If you’re having trouble finding great candidates, look at your hiring practices — you, and the systems you’re using might be driving away top talent.
- More than 1 in 4 candidates report has had a bad experience when applying for a job, and 42 percent of those candidates would never seek employment at that company again.
- 48 percent of candidates drop out of applicant tracking systems, the most common recruitment tool.
As a hiring manager, these numbers make my heart sink. Bad candidate experiences don’t just hurt the growth of your talent pool, they also hurt your company’s brand.
Help you candidates out — make the hiring experience easy, inviting and modern. Here are the three biggest ways you’re giving talent the cold shoulder, and how you can fix those problems and win great hires.
1. Your application process is grueling
Take a look at your organization’s job application process — better yet, apply for a job with your own company. Chances are you’re using some kind of applicant tracking system (ATS), chosen to make your company more efficient in processing applications. But this doesn’t consider the applicant experience.
Candidates often have to spend 20 or 30 minutes creating a profile, uploading their résumé and cover letter, and completing a form that asks questions that have already been answered in said résumé. A lot of job candidates would rather get a root canal than endure the application gauntlet.
“If you wouldn’t want to suffer through the process of applying for a job at your own company, how can you expect candidates to?” said Jerome Ternynck, CEO of SmartRecruiters, which provides a cloud platform for recruiting and hiring. The company advocates putting candidates first, and has just released the next generation of its engagement-first hiring platform.
“Think lightweight, easy, and fast when it comes to your application process,” Ternynck said. “No candidate wants to be put through the paces just to get through the door.”
2. You’re acting like a robot and you’re treating candidates like robots, too
Earth to hiring managers: Candidates are people, not drones floating around the Internet. It’s time to start treating candidates like people, and that begins with common sense rules of social interaction.
“Engage with candidates quickly so you don’t lose the best ones to other companies,” Ternynck said. “Show your passion for what you do and your excitement about the prospect of working together.”
When you open up, candidates often will too. Only then can you understand what makes a candidate tick, and whether he or she is a fit for your team.
3. Your application process isn’t social and mobile optimized
Candidates are increasingly interacting with companies through social and mobile channels. A recent LinkedIn study found 64 percent of candidates use mobile devices to browse career opportunities on social and professional networks. Your c andidate experience needs to be stellar across these platforms to woo applicants.
“When candidates visit your social media pages, they should be able to quickly see who you are, read about open positions, and apply in seconds,” Ternynck said. “And they should be able to do that from any device — laptop, smartphone, or tablet — with just a few clicks.”
Super-stars are out there — attracting them requires hiring managers and recruiters to turn off impersonal interactions, turn on the charm, and start putting candidates first.