5 Ways to Build a More Applicant-Friendly Recruiting Process
The job application process can be overwhelming, and job seekers won’t hesitate to abandon a complicated or frustrating process. With unemployment low and the competition for talent fierce, employers can’t afford application processes that drive candidates away instead of welcoming them in.
Job seekers have more options now than ever. They can “pick and chose” which company offers the most, which company makes the process the easiest, which company seems the most interesting and offers the best career path.
Here are five things you can do to ensure your recruiting process gives candidates what they want:
1. Be Honest About the Job
No organization is perfect, and it’s important to be transparent about the details of your company. One of the worst things a recruiter can do is try to hide important information — or outright lie — to get a prospective applicant in the door. Presenting an unrealistic picture of what they can expect will create issues once they start the job and could lead to higher turn-over.
No matter what precautions you take, candidates will find out if you’re lying. Everyone is internet savvy now. There are sites that rank a company by their employees, Glassdoor that gives average salaries and comments from employees. For this reason, it’s best to be as honest as possible. Even if you have something negative to share, it’s better the candidate hear it from you than find out on their own. They will appreciate your honesty, which could help make up for any less-than-stellar info they come across. Additionally if they understand the challenges of the company they may feel they can make a difference and won’t have any surprises on the job.
2. Keep the Application Simple
Looking for a job is a full time job for many people — not to mention all the other responsibilities applicants may be juggling in their lives. That’s why no candidate wants to waste precious time answering meaningless questions or repeating the same information over and over.
Instead of lengthy applications with multiple open-ended questions, stick to the crucial basics. Collect the most important information first and worry about the details later. As the applicant moves through the process, you can collect more and more information.
Another process that job seekers find irritating is when they apply to a job board ad and then are directed to the company’s website, have to click again on Apply and then register with the site before they can even upload a resume. You will likely lose the candidate during this process as they will find another job where it’s easier to apply.
Plus, if you stick to the basics, even an abandoned application will have the valuable details — contact info, past employment, etc. — your team needs to decide whether this is a lead worth pursuing.
3. Don’t Be Repetitive
Anyone who has ever applied for a job knows that the application and interview processes can get extremely repetitive. Entering the same information into multiple different forms or answering the same questions from multiple different interviewers can get very draining very quickly.
It’s like calling customer service and you have to input your account number, then you get an automated system directing you to someone else and you have to input your account number again, then you get a “live” person and they ask for your account number. At the end of the call you are very frustrated. The same is true for people looking for a job.
Your organization can easily stand out by taking the applicant’s time and energy into consideration. One way to simplify the process is through a full-service applicant tracking system (ATS) that houses all relevant applicant data. Give everyone on the hiring team access, and they can look up the information they need via the ATS, rather than constantly asking candidates to repeat themselves.
4. Optimize for Mobile
Seventy-seven percent of Americans own smartphones. This high level of smartphone ownership has a substantial effect on the job search process, whether you realize it or not.
Applicants don’t want to deal with applications that require desktops, printers, or even PDF downloads. While desktop applications might offer more flexibility on the recruiter’s side, candidates are likely searching for jobs on their mobile devices. Offer a mobile-optimized application process that makes it easy for top talent to get in touch with you on their terms.
5. Try Innovative Follow-Up Methods
Thanks to new technologies, recruiters don’t have to rely on phone calls and emails to contact candidates. Text messages and video calls are just two examples of more convenient and engaging follow-up methods recruiters can now leverage. These innovative communication methods can also engage candidates more quickly than more traditional methods, allowing recruiters to stay in touch with ease. Regular contact can keep candidate relationships warm, thereby minimizing the chances that an applicant will drop out of the process.
Developing an applicant-focused recruiting strategy will put your team in a position to attract more qualified candidates than ever before. By centering the needs of job seekers, you show applicants that your organization values them as people. This will make top talent eager to come work for you.