(published on LinkedIn, November 17, 2015)
“Did I just hear that?” Yup, I did.
“If they really want to work here, they won’t care if the application process takes an hour.”
I had a friend call me recently to act as a sounding board. He is getting increasingly frustrated with his candidate pool, and began to inquire about the possible reasons “why?”
One thing he discovered rather quickly when discussing this situation with his recruiting team is that the on-line application process was taking a minimum of 45 minutes. That’s when he uttered the quote above.
As anyone who has applied for a job in the last few years can attest, the on-line process can be an absolute beating – even someone who is actively looking for work will often pass on filling out yet another redundant application. Replace that with a passive candidate, and you have an even bigger problem.
The concern of recruiters, of course, is that candidates are being lost before ever making contact with the company, due to a cumbersome on-line application process. And the numbers support this concern – 60% of those who begin the process drop-out before completing the ever increasing time-suck that is the on-line application process. If you want to lose candidates and disengage them from the beginning, then by all means keep your obstacle course of an application process untouched.
This is a candidate’s job market, so the mindset of “That’s just the way it is” in regard to your candidate experience can be a very expensive one, and it’s also a very antiquated way of viewing the hiring process. The goal of your company should be to attract candidates with a welcoming message – if your system is set up specifically to deter potential employees (consciously or not), you’re still sending a message – but it’s one of arrogance.
*Disclaimer – if your company does, in fact, embrace an arrogant culture, please disregard.