In today's tight labor market, total U.S. job openings outnumber unemployed Americans. This has created an applicant-driven economy, meaning job seekers have their choice of job opportunities and the flexibility to be more selective than ever before.
Given this applicant-driven economy, if job seekers get frustrated with your applicant experience, they won't hesitate to lose interest and instead consider other job opportunities.
As an example of some of these pain points, a 2018 study from Glassdoor found that nearly half (47 percent) of job seekers surveyed list employers taking too long to respond as a top grievance during the job search. And a recent study from Addison Group found that 70 percent of job seekers lose interest if they don't hear back within a week of an interview.
How can your team stand out and hire top talent in today's competitive market? Below, I've outlined a few common job seeker frustrations and steps you can take to avoid them.
1. Job applications take too long to complete.
Recent data from The Center for Generational Kinetics, a workforce demographics and research consulting firm, found that more than 60 percent of younger job seekers-- specifically Generation Z -- are only willing to spend 15 minutes or less on a job application. If your applications are too long, these job seekers likely won't even click submit.
Some employers have job applications that are either pages long or scroll endlessly. And sections of the job application are often redundant -- such as filling in the same information that is highlighted in an attached resume -- further frustrating prospective applicants. To increase the likelihood of job seekers submitting applications, your team should make applications as concise as possible.
Keep your job applications simple by only requiring job seekers to include their name, email address, telephone number and resume, with an option to add a cover letter explaining their interest. Other key questions can be answered during the interview stage or through role-specific skills testing.
2. The hiring process drags on for weeks or longer.
In today's competitive hiring market, top applicants are completely off the market within 10 days of beginning their job search. But between reviewing applicants, scheduling interviews and completing verification steps, many employers take much longer than 10 days to fill open roles. If this is the case with your team, you're likely losing top talent to other job opportunities.
To speed up the hiring process, avoid frustrating job seekers and hire qualified candidates before the competition, you can automate a few steps along the way.
The most time-consuming step of the hiring process is often reviewing applicants, which many hiring managers do manually. But if you take too long to respond to job applicants initially, they'll likely think you're not interested in moving forward.
To save time during this step, you can send automated prescreen surveys as soon as job seekers apply. Once complete, prescreen surveys are automatically scored and only the most qualified applicants move on to the candidate stage for review by your HR team or hiring manager.
Another step you can automate is candidate verification, such as reference checks. At this stage, you're so close to making an offer that you don't want to lose job seekers to other openings.
For automated reference checks, job candidates can provide their reference contact information and surveys are automatically sent out, saving time that would have otherwise been spent by your team trying to get a hold of references on the phone.
3. Communication with hiring managers is disorganized.
Since most job seekers are already employed, it isn't the easiest for them to step away from their desks for a phone call or check their email for the latest update on a potential job. This can lead to a game of phone tag or emails getting overlooked in a crowded inbox, causing friction in the candidate experience.
Instead of traditional candidate communication channels like emails and phone calls, your team can streamline communication through text messaging, ultimately boosting candidate engagement as a result.
Job seekers constantly research and apply for open roles on their phones, and recent data found that 90 percent of job seekers would find it helpful to receive text messages during the application and hiring process.
Your team can leverage text messaging to make communication easier every step of the way. Using text messaging, you can schedule interviews, share directions to your workplace, follow up with feedback post-interview and remind candidates of actions they need to take -- such as completing prescreen surveys.
The candidate experience can make or break the success of your hiring efforts. And you need the best team possible in place to support your continued growth and profitability. By understanding common job seekers frustrations and taking proactive steps to overcome them, you can set your team up for hiring success.