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It’s hard enough to hire talent in the current climate. The last thing you need is a toxic hiring process that frustrates candidates.

A frustrated candidate will be much harder to convert into an enthusiastic and willing member of your workforce. According to CareerBuilder, 34 percent of job candidates believe strongly that the candidate experience – be it positive or negative – affects their decision to accept a position.

If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your hiring process, you need to ensure that it is free of the typical issues that really frustrate candidates.

Here, I’ve outline some of the top complaints that candidates have about hiring processes, as well as some tips to help you remedy these problems should you find they plague your hiring efforts.

1. Your Job Ads Ignore the Needs of Candidates

Top talent is deterred by job ads that focus almost exclusively on the employer’s needs. If your ads don’t talk about how the company can meet candidates’ needs, then the best candidates will probably walk away without applying.

A recent study found that candidate-centered postings receive many more and higher-quality applicants than employer-centered postings.

The next time you’re writing up a job post, make sure it is candidate-centered. That means the ad should talk about how the employer can meet candidates’ needs in terms of pay, personal growth, work-life balance, health, and so on.

2. You Don’t Respond to Job Applicants

A survey from StartWire found that 77 percent of applicants think less of employers that do not respond to them.

Furthermore these applicants don’t just move on and forget the employers that burned them. Instead, 72 percent of them say they would not recommend or speak well of the company online.

SkateboardIn fact, being ignored irritates applicants so much that they’d even think twice about buying your products and services – which definitely won’t win you any friends in the sales and marketing departments.

Of course, it needn’t be this way. An ATS – even a free one – with auto-response capabilities should be all you need to remedy this particular issue.

3. Your Hiring Process Is Too Damn Long

Many talented candidates are busy people. They are unable or unwilling to wait out excessively long hiring processes.

It should also be noted that your overlong hiring process makes candidates see your organization as slow, ponderous, not very dynamic, and way behind the times. Not exactly good news for your employer brand, is it?

You may have good reason for the length of your hiring process, but any and all unnecessary fat should be cut from the process to streamline the candidate experience as much as possible.

At the very least, you could work on managing candidate expectations by explaining up front why the process takes so long

4. You Make Candidates Go Through Too Many Interviews

A common candidate complaint is that there are too many interviews for one job. Each and every interview takes up a lot of a candidate’s time, which can distract them from their current job and/or their personal life. No candidate wants to work for a company that disrespects their time before they have even joined the team!

It’s hard to find a consensus on how many interviews are “too many interviews,” but I’d say that four or more is arduous, three is fairly common, and two is best, as it gives candidates the impression that your hiring process is dynamic and efficient.

If you detect rumblings from candidates or even managers about the number of interviews you put people through, you should look for ways to cut back. Perhaps you could consolidate some of the rounds into one panel interview?

You may have good reasons for running your hiring process the way that you do, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t unintentionally hindering your organization in the quest for top talent. You need to find the right balance between the needs of the employer and the applicant if you are going to develop a hiring process that enables you to meet your long-term needs.

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