Candidate Experience

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What makes candidates abandon an application process? According to a study, many companies are cumbersome, slow and unappealing: poor candidate experience.

This should give companies pause for thought: 58 percent of participants in the job application report by Softgarden have already abandoned an application, even though they were actually interested in the advertised position. The most common reason for dropping out was a cumbersome application process, closely followed by a slow response from the company and an unsympathetic demeanor on the part of the contact person.

Around 6,500 people took part in the online survey between October 2018 and January 2019, including mainly professionals, job seekers and students.


Application forms do not meet expectations

A good 43 percent of respondents said online forms are their preferred way to apply. But many companies do not meet the expectations that candidates have of these forms. One of the reasons for this is that applicants are becoming increasingly impatient as a result of digitization. In 2014, only 22 percent of applicants thought that a maximum of ten minutes was enough to enter data into an online application form. In the meantime, the impatient even make up the majority: 45.1 percent do not want to spend more than ten minutes.

The reality is different: 52.6 percent needed more than ten minutes to enter their data for their applications. A good quarter even took longer than 20 minutes. Companies are therefore demanding time from their applicants that they don't actually want to spend.

In addition, many candidates were bothered by the fact that the forms were cumbersome. In the comments, some of them stated that there were technical problems or that they had to type their resume stations individually into masks. Some candidates were put off by the fact that they had to create an account to apply.

Source: Softgarden
Source: Softgarden

Too long waiting times and unsympathetic interlocutors

For 42.5 percent, too slow a response from the company was a reason to leave the Application process to cancel. Because here, too, expectations and reality are often far apart. Almost three quarters of applicants would like to receive an invitation to an interview within one to two weeks. However, this was not the case for even half of the respondents in the last job interview.

The comments of the study participants revealed some grossly inconsiderate behavior on the part of companies. One candidate stated that he had only received an invitation to an interview after six months - and of course already had another job in the meantime. One candidate showed up on time for his interview but then waited in vain for half an hour for the personnel officer, whereupon he left the office. Another candidate was annoyed by his contact's arrogant manner and lack of empathy.

Candidate Experience Influences employer attractiveness

It's no surprise that poor candidate experience damages both the employer brand and the reputation of the product itself. For 67.1 percent of participants, experiences from the recruiting process change their view of the product. A full 84.5 percent said it affected their view of the employer.

Companies thus often lose potentially highly qualified candidates for reasons that could easily have been avoided. Softgarden therefore strongly recommends taking a pleasant application process seriously as a factor in employer attractiveness. Above all, it is important to put oneself in the shoes of the applicant and to eliminate any inconsistencies and deficits that become apparent in the process.


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