No matter what any of the so called futurists or those who believe they are disrupters say, job boards and applying for jobs via this platform are here to stay for some time yet. Don't quote me on this in ten years' time, but for the foreseeable future, companies, recruiters and talent acquisition teams will be using job boards to secure candidates for their vacancies. So if you want to get the best talent to apply to your well written advertisement, you need to consider the application process itself. Interestingly, Software Advice have undertaken some research on what constitutes a good hiring experience. Their survey was in response to a Career Builder study, which identified how this can affect your bottom line. It's a good read, and here is just a snippet:
Chicago, June 20, 2012 – Despite high unemployment rates, more than half (56 percent) of employers who recruited new employees in the last year reported that a candidate rejected their job offer. The experience a candidate has with an employer from the start plays a critical role in whether that candidate will ultimately accept a position. One-in-seven job seekers (15 percent) reported having a worse opinion of the employer after they were contacted for an interview.
The bottom line is that if your application process is not up to scratch, you are already behind the eight ball, and, even if you secure the applicant, you may be put into second place if the overall experience does not match that of your competitors. Software Advice in its research identified a couple of basic things you can do to ensure you are not creating a negative experience for your applicants.
- Make sure your application process is not too long. I am sure we have all had the experience of wanting to participate online, but when faced with a long form, you disengage. Online retailers have been working for years on how to make the buying process as easy as possible so they don't lose a sale. It's the same with your job application process.
- Have clear instructions on what to do. Having an arduous application process, or any complicated online experience, for that matter, is not good practice. The old adage of 'keep it simple, stupid' is very relevant. Make sure the simplest tasks are clearly stated.
- Confirm the application was successful. Inform the applicant of what will happen next, and give contact information. A golden rule at people2people is to place the onus on following up vacancies on the person who made the application. We do this to help our internal process, but it also demonstrates the eagerness of the applicant and whether they have read the communication they have received.
The research also indicated that timelines were very much a concern of applicants. For agency recruiters, this is sometimes out of our control, as hiring managers can keep us in the dark as much as applicants, who apply to them directly. Just as the direct applicants' experience of the company is affected, so it is with the recruiter. For internal recruiters and HR, it's important to remember that the recruiters are also your brand ambassadors. In the end, it's still a war for talent out there, and an effective application process is just one of the battles you need to win. Quoting Denni Oravec from Talent Board: Candidates who were not hired but were treated well are more likely to apply again, to refer others to apply and to remain a customer or an admirer of the company.