How Technology Affects Candidate Intake

Candidates love using mobile tech in all aspects of their job search. From researching employers to searching and applying to jobs, the modern job seeker wants the ability to do everything right from their smartphone.

No news there, right?

For years, technology has played an increasingly important role in all aspects of recruiting. In today’s device-driven employment landscape:

  • 45% of job seekers search for jobs daily on a mobile device
  • 89% of job seekers think mobile devices are critical in the job hunt process
  • More than 60% of job searches are done on mobile

But while technology is making it more convenient than ever to connect candidates with staffing recruiters, all those 1’s and 0’s are producing undesirable consequences, too:

  • Poor candidate experience. If your intake process is cumbersome, it turns people off. In today’s employment market, you must do everything in your power to create a great first impression, welcome candidates, and remove obstacles that drive candidates away.
  • A rise in ghosting. Candidates want information and feedback on their application status. If they don’t get the response they want, they’ll become frustrated and anxious – and ditch you for a better opportunity.

Using Technology to Improve Candidate Intake

Successful recruiting isn’t about using more tech; it’s about combining the right tech with a human touch and iron-clad processes. Here are a few tips for using technology intelligently to improve candidate experience, application completion rates, fill rates and ultimately, your bottom line:

Consider the first impression you create through technology. Often, the first contact you have with a potential candidate is through your website, Facebook page or job board. If you were a savvy candidate:

  • Would the content appeal to you and make you feel welcomed?
  • Would you find the application process easy or frustrating (especially using a mobile device)?
  • Would the job board’s search and filtering options quickly serve up relevant jobs?
  • Would the job postings do enough to entice you to apply or pick up the phone?

Make sure your candidate-facing technology creates a simple (and inviting) intake process and sets the stage for a great working relationship.

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Streamline your mobile application. Does your application create a welcoming experience – or feel more like an interrogation? Research from Indeed shows that applications with 20 screener questions lose 40% of candidates. And abandonment rates only increase from there.

The majority of talent loss occurs when a job seeker is directed right to an ATS-based application form, where they’re asked to complete pages and pages of questions. Who has the time or energy for that? If you want to keep more qualified candidates in your intake funnel, don’t make them 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 minutes, and it should be as easy to apply from a phone as it is from a desktop.
  • Never require candidates to:
    • Supply sensitive information such as their Social Security Number
    • Create an account just to view your jobs
    • Upload a resume from their mobile device (Most people don’t have their resume on their phone. While you should certainly offer an “upload resume” option for mobile apply, requiring it can greatly increase mobile application abandonment – causing you to miss out on otherwise fantastic candidates.)
  • Consider using an ultra-short form. Start by gathering just the candidate’s name and email address. (This way, even if they abandon the apply process at that point, you still have their contact information. Then, you can follow up and encourage them to complete the apply process.) In step two, you can direct candidates to your full application form.
  • Offer one-click apply options. Invest in tech that allows job seekers to grab and transfer information from 3rd party sites, including Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more.

Prevent communication “black holes.” Balance automation with a personal touch – and lots of follow up – to keep candidates engaged and minimize their anxiety during the recruiting process:

  • 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 personally contacted within a day or two of applying. Provide an email template that’s easy for recruiters to modify and personalize.
  • 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.
  • Leverage technology to keep all applicants informed throughout the recruiting process:
    • Autoresponders; Send automated emails acknowledging application receipt and recapping next steps.
    • Chatbots; Scripted, automated responses from chatbots can prevent communication vacuums after a job seeker applies online or completes an initial interview. Chatbots can be integrated with any number of your current communication platforms, including your website, career portal, email system and ATS.

Striking the Right Balance

Staffing professionals who combine the right technology, personalization and processes have a decided advantage in our industry. For this reason, PrideStaff has invested heavily in candidate engagement platforms to automate certain communications, and built proven processes to improve results at all stages of the candidate lifecycle. This has helped us:

  • Dramatically decrease no shows
  • Increase the likelihood candidates show up for client interviews and their first day on the job
  • Proactively identify issues on assignment, to improve assignment completion
  • Improve redeployment rates


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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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