Are You Creating a Bad Experience for Job Seekers?

John Krautzel
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If you're wondering where all the great candidates have gone, try looking at your hiring process from a job seeker's perspective. The candidate experience begins the moment job seekers take interest in the company, and your recruitment team may be driving the best talent away with frustrating applications, long wait times and poor communication. Here are five ways you might be sending the wrong message to job candidates.

1. Uninformative Career Site

Job seekers use career sites to research an employer's culture, benefits and leadership team, but many companies are wasting this valuable resource. In CareerBuilder's 2017 Candidate Experience survey, only 45 percent of job seekers said they can tell what it's like working for employers based on company career sites. To attract more applicants, think like a marketer and create landing pages geared towards candidates with different priorities. Instead of just talking about what a company does, career sites should sell the experience of being part of an engaging team.

2. Slow Application Process

Filling out a 45-minute application gets pretty frustrating for people applying for multiple jobs. Job seekers are turned off by long, slow applications that require manual input even after uploading a resume. Roughly 34 percent of the survey respondents said having to tailor application materials to each job also adds to the negative experience. Top candidates are drawn to companies that don't waste their time, so consider setting up an efficient early screening method to move the process along faster.

3. No Status Updates

Long waiting periods happen too often in the hiring process, and candidates are left wondering what comes next. More than 50 percent of respondents said employers do a poor job of letting job seekers know when and how they intend to communicate. Understandably, your hiring team may struggle with slow internal policies and approvals from senior managers, but it takes little effort to call or email prospective hires. About 81 percent of candidates agree that status updates improve the recruiting experience, making it essential to keep job seekers informed if you don't want to lose them to competitors.

4. Poor Communication After a Job Offer

Job seekers view early interactions as a preview of what it's like to work for a company. When new hires are snubbed and ignored right after accepting a job offer, they second-guess working for an employer who shows little consideration for employees. If your new hires have a habit of rescinding their acceptance or quitting after a short time, you're probably overlooking the importance of creating a successful onboarding experience.

5. Neglected Talent Pipeline

Do you restart the entire recruitment cycle when a position opens up or a recent hire doesn't work out? Job seekers believe hiring professionals should stay connected to past candidates and build relationships to speed up recruitment in the future. Yet, out of the 1,500 surveyed hiring professionals, only 35 percent said they actively communicate with past candidates about future opportunities. Making this one small change can help you maintain a high-quality talent pipeline and increase hiring efficiency.

Hiring is a two-way street, and you can achieve better results for your employer when you're mindful of the job seeker experience. Learn what matters to job candidates, so you can design an attractive recruitment process that stands out from that of competitors.

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at


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