Short and Sweet Version: Unnecessarily cumbersome application processes can be a huge turnoff for job candidates, and can harm hiring efforts without ever being realized. Streamlining your hiring process is crucial to keeping candidates engaged and willing to fill out their application without abandoning it, and knowing where to “trim the fat” is the key to streamlining.
Everything You Need to Know: How many times has the following happened to you: you’re filling out a form online for something – a website registration, a checkout process, or a username creation – and think you’ve filled out everything you need to, only to hit “submit” and get referred to another page asking you to provide the same information again. ‘But I just did this!’ you’d think, ‘why am I submitting the same information I just gave you?’
This is the exhausting, cumbersome process that many job applicants face with so many initial application processes today - and by "application" we mean the "fill out your name, address, work history, and now upload it with a resume, and now tell us all once more" part. While this used to be mitigated by applicants filling out these applications in person with a recruiter present, the mass adoption of web-based applications may leave the applicant feeling disconnected and frustrated. This long, initial process can be detrimental to your talent acquisition efforts.
“Are we Done Yet?”
Nobody wants to feel like something they’re doing is taking longer than it should, and job applications are no exception. A drawn out application process is one of the most frustrating things a candidate experiences, with application length being routinely cited as one of the biggest pain points in a job search.
So how long is too long? 15 minutes.
That’s right, you have exactly half a sitcom before 30% of your applicants will have said “enough” and not bother filling out the rest of the application. The length will vary – according to Business News Daily, 36% of applicants’ ages 25-34 will stop if the application takes longer than 15 minutes, while 35% of applicants under 25 were willing to spend upwards of 45 minutes on a single application, but the message is clear: nobody likes feeling like they’re doing the same thing over and over.
So, your candidates hate long application processes. How do you fix this?
Give Them Time Back By Streamlining
There are a couple ways you can fix this bad hiring practice:
- Don’t Bother with Repetitiveness: Do you require applicants upload a resume, only to ask them to fill out every detail of their resume manually a few steps later? Don’t bother with the resume. Let them submit their information to you once and be done with it, and since they’ll most likely have to manually submit their application information anyway, have them only do that.
- Automate for Ease: Are you looking for your candidates to mention specific skillsets? Do you want to know their educational background? It can be much easier to automate things like these by having applicants self-select what you’re looking for from them, rather than have them type it out and explain it. It shortens the process for them, and makes your life easier since you won’t have to sieve through user-submitted information.
- Know Your Limits, and Your Experience: 15 minutes isn’t a long time at all. In fact, when you factor in just how much information you might need from an applicant, 15 minutes is hardly anything. The trick here then is to make sure that the experience doesn’t feel like 15 minutes. Is your process engaging, or is just repetitive questioning? The same rule applies for any hiring assessments you might be using – you'll never hit below 15 minutes for a pre-hire assessment, nor should you try to since the goal of a pre-hire assessment is to gather qualitative information about the candidate. So are you asking questions just to ask questions, or do these questions help you uncover if an applicant is qualified for the position they applied for? If your hiring process feels engaging you’ll lower the risk of an applicant giving up halfway through and leaving their application in limbo.
Time is a scarce resource none of us can get back, and many of your job candidates don’t want to feel like they’re spending it submitting the same information two, three, or four different times. Fixing cumbersome hiring starts with cutting down on the length of the application by streamlining it. Remember, your application process is a reflection of your organization, and you do not want candidates walking away feeling like you’ve wasted their time with a long application process.
Want to learn more about streamlining your hiring processes? Work@Home hiring models provide excellent examples of efficient and effective hiring processes. You can learn more about Work@Home hiring by joining Jeff Furst (FurstPerson), Michele Rowan (Customer Contact Strategies), and King White (Site Selection Group) on October 7 at 2 pm EST for the “5 Critical Steps to Hiring the Right Work@Home Representative” webinar. Register below.
Topics: Talent Selection Ideas