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If employers want to attract top talent, they have to build hiring processes that serve both their own needs and the needs of the candidates they are trying to woo.

Failure to provide a positive candidate experience can lead to higher candidate drop-out rates and more rejected job offers. Studies show that 34 percent of candidates base at least part of their decision to join a company on how positive or negative the candidate experience is.

Employers ignore candidate complaints about the hiring process at their own peril.

To help you build a user-friendly hiring process, I wrote yesterday about a few things that candidates would really like you to change. Today, I’d like to outline four more things candidates might hate about your hiring process. If any you see signs of these issues in your own process, it’s time to tweak some things:

1. Your Interviewers Are No Good

Research shows that poor interviewing techniques are prevalent in the interview room. In one survey of HR professionals, 74 percent of respondents said their companies use poor interviewing techniques.

Incompetently run interviews can leave candidates unsatisfied and confused. Candidates may feel like they didn’t even have a chance to show off their skills or learn more about the role and the organization. All of this reflects badly on your business and drives candidates far, far away.

One of the simplest remedies here is to develop a standard interview questionnaire and require all interviewers to use it. This should help to improve the interviewer’s technique and the image of your interviewing process by keeping interviewers focused on relevant matters.

2. You Ask Inappropriate and Illegal Questions

A recent survey from CareerBuilder found that 20 percent of employers have asked an illegal interview question without knowing that it was illegal at the time. The survey also found that 33 percent of interviewers have been unsure of whether or not certain interview questions were legal during the interview itself.

LemonNot only are questions related to race, gender, marital status, age, and so on generally illegal, but they are also likely to alienate candidates. This, in turn, will cause candidates to form a negative impression of your business – and they won’t hesitate to share that impression with their friends or on social media.

To address this issue, hold regular training sessions for interviewers that cover illegal and inappropriate interview questions. You may also want to institute a structured interview format. That way, all interview questions can be vetted by HR before interviewers ask them.

3. You Respond Way Too Slowly 

Yesterday, I mentioned how much candidates hate it when you don’t respond to them at all. However, candidates also hate when your responses come too slowly.

Research from Potentialpark found that 73 percent of candidates feel that the biggest frustration in any hiring process is waiting for recruiters to respond to them. In fact, many candidates feel long response times are even more frustrating than being rejected!

If your communications move slowly and you leave your candidates in the dark for long periods of time, you’re only making top talent angry – and that’s no good at all. Develop formal response timing schedules with other members of the team, and stick to them. Keep candidates updated at every step of the way. Using an ATS with automated communication features should help make this easier.

4. Your Application Process Is Too Complicated

You might think that an applicant tracking system solve all of your candidate experience problems. That’s not exactly the case: An ATS can solve many problems, but a poorly implemented ATS can actually make things much, much worse.

The Potentialpark study cited earlier found that complicated ATSs can drive applicant drop-out rates up to a staggering 48 percent. According to candidates, the issues that are most likely to make them abandon the application process are:

- forms taking too long to complete;

- no option to save forms and complete them over the course of several sessions;

- and no indication that the application will be read.

You’ll want to make sure you have a very user-friendly ATS in place and an application process that is quick and convenient for candidates.

It may take time and effort to identify and remove the frustrating elements of your hiring process, but the energy you put into this arduous task will be well worth it. You will experience a significant return on investment in the form or more high-quality applicants, lower drop-out rates, and more accepted job offers.

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