately, almost 49% of job seekers are still finding it difficult to apply for jobs with mobile technology. While developing a career site with mobile-friendly features seems like a great deal of work, it’s becoming increasingly necessary. After all, candidates seek, research and search job listings via their smartphones every day, why not allow them to apply?

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Make the process personal. When it comes to applying for a job, candidates are looking for their future livelihood and while companies want to invest in the business’ future, it’s not always the same degree of need. Candidates want a way to provide for themselves, so finding a place they like to work that will also accomplish a paycheck is something they needed yesterday.

When it comes to the company side of the equation, hiring managers and recruiters are hoping to hire an employee that has skills, talent and drive that can take multiple interviews and hoops before an offer letter is sent. In other words, time is of the essence and the companies that know what they want in an employee right away will most certainly win the hiring race.

Weeks for an offer letter can really kill any momentum that has been built, not too mention lose a qualified and skilled employee who is in-high-demand. The whole “fire fast, hire slow” theory has taken quite a bit of momentum though and 39% of companies are waiting as long as 3 to 4 weeks to make a decision. A little under half (43%) of these candidates report that the process involved 3 interviews as well, equating to quite a lot of time spent on a job that may not pan out in the end. While it may work for some businesses with great reputations, most organizations should take a “fire fast, hire quickly” model to avoid turning off interested talent.

Negativity kills employer branding. Not surprisingly, 42% of candidates said they would no longer seek employment at a business if they experienced a negative application process. Worse, 22% of those candidates would actively tell others to not work there either. While many find employer branding to be some imaginary entity that cannot be controlled by the organization, the truth lies in the fact that any poor experience, whether it be a borderline offensive job description, a poor customer service experience or a strenuous application process, can be enough to turn away candidates and customers alike.

One of the biggest pet peeves of candidates is lack of communication, whether it’s bad news, good news or no news, applicants want to know what to expect. Luckily, a good application and recruiting process can have the opposite effect, to the tune of 90% of candidates sharing their positive experience and encouraging others to apply. By providing feedback and showing courtesy, companies stand to not only grab a new brand ambassador, but many.

Candidates are taking the wheel in their own employment and that means that recruiters and hiring managers are scrambling to safely and effectively settle as a passenger. The transition means that companies should be tailoring their hiring processes so they are the passengers every candidate wants to be sitting beside. When it comes to hiring top talent, the first impression is pivotal and the application process might be what is turning the best away.

MORE: Use an applicant tracking system to its best

Raj Sheth

Raj Sheth
Raj Sheth is the CEO and co-founder of Recruiterbox an online recruitment software and applicant tracking system designed especially for growing companies.

Raj Sheth

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2 Responses to “The Application Process Top Talent Can’t Stand Anymore”

  1. Amtec says:

    […] in their giving bad feedback about your organization to other professionals. Luckily, according to, “a good application and recruiting process can have the opposite effect, to the tune of 90% […]

  2. A mobile friendly career site is essential today. In
    addition to improving the candidate experience, it’s the only way a large
    percentage of candidates will find you. Google now penalizes sites in mobile
    search that aren’t mobile friendly.

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