Most companies create recruitment processes that work for their business, operations, and staff. From applicant tracking to onboarding, their decisions are driven by the company’s budget and objectives. But what about candidates? How can we design application processes that work for them?

The Big Cliff

Studies show that up to 80% of candidates abandon their application at some point during the hiring process. While some amount of drop-off is inevitable, or even desirable, a high abandonment rate is a sign of potential problems in your recruitment processes. Here are some of the top reasons for high drop-off rates:

  • Lengthy or confusing processes. For many candidates, responding to a job listing may mean visiting a website, creating an account, verifying the email, re-finding the job listing, uploading their CV, and then completing a lengthy form with all the same information that is in their CV. This process is time-consuming and frustrating, and it can cause potential candidates to abandon the process.
  • Lack of clarity or transparency. When a candidate is unclear about the next steps, timeframes, and expectations, or when they are not given clear and consistent answers to questions, they are likely to abandon the application process.
  • Slow response times. When communication is slow, or when candidates feel like they are shouting into the void, they are more likely to disengage from the recruitment process.

Ultimately, over 50% of people who abandon the job application process say that they feel that their time is not being respected. This is especially true of highly skilled and experienced candidates, who have low tolerance for slow and ineffective communication during the recruitment process.

Candidate-Friendly Recruitment Practices

Many experts seeking to create a better hiring experience for the candidate recommend technological solutions. Auto-responders, chatbots, and recruitment automation are intended to make hiring smarter, more targeted, and more effective. While there are many reasons why these solutions are preferred by HR and recruitment staff, they are not a solution for candidates. Automation, AI, and chatbots all communicate with the use of keywords, forcing your candidates to communicate in a specialized, stilted, unnatural manner in order to avoid being screened out of your talent pool. Automation also deprives candidates of the opportunity to learn more about your company, your culture, and your values: it negates the two-way nature of the recruitment process. While there are intelligent ways to optimize automation in order to create efficiency and improve service, it is never a substitute for human interaction. 

Here are some key ways to improve the hiring experience for candidates, and make your recruitment processes more effective:

  • Write better job listings. Once your job listing headline has captured the candidate’s attention, the body of the listing should provide all the information they require. A job listing should be written to provide clear, detailed, transparent information, including:
    • Job duties and responsibilities
    • Job location and salary
    • Hiring process overview
  • Respond quickly and clearly. Using a combination of auto-responders, chatbots, and human interaction, respond quickly and clearly at every step of the process. Every communication from a candidate should receive a reply that includes:
    • Acknowledgement of their communication
    • A meaningful reply
    • Next steps and time frames
  • Respect their time. Always treat the candidate with respect. Be on time for meetings and appointments, and be organized and prepared. If you say you will respond within a week, respond within a week. 
  • Solicit feedback and make improvements. Use surveys to follow up with candidates and get their feedback on your hiring processes. 

The recruitment process is a time when the candidate gets to know your staff, your company, and your culture, so do not over-rely on automation. Make your expectations and processes clear, and treat candidates with respect. 

For more information on smarter searches, improved processes, and better recruitment, contact grapefrute today.