The real reason 60% of job seekers can't stand the application process

Job Seekers Are Turning To Smartphones
Job Seekers Are Turning To Smartphones

Almost nobody enjoys searching for a job.

In fact a recent survey — the product of collaboration between research firm Future Workplace and HR technology provider CareerArc — found that a majority of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience.

The "Candidate Experience Study" surveyed 1,200 respondents — 826 job seekers and 374 employers.

About 60% of those job seekers claimed to have endured a terrible candidate experience.

That might seem like bad news for the applicants, but the employers don't fair too well in this situation either.

A whopping 72% of the disgruntled candidates subsequently posted about their experience online. Popular avenues for venting included Glassdoor, social networking platforms, and direct correspondence with friends and colleagues.

There are plenty of reasons to despise (and complain about) the job application process: it can be stressful, time consuming, discouraging, and awkward. But one of the biggest issues respondents say they have with the process is the lack of trust and communication between job seekers and employers.

For example, 61% of employers claimed to notify candidates that their application had been declined, yet 65% of job seekers said they never or rarely receive notice from employers. And about 80% of all candidates said they'd pass on other relevant openings at a company that failed to notify them about their job status.

The takeaway for employers is that it's important to communicate with applicants, regardless of whether or not they got the job. Those candidates are 3 to 5 times more likely to re-apply or apply for a different post when you do.

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This is important for employers to remember because even though less than half of surveyed employers re-engaged their declined candidates, 99% believed that re-engaging these individuals would help expand their talent community.

Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace and New York Times bestselling author of "Promote Yourself," says it's crucial that companies protect their employer brand during the candidate application process.

"Companies need to start humanizing their candidate experience because job seekers can easily share their negative experiences online and decide never to apply to that company again," Schawbel said in a press release. "Treat your candidates like you would your employees or customers because they have the power to refer strong candidates even if they don't get hired."

So, lesson learned: Don't ghost your candidates.

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