Job seekers can be fickle and frustrating creatures. One minute, they’re all about your open position, the next, they’ve disappeared – as if they were never really there to begin with. When candidates drop out of the hiring process with no explanation whatsoever, it can leave you feeling frustrated, confused and reaching for that pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. Allow us to offer some insight into why this happens, and what you can do to prevent candidates from dropping out of the hiring process moving forward.
Reason #1: Your Application Process is Too Long/Complicated/Frustrating.
“This is still going on?!” Is the appropriate reaction to finding out there’s yet another season of Grey’s Anatomy starting. But if job seekers are having that reaction in the middle of your application process, you’re in trouble. According to CareerBuilder research, 1 in 5 candidates won’t complete an application that takes them 20 minutes or more. Today’s job seekers also have little patience for an application process that’s repetitive (“I just uploaded my resume, and I still need to enter my complete work history?”) or isn’t working properly (broken links, takes too long to load, etc.).
If candidates are abandoning the application process, start by making sure everything is working properly. Then try to simplify the process as much as possible. Save the long, detailed questions for the job interview, and invest in technology that pre-populates or autofills information to save candidates the frustration of manually entering information over and over again.
Reason #2: The Mobile Experience Is Painful
With mobile usage surpassing desktop usage, job seekers increasingly expect to be able to search for and apply to jobs from their smartphones or tablets. If your career site isn’t optimized for mobile screens, you can say goodbye to the 8 in 10 people who stop engaging with websites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, or 53 percent of people who abandon mobile sites that take more than three seconds to load. Investing in a mobile-user friendly application process is the first step to an increasingly important mobile recruiting strategy.
Reason #3: Candidates Feel Like They’ve Been Ghosted
You wouldn’t (hopefully) wait two weeks or more to respond to a customer or client. So why are you doing that to candidates when they could be just as vital to your business? While it’s by no means easy to stay on top of all your candidates, going MIA on them is not an option - at least if you want to keep them. Sixty-six percent of job seekers don’t even wait two weeks to hear back from a company before they move on to another opportunity, according to CareerBuilder.
If you don’t have the time or resources to personally email every candidate, use automated emails to keep candidates in the loop. Make sure they receive an email letting them know their application has been received, and what the next steps will be. Most importantly, keep them abreast of any changes to their status - even if they’ve been drawn from consideration. You don’t want to burn bridges in case another, better fitting opportunity opens up for that candidate.
Reason #4: Your Background Checks Are Taking FOR...EV...ERRRR
Think you’re in the clear just because you’ve reached the background check phase of your relationship? Not so fast. According to another CareerBuilder survey, 31 percent of employers have lost out on candidates because the background screening process took too long. Make sure you’re not only working with a trusted, accredited employment screening vendor that can deliver accurate results in 24 to 72 hours on average, but that you’re communicating with your candidates throughout.
Reason #5: They Aren’t Ready to Commit
Sometimes you can do everything right with your application process, and yet candidates will still leave before saying “I do” to applying. What’s an employer supposed to do? Start by remembering that, just because candidates aren’t ready to apply doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. This is why it helps to have a talent network as part of your career site. A talent network is a pipeline of candidates who have shown an interest in your company. Having a talent network enables you to keep candidates up-to-date on new opportunities and engaged with your organization. It can also save you time recruiting for new positions down the road, as you already have a pool of qualified, interested candidates from which to pull.