3 Reasons Your Candidate Intake Process Stinks

ThinkstockPhotos-482254719You wrote a great job description. The pay is on track with other positions. The company you’re recruiting for is desirable. But you’re just not having any luck getting truly qualified applicants to apply.

So what is scaring those good candidates away?

It could be your application process. If it’s lengthy or not tech-friendly, job seekers are likely to abandon your opportunity in favor of “lower-hanging fruit” (i.e., a competitor’s job).

So if you’re posting good jobs that pay well, but you’re just not receiving quality submissions, scrutinize your intake process to see if it’s the culprit. Here are three reasons your application could be scaring away great people – and how to turn things around:

1. It’s not mobile-friendly. The job search has gone online, and it’s gone mobile:

  • PrideStaff’s 2015 Job Search Methods and Insights study shows that nearly three-quarters (73.5%) of job seekers relied heavily on major job boards (e.g., Indeed, CareerBuilder, Monster) during their last job search.
  • A 2014 Pew research study shows that 63% of “smartphone-dependent” users have obtained job information on their phone in the last year, and 39% have used their phone to submit a job application.
  • Yet, according to research cited in LinkedIn’s Talent blog, only 18% of recruiting leaders have optimized their job posts for mobile.

PREMIUM CONTENT: When looking for work, which job board or social networking site do temps use the most?

Grab your smartphone and take a look at your application process through a candidate’s eyes. Do your job postings display well – or are they text-heavy and impossible to read? Is your online application easy to fill-out from your phone – or do you need Coke-bottle glasses and miniature thumbs to complete it?

As younger, even more smartphone-dependent job seekers enter the market, mobile-friendly job postings and online applications will become even more vital to recruiting. If yours aren’t up to snuff, consider investing in a technology upgrade now.

2. It’s simply too long. How long does your job application take to complete? In a recent survey by research firm Staffing.org, nearly half (47%) of job candidates said they had not applied for a job because the employer’s process was “too lengthy or complicated.”

Don’t make good candidates jump through hoops!Streamline your application, to make sure it’s as simple for job seekers as possible (without sacrificing quality). As a rule of thumb, applying online should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Applicants are falling into a recruiting “black hole.” Top candidates typically have multiple job options, so don’t leave them hanging:

  • Include verbiage in your online application that tells candidates what to expect in terms of a response from your company.
  • Tighten up your screening timeline, so promising candidates are contacted (even if it’s only with an automated email) within a day or two of applying.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. Once applications start coming in, update front-runners on the job’s status – so they always know exactly when they will receive communications from you.

The best people are only in the job market for a short time, and they expect that time to be valued and treated with respect by recruiters.The longer your process takes, the more time applicants have to explore other job options – and the more opportunities your competitors have to poach your top prospects.

Final Thoughts

As the job market continues to improve, so must the quality of your recruitment efforts. Make a commitment now to improve your application process and technology.

MORE: Essential soft skills for managers

Tammi Heaton

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

Tammi Heaton

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  1. […] some companies, having a reliable system for hiring job candidates can mean the difference between success and failure. Staffing agencies and large corporations are […]

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