The job application process can be overwhelming, and candidates won’t hesitate to abandon a frustrating application. With unemployment low and the competition for talent fierce, employers can’t afford application processes that drive candidates away instead of welcoming them in.
Here are five things you can do to ensure you recruiting process gives candidates what they want:
1. Be Honest About the Job
No organization is perfect, and it’s important to be transparent about the details of your company. One of the worst things a recruiter can do is try to hide important information — or outright lie — to get a prospective applicant in the door.
No matter what precautions you take, candidates will find out if you’re lying. They have the internet, after all. For this reason, it’s best to be as honest as possible. Even if you have something negative to share, it’s better the candidate hear it from you than find out on their own. They will appreciate your honesty, which could help make up for any less-than-stellar info they come across.
2. Keep the Application Simple
The job search can be a full-time job in itself — not to mention all the other responsibilities applicants may be juggling in their lives. That’s why no candidate wants to waste precious time answering meaningless questions or repeating the same information over and over.
Instead of lengthy applications with multiple open-ended questions, stick to the crucial basics. Collect the most important information first and worry about the details later. As the applicant moves through the process, you can collect more and more information.
Plus, if you stick to the basics, even an abandoned application will have the valuable details — contact info, past employment, etc. — your team needs to decide whether this is a lead worth pursuing.
3. Don’t Be Repetitive
Anyone who has ever applied for a job knows that the application and interview processes can get extremely repetitive. Entering the same information into multiple different forms or answering the same questions from multiple different interviewers can get very draining very quickly.
Your organization can easily stand out by taking the applicant’s time and energy into consideration. One way to simplify the process is through a full-service applicant tracking system (ATS) that houses all relevant applicant data. Give everyone on the hiring team access, and they can look up the information they need via the ATS, rather than constantly asking candidates to repeat themselves.
4. Optimize for Mobile
Seventy-seven percent of Americans own smartphones, according to a Pew Research Center study. This high level of smartphone ownership has a substantial effect on the job search process, whether you realize it or not.
Applicants don’t want to deal with applications that require desktops, printers, or even PDF downloads. While desktop applications might offer more flexibility on the recruiter’s side, candidates are likely searching for jobs on their mobile devices. Offer a mobile-optimized application process that makes it easy for top talent to get in touch with you on their terms.
5. Try Innovative Follow-Up Methods
Thanks to new technologies, recruiters don’t have to rely on phone calls and emails to contact candidates. Text messages and video calls are just two examples of more convenient and engaging follow-up methods recruiters can now leverage. These innovative communication methods can also engage candidates more quickly than more traditional methods, allowing recruiters to stay in touch with ease. Regular contact can keep candidate relationships warm, thereby minimizing the chances that an applicant will drop out of the process.
Developing an applicant-focused recruiting strategy will put your team in a position to attract more qualified candidates than ever before. By centering the needs of job seekers, you show applicants that your organization values them as people. This will make top talent eager to come work for you.
Jeremy Reymer is founder and CEO of DriverReach.