Here’s What Candidates Want in Today’s Job Market

Debra Auerbach

Longer-than-average time to fill. Candidates dropping off mid-application. New hires “ghosting” employers. This is the new reality companies are facing as they recruit candidates in today’s tight labor market. 

Employers must step up their recruiting game if they want to land top talent. That starts with providing a great experience the moment the job seeker makes contact with their company – and keeping it going once the candidate is hired. According to a new SilkRoad and CareerBuilder study, 1 in 5 employees gives less than 10 minutes to a job application before dropping off, and nearly 1 in 10 employees has left a company because of a negative onboarding experience.

“The survey results confirm a significant shift of power from employers to candidates – largely fueled by sustained low unemployment and widening skills gaps that are making it more and more difficult for employers to find and keep the talent they need to compete,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Nearly one-half of employers said it’s taking them longer to fill jobs today than in any other period in the post-industrial era – which not only costs money, but has an impact on productivity and speed to market.”

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

Abandoning the Application
Candidates today are accustomed to getting what they want with a touch of a button, and they expect the same from the job application experience. Approximately 43 percent of employees have applied for a position via a mobile device, and 21 percent of candidates using a smartphone say they drop off of a job application after two to three pages.

Even if they do get through the application, the hurdles don’t stop there. When applying to a job, more than half of employees (55 percent) will give up and move on if they haven’t heard from an employer within two weeks of applying.

Not only should employers test out their own application process to see how arduous it really is, they need to consider how job seekers are applying to jobs and adjust their applications to meet candidates’ technologically advanced desires.

Communication Expectations
How – and how often – employers communicate with prospective job seekers effects their perception of the company, and ultimately may impact their decision to accept a job offer.

Thirty-six percent of employees expect to speak to a recruiter at a company they are interested in before they even apply to a job, and 31 percent expect customized messages from employers who reach out to them with job opportunities. Eighty-two percent of employees expect employers to provide a clear timeline for the hiring process and keep them updated throughout the process when they apply for a job.

Recruiters are busier than ever, but it’s more important than ever that they send tailored, consistent communication to prospective employees. Recruitment platforms that have built in email campaign management tools can help take some of the burden off of recruiters.

Cutting Off Contact
Employers can no longer rest easy even when they’ve extended an offer to a candidate: 51 percent of job seekers report they’ve looked for other jobs when an offer has been extended and the background check is in process.

And “ghosting” employers – or cutting off contact after accepting an offer – is now becoming a trend. Approximately 67 percent of employers report almost a quarter of new hires are not showing up after accepting a position. Background check and new hire confirmation processes that are fast, easy and provide a positive candidate experience could impact how many employees show up on their first day.

Employee Experience Counts, Too
A good candidate experience can’t stop once someone is hired. And while 93 percent of employers agree a good onboarding experience influences a new hire’s decision to stay with the organization, 29 percent of employees don’t think their organization did the right things in onboarding to help them prepare and begin their new role.

And poor onboarding has its repercussions: nearly 1 in 10 employees have left a company because of a negative onboarding experience, and 37 percent of employees didn’t think their manager played a critical role in supporting their onboarding experience.

Once again, having the help of technology to automate some of the more mundane parts of onboarding can help get new hires up-to-speed quickly and allow employees to spend more quality time getting to know their team and building a foundation that will hopefully lead to a long tenure at the organization.

Learn how CareerBuilder’s new AI-powered app is helping create a better candidate experience.






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