What can we reasonably expect candidates to do?

Candidate Experience is one of the biggest hot button issues in recruiting.  Most recruiters can agree it’s important, but there’s a lot of discussion on what you can to improve your overall candidate experience.


But while it’s important to think about what YOU can do to improve your candidate experience, the question that I think is just as important to answer is:


What can we reasonably expect candidates to do in order to apply for a job?

The real core to the issue is what is a reasonable amount of time and effort a candidate should have to expend in order to become an applicant.  There is no universal answer for all organizations but really something that must be decided by every organization on their own.


The first thing you need to do is to understand your recruitment marketing process from a candidate stand-point.  Here are three areas to take a look at:


Double Sign-In Required:  Some ATS solutions make it so a candidate needs to create an account in order to apply.  Even more troublesome is that some of them make you sign in just after creating a profile.  This double sign-in can be a huge hurdle for most candidates and just isn’t needed.  See if there are ways to remove all the double work in your ATS application.

Best case scenario, your application should be a one page form with all the information you require (only the crucial questions should be included) as well as a way to capture the resume.  After they submit the application is the time to create an account based on their email address.

What are the Expectations?:  Very easy to do but not done nearly enough is setting expectations for the process.  How long is the full process going to take?  How many pages do I need to fill out?

If you can set expectations for a candidate early on, you will see a lot less animosity from candidates.  That and making your process easier and shorter.

No Other Points of Contact:  What happens when I get to your application and realize the job isn’t for me but I still am interested in your company?  In what ways can I still interact and here about other opportunities?

For this make sure your social recruiting profiles and Talent Community forms are easily available on every page of your Career Site and embedded in your recruitment ad distribution process.  Enable candidates to easily engage and opt-in to your recruitment messaging.

There are a number of ways and areas of your process that can help you improve your candidate experience.  The key is looking at every aspect of your recruitment marketing process and understanding what are the big pain points from a candidate’s perspective.  Also make sure to analyze the key recruitment metrics you capture in your recruitment funnel so that you can 1) understand where your bottlenecks are and 2) know if the changes you make to the process are having a positive affect on qualified applicant flow.

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