March 19, 2014

What Recruiters Can Learn from Shopping Cart Abandonment Rates

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Lonely shopping cart on the empty parking lot Oh how recruiters love learning from the marketing world…let us count the ways. Recruiters are always interested in their application abandonment rates (or at least they should be). Much of this metric has to do with the software they’re using, but like most processes, there is always room for improvement from several different angles. While software and systems are key, we can gain insights from what content marketing conversion and analytics pro, Russ Henneberry has to say about how to prevent online shoppers from abandoning their shopping carts.

Of the nine points that Henneberry explores, four of them can be extremely helpful for recruiters to consider in lowering their application abandonment rates. The marketing principles behind getting a customer to click “Submit Payment” are not so different from getting a candidate to click “Submit Application”.

Reduce the number of pages involved in the check out process.

Fantastic! The more steps, the better. I have all the time in the world. –Said no candidate ever. Go through your own process and eliminate clicks, pages and steps that aren’t completely necessary. Many employers are going the route of the “Apply with LinkedIn” button. This is literally a one-click application process. HR thought-leader and frequent ERE contributor, Dr. John Sullivan, is a big fan of this tool. Sullivan said:

“Allowing individuals to apply instantly for a job without having to update their resume is a powerful advantage. Some firms are beginning to use a LinkedIn profile (at least initially) as a substitute for a resume. One way to do that is to add an “Apply with LinkedIn” button to your job postings.”

For some employers this can mean asking for seconds of a candidate’s time, instead of upwards of 30 minutes. Simplicity and ease of use for candidates is a huge advantage.

Have a wide variety of payment options.

Maybe not payment, but rather application options. Different candidates prefer different methods of applying, and companies should offer all of them. These include but are not limited to, an online application process, via email, in-store kiosks or even traditional mail.

Give them options, and don’t forget about mobile! CareerBuilder has revealed that almost 1/3 of their traffic each month comes from mobile devices. However, 40 percent of mobile candidates will opt out when they come upon a non-mobile friendly application process.

Have high quality, interactive product images.

Again, maybe not products, although that’s cool too; but definitely employee, office space and work-outing photos. The average online attention span is literally a matter of seconds. That means that recruiters have to craft every stage of the online application process with dynamic, attention-grabbing content. This will usually be in the form of videos or images, as they are proven to keep viewers on a page for far longer than just text.

Business Insider author and placement specialist, Ken Sundheim, said:

“Depending on which study you cite, human beings make a decision on a visual image and determine whether it is pleasing within somewhere between 3 – 5 seconds. Therefore, when an applicant visits your website, they may immediately associate a poorly written and poorly designed homepage with a bad company that is filled with uninteresting people.”

Highlight your sales, discounts and other specially priced items.

Candidates want to see perks, or any type of incentive to want to work there –to want to click “Submit Application”. What can they get here that they can’t get anywhere else? This is your chance to tell them. Highlight the potential return on their investment of going through the application process by letting them know immediately what to expect.

  • On-going training
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Vacation time
  • A great company culture
  • Perks
  • EOE statement

With a few tips from our marketing friends, abandoned applications are, in most cases, totally preventable. Are you starting to see a pattern in recruiting content here? Treat candidates like customers, and get more marketing-minded in recruiting initiatives. Slashing application abandonment rates starts with great software, but continues with marketing tactics that put the candidate first.

Sean has worked in the Human Resources industry since he graduated from Radford University with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. After working in HR as a generalist for a government contracting company, he moved to the HR Technology arena and began assisting companies in the selection and implementation of HR software.

While selling other companies' software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train.
http://visibilitysoftware.com/