As the estimated number of advertised vacancies in the UK now stands at one million[1], attracting and holding onto the attention of qualified candidates requires a responsive, efficient candidate experience.

Here are the most common errors that lead to a poor candidate experience – and how to fix them:-

Your careers site is letting you down

Often the most neglected part of the candidate experience, your careers site could play a pivotal role in your future hiring success. A careers page offers the opportunity for employers to create a positive first impression about your employee experience. But when that first impression is a page which bears no resemblance to your corporate site or guidance on how to apply for jobs, talent will look elsewhere. Branded, well presented career pages offer a way to ‘cut through bad data and avoid duplication[2]. Investment in an ATS ensures a branded site as standard and can be enhanced by insights into what it's like to work for your business, including the latest company news and employee videos. Augmented reality has been identified by Hays Recruitment as one of the key recruitment trends for 2018, allowing HR to provide a ‘walkthrough’ of the working environment on their site. As half of job seekers reject job offers based on their prospective office space this could provide an advantage in your own hiring process.[3]

Repetitive, tedious application forms

Talent won’t spend longer than 15 minutes on a job application, because they don’t have to. A lengthy application time, which asks candidates to repeatedly submit duplicate information, will soon lose their attention. The top 10 ten fastest application times are all under two minutes, with housebuilders Taylor Wimpey topping the list with a total application time of just 28 seconds according to research from Indeed. Support your process with recruitment software that facilitates faster applications by offering a simple registration of interest or allows candidates to apply using their LinkedIn profile or CV.

The ‘black hole’ of the job search

The biggest pain point in the candidate experience is the ‘black hole’ of the job search – the absence of an employer response. A slow – or no – reply means your qualified candidates will look elsewhere. Schedule automated acknowledgements and updates through your ATS with personalised e-mails. Provide a clear outline of key stages in your process, such as, your closing date for applications, estimated interview times and ideal start date – then deliver on those expectations. It takes over half of recruiters a full day just to arrange interviews[4]. Invest in recruitment software which allows candidates to self-schedule interviews and close the ‘black hole’ in your hiring process.

Automate communications

You’re not mobile

Only around a quarter of businesses use mobile technology in their hiring process yet most job searches now begin on a mobile device. An ATS provides instant functionality for hiring managers and candidates on all mobile and tablet devices and enables scheduled, automated updates and interview reminders to your candidates via SMS.

A painful interview process

If your job offer to acceptance ratio shows a high level of candidate rejections, the problem may lie in your interview process. Common complaints include poorly prepared, distracted hiring managers and interview teams who fail to read application forms. Incorporate a request for feedback from all candidates attending in-person interviews and be prepared to act if a common theme emerges. Limit your number of interviews to a maximum of three and avoid asking for the same information at each one. .

Forgetting the onboarding experience

Today’s candidates have choices, especially those in sectors such as IT where jobs with digital skills are being created at twice the rate of those without. CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Survey found that 60% of candidates continue to apply for new jobs after accepting your job offer. Automate background and reference checks through your ATS to free up HR’s time to focus on welcoming your new hire and prevent a last minute reneging on that acceptance.

Reliance on manual recruitment systems

According to Bersin by Deloitte, ‘The highest performing companies are characterised by an entire culture of data-driven decision-making’ but less than half of employers use applicant tracking software to manage and support their hiring processes[5]. Without HR technology it is impossible to gain accurate insight into what’s really happening in your candidate experience and your recent pattern of poor hiring decisions is unlikely to diminish. Invest in an ATS to fix your candidate experience and align your future hiring decisions with your recruitment data for a better quality of hire.



[1] Adzuna, November 2017

[2] CIPD, Chatbots and careers pages are the future of hiring, say experts, 17th November 2017

[3] Advorto, 7 Emerging Recruitment Trends, 4th May 2017

[4] HR Tech Weekly, Cronofy Interview Scheduling Survey Results 2017, 30th November 2017

[5] Korn Ferry Futurestep Survey, March 2017

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