Potential candidates are willing to ditch an online application if it takes them longer than just 15 minutes to complete, according to new research from Hays.
The Hays What Workers Want Report 2018, which surveyed 14,600 employers and employees, found that 71% of applicants would lose interest in a role after just a quarter of an hour, indicating that a more streamlined, fast service would result in more interest in a vacancy.
This sentiment is echoed by Reddit users on the ‘Recruiting Hell’ board, where members have shared stories of long, boring application processes turning them off.
Smart Recruit Online CEO, Mark Stephens commented on this research, “There is so much data out there to prove this has been going on for some time, not just impatient X,Y,Z gen applicants, but experienced and mature candidates too. Over 90% of actual applicants are already employed and average search times with the majority of these people is under 20 minutes in total. It is time that those companies still using prehistoric screening or application forms at the start of the application process came to terms that this needs to change, unless they want to continue with a strategy that typically loses between 60-80% of applicants who refuse to fill out forms”.
“I am over here filling out applications non-stop and some can take me four hours with all those stupid personality tests,” one wrote. “[That] sh*t sucks.”
“Upload your resume! Then, fill out a bunch of boxes with the exact same info!” another said.
“Perfect way to get people to give up. If there is any friction in applying, I simply don’t.” The report reveals that, when applying online, today’s applicants expect to be able to edit and submit their CV easily (90%), save job searches (80%) and receive job alerts (76%).
However, despite the emphasis applicants place on a simple online process, the report suggests that they still value personal interaction as part of the process, with 69% of applicants reporting that it is important to them to have a contact person who can provide status updates on their individual application.
According to Simon Winfield, Managing Director Hays UK & Ireland, today’s candidates are more digitally fluent than ever before, and this affects how they like to apply for jobs. “They have become accustomed to doing everything online, from communicating with friends and catching up on news to managing their finances and booking their holidays,” he said.
“As a result, they have come to expect a very slick and intuitive user experience regardless of service or function. Not unreasonably, they expect the same ease of use when applying for a new role.
“In neglecting to invest in the applicant’s user experience, many employers may be undermining their ability to compete for the best talent.”
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