4 Ways to Make the Application Process Better for Job Candidates

Like politicians, recruiters have a constituency - job applicants! That can be easy for many to forget at times. However, to successfully recruit, you need to find and attract quality candidates. This means making the job application process as easy and seamless as can be.

It’s important to always keep the applicant in mind. If you’re out of touch with how people search and apply for jobs today, it makes your job as a recruiter 10 times harder. Tailoring job applications to the needs of candidates is the only way to go. Here are four ways to make the application process better for job candidates.

1. Streamline the Application Process

If you have a tedious job application, you’re going to lose out on qualified candidates. After all, top job candidates are busy people and fielding opportunities left and right. They may also already be working, and don’t have the extra time - or want to spend it - on a lengthy application.

A survey from Indeed found that the median time of a job application for all Fortune 500 companies was 13 minutes. The longest rang in at a whopping 52 minutes! They found that on average, a Fortune 500 company’s application included 63 screener questions. Who’s got the time for that? Nobody wants to wade through a complex job application that feels like an exam. Another recent study found that 30% of candidates will not spend longer than 15 minutes on a job application, and that applications with more than 45 screener questions will lose nearly 89% of applicants who quit before completing it.

When crafting your job applications, be sure they are short, sweet and to the point. Include only a few screener questions that collect absolutely the most important data that you need at the time to make an informed decision on a candidate. Save the rest of your questions for the interviewing process.

Simplify the process as much as you can for candidates. A clean user interface does wonders as it won’t distract applicants with a messy, confusing aesthetic. Test out your application experience as well. Make sure it can accept a variety of document types that a candidate’s resume, cover letter, etc. might come in. If a candidate navigates away from the application for a bit, ensure that their progress will be saved. Finally, asking candidates to create user accounts or provide lots of references and previous work samples will likely turn off many of them. Get around to those when necessary, not at the beginning of the process.

2. Make the Application Process Mobile-Friendly

Everything is coming up mobile, including job applications. Many companies have been slow to adopt mobile-friendly job applications despite the fact that 70% of applicants desire the ability to complete an application on their mobile devices. This is causing many companies and recruiters to lose out on qualified job candidates. 20% of applicants surveyed said they’d abandon an application that couldn’t be done on a mobile device. Meanwhile, a whopping 78% of applicants would apply for jobs more using mobile if the process were implemented and streamlined.

Ensure that your mobile job application web page is easy to view and navigate. Making the decision to go mobile with your job applications will attract top talent and reduce the burden of completion and effort on their end. It’s simple to modify a mobile application process so that applicants can quickly and easily apply for your job postings using their LinkedIn accounts. This no fuss application process is catnip for highly qualified candidates.

It’s also beneficial to you as well! Mobile job applications can help you automatically collect important documents, as well as establish more manageable applicant tracking metrics. This leaves recruiters and HR professionals with more time to actually do more pressing work. Why wouldn’t you want to introduce a timelier, more productive application process?

3. Update Your Applicants Throughout the Process

Don’t leave applicants hanging! Many job candidates are applying for multiple jobs, and they want to be kept in the loop about decisions made in your hiring process so they can manage their applications. It’s important to establish a helpful applicant experience so they feel acknowledged. This boils down to establishing effective communication.

Be sure to let candidates know when you’ve received their applications and what the next steps are in your hiring process. When a candidate advances to the next stage, have an automated message set up that thanks them for their time and details what’s coming next. You could also consider adopting an applicant portal that allows them to log in and track their progress. Even when you decide not to move on with a candidate, it’s important to reach out and let them know.

Constant communication with your applicants is the best way to keep them engaged and excited about the prospect of working for your company. Whether you use emails, calls or texts, just keeping them in the loop does wonders for creating a positive applicant experience. Maintain a human touch as well - simple things like catering your automated messages to include their name makes them feel like more than just cogs in the applicant machine.

4. Walk a Mile in the Applicant’s Shoes

Being an applicant isn’t easy. The stress of finding and applying for a new job is real, and any kind words you can provide will go a long way. Recruiters should always be empathetic towards job applicants. Understanding what an applicant goes through when they apply and how difficult the process can be will help you tailor your own to better suit candidates and simplify their experience. Establish a friendly, positive rapport with candidates so they feel validated.

In creating a great candidate experience, you’ll be able to build up the reputation of your brand and company. Potential candidates will be more likely to apply if your applicant process has a reputation of being positive and welcoming. This will help you retain a pool of top talent and will drive your recruiting efforts towards greater success in the future.

People talk, especially online. Poor candidate experiences will travel by word of mouth and prevent potential candidates from applying. They can also negatively impact your company as a whole. A survey by CareerBuilder found that 44% of applicants had a worse opinion of a company after applying and not receiving a response, while 32% were less likely to buy products from a company that refused to reply. Bottom line: treat your candidates well. It’s common courtesy and the right thing to do.

Conclusion

Implementing these four strategies will ensure that your application process becomes better for all of your job candidates. This will lead to more qualified applicants coming your way, and can help relieve some of the burdens on your recruiting process as well. Want some help making your application process better for job candidates? Contact 4 Point Consulting and schedule a free hour long consultation today!