What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

May 30, 2017 Deanna Hartley

It’s no secret that attracting the right talent is hard, and the hiring landscape has grown increasingly competitive. But as much frustration as you face, keep in mind that it’s a trying time for candidates as well. In fact, about 3 in 4 (73 percent) say that the job search process is one of the most stressful things in life.

You can stand out by providing a great candidate experience – but in order to do so, you need to understand and circumvent some of the biggest frustrations job seekers have with the hiring process.

We wanted to take you inside the minds of today’s job seekers to give you an idea of what they expect of your company and the candidate experience you (knowingly or unknowingly) provide. So we asked real-life job seekers via our social channels: What part of the job search process do you wish you could change most?

Here’s what they said…and how you can do your part to bridge the divide:

They want you to keep an open mind instead of setting unrealistic expectations.

Joe Duhamel: Right out of college, I actually had a placement agency in Manhattan tell me to “come back when you have some experience.” I said, “When I get experience, I won’t need you.” And I never did.

Mary Saelens: The “relevant experience” is something that should be used in moderation though; people need jobs and if it’s [an] entry-level [position], let them get their feet wet.

Kristina Roepke: They require years of experience when fresh graduates haven’t been alive long enough to fulfill the requirement. Also, no one hires you unless you have experience…[but] how do you get it? It is a logic loop.

Milap (@m3jstile): HR managers [must] be more willing to interview more people.

Adam Patrick: Requiring WAY TOO much education, TOO specific experience and they pay you in beans.

Chris Papalia: You forgot to mention the start[ing] pay… $9.50 an hour.

As many as 4 out of 5 candidates (78 percent) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. While 86 percent of job seekers believe employers should treat candidates with the same respect as current employees, only 49 percent say they feel like employers treat candidates with the same level of respect and accountability as they do current employees. Learn more about how candidates want to be treated in CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Guide.

They want you to be more responsive.

Eddie Quinn: [I] hate spending so much time applying to a company (research company, customize resume, cover letter, create log in and re-enter entire resume into web form) and then never hearing back, even after attempts to follow up. Some decency would be nice. [I] once applied to [a company], and didn’t get a ‘We regret to inform you…’ email until six months after I applied and followed up three times.

Patrick Barnes: I would push for an immediate decision. No waiting for a week [and] doing a follow-up call, only to find out the position has been filled…right before they hang up [on you].

The vast majority of candidates (83 percent) say it would greatly improve the overall experience if employers could set expectations by providing a clear timeline of the hiring process. After all, the No. 1 biggest frustration during the job search is the lack of response from employers (cited by 52 percent of all job seekers). More than 4 in 5 job seekers (81 percent) said employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience. Find out how they want you to set communication expectations with them in this new guide.

They want you to NOT waste their time.

Adam Patrick: Wasting candidates’ time (and theirs) by posting a job when they already know whom they are hiring.

Career Break Site (@CareerBreakSite): Pretending to be enthusiastic when a recruitment agent has sent you to interview for some crappy job.

Adam Patrick: Asking for information on the online application that is the exact same information a resume contains (or should contain instead of extraction of keywords, info, reading it).

Kristy Hughes: Not nailing down the job description or team’s needs before starting the interview process, so interviews are a waste of time. Or interviewing for one position, hiring a candidate and then telling the candidate they are needed to do something else.

Only 1 in 3 employers in CareerBuilder’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study say they’ve applied to one of their companies’ jobs to see what the process is like. Of those, less than half (46 percent) said the process was “very good,” while only 32 percent of candidates would rate their most recent experience as “very good.” Download this guide to find out which stages of the hiring process leaves much to be desired, according to candidates.

Download CareerBuilder’s exclusive new 2017 Candidate Experience Guide to find out how technology can help you take your candidate experience to the next level.


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