7 Reasons Your Hiring Process Repels Candidates

Dec 26, 2012

The hiring process is tough on everyone, especially the job seeker. It’s even a little bit harder on them actually, since while talent acquisition and management pros are used to dealing with the complicated ins and outs of applicant tracking systems, assessment programs, video and mobile technology and much, much, more — job seekers only have to deal with the front end of those systems when they’re looking, which is not “quite” every day.

And when they do go through your hiring process, they hate it. Here are the top reasons why:

Complaint: Nobody ever sees their resume. It descends into a black hole and never gets read. Now you and I know why that might be, but job seekers rarely do.

How you can help: If your ATS doesn’t have a great search capability or you’re not giving your job ads clarity, you need to rethink this crucial part of the process.

Complaint: The interview process takes forever. If candidates have one major complaint, this would be the one. It’s even a frequent frustration of HR professionals when they are looking for work.

How you can help: While you may not be able to change your recruiting cycle overnight, you can certainly set expectations by educating candidates early on about how long it will take.

Complaint: This isn’t the job they signed up for. Because job ads aren’t always updated according to shifting company needs, responding to a notice on a job board can be a gamble for many job seekers.

How you can help: Deliberately vague-sounding job descriptions should be chucked and more specific language should be used, especially if the job requires new technology experience or has changed from a solo position to one on a team.

Complaint: They don’t know what they don’t know. Job seekers feel like some of the most uninformed people on the planet because they are. While sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn help them to get a window into your company, many still feel in the dark about when they might hear back from you, whether or not they should follow up, and how long they need to wait before checking in about a position.

How you can help: Take advantage of the candidate communications built into so many of today’s hiring platforms to give candidates updates on where they are in the your system. Make sure you don’t expect them to start right away especially if they’ve been waiting to hear back from you for weeks. Once you narrow down candidates to the shortlist or the final hire, be sure to let the remaining candidates off the hook by letting them know it’s a “no.”

Complaint: Useless hoops. Whether employed or unemployed, candidates hate jumping through hoops, especially when they can’t make the connection between the job they’re being hired to do and a drug test, credit check, or personality assessment.

What you can do: It’s likely that company policy dictates these sorts of tests, so do what you can during the interview or on your website to explain why you need certain information. And if you have any say in making the policy, reduce your organization’s cost and applicant headaches by doing away with unnecessary assessments.

Complaint: Information imbalance between employer and applicants. It’s frustrating for job seekers to have to put all their cards on the table when employers are so cagey about their own. Asking for precise past salary numbers while keeping your budget for a position under wraps isn’t fair. And hiring for a position that isn’t really open yet and not telling candidates makes for many upset job-seekers.

What you can do: Pay attention to what you’re asking of your applicants and try to make the information flow a two-way street. Don’t request tons of information when you can’t provide accurate context for the work they’ll be doing. Make sure your hiring teams understand the employer brand and how to communicate the company or team culture to candidates before they come into the office and discover it themselves.

Complaint: You’re not accessible. We’ve all heard the one about the applicant who simply gives up midway through a 45-question snoozer of an application. Don’t have a website optimized for mobile? Does it take you days to respond to emails when scheduling screenings? Is you career site buried four clicks down on your corporate site? All of these things makes it tough for candidates to go through your process, robbing you of the applicants you need the very most.

What you can do: Make sure that the communications you control are accessible; that means creating excitement around your brand via video, mobile, and even your job ad. Create custom short-links for your most-in-demand jobs and add them to your email footer. And whenever you reach out to a candidate, remind them of your company name and the job you’re interviewing them for.

While not every HR professional, recruiter, or hiring manager can take every complaint out of the hiring process, everyone can do something, whether it’s during your personal interactions or on a broader policy based level. Don’t start off your relationship with employees with a painful experience.

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