What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off
What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

It’s no secret that attracting the right talent is hard, and the hiring landscape has grown increasingly competitive. You can stand out by providing a great candidate experience – but in order to do so, you need to understand and circumvent some of their biggest frustrations with the application process.

We wanted to take you inside the minds of today’s job seekers to give you an idea of what they expect of your company and the candidate experience you (knowingly or unknowingly) provide. So we asked real-life job seekers via our social channels: What part of the job search process do you wish you could change most?

Here’s what they said…and how you can do your part to bridge the divide:

They want you to keep an open mind instead of setting unrealistic expectations.

Joe Duhamel: Right out of college, I actually had a placement agency in Manhattan tell me to “come back when you have some experience.” I said, “When I get experience, I won’t need you.” And I never did.

Mary SaelensThe “relevant experience” is something that should be used in moderation though; people need jobs and if it’s [an] entry-level [position], let them get their feet wet.

Kristina RoepkeThey require years of experience when fresh graduates haven’t been alive long enough to fulfill the requirement. Also, no one hires you unless you have experience…[but] how do you get it? It is a logic loop.

Milap (@m3jstile): HR managers [must] be more willing to interview more people.

Adam Patrick: Wasting candidates’ time (and theirs) by posting a job when they already know whom they are hiring.

They want you to be more responsive.

Eddie Quinn: [I] hate spending so much time applying to a company (research company, customize resume, cover letter, create log in and re-enter entire resume into web form) and then never hearing back, even after attempts to follow up. Some decency would be nice. [I] once applied to [a company], and didn’t get a ‘We regret to inform you…’ email until six months after I applied and followed up three times.

Patrick BarnesI would push for an immediate decision. No waiting for a week [and] doing a follow-up call, only to find out the position has been filled…right before they hang up [on you].

They want you to NOT waste their time.

Career Break Site (@CareerBreakSite): Pretending to be enthusiastic when a recruitment agent has sent you to interview for some crappy job.

Adam Patrick: Asking for information on the online application that is the exact same information a resume contains (or should contain instead of extraction of keywords, info, reading it).

They want you to be fair — when it comes to pay, etc.

Adam Patrick: Requiring WAY TOO much education, TOO specific experience and they pay you in beans.

Chris PapaliaYou forgot to mention the start pay… $9.50 an hour.

They want you to be prepared and know what you’re looking for.

Kristy HughesNot nailing down the job description or team’s needs before starting the interview process, so interviews are a waste of time. Or interviewing for one position, hiring a candidate and then telling the candidate they are needed to do something else.

They want you to offer training because they’re willing to learn.

Misty TaylorAll the experience that is needed for the position [is there], yet no one seems to want to train. Think of the people that could learn what needs to be done.

How to Win Candidates Over (Before They Even Apply)

May 9th, 2016 Comments off
How to Win Over Candidates (Before They Even Apply)

The recruitment process has become increasingly impersonal for both candidates and recruiters – and neither side is satisfied with the experience. It’s become clear that it’s time to get back to basics. The good news? As an employer or recruiter, you have a unique opportunity to change the experience candidates have with your company and your application process. And let’s be honest – you can’t really afford not to, as CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study shows that 76% of full-time employed workers are either actively looking for or open to new job opportunities. As an employer, that number should concern you – and as someone who is actively hiring, it should excite you.

The first step? Put yourself out there. And not just haphazardly, either: First impressions count. By approaching candidates in the right way, you’ll make your employer brand shine, while getting a better caliber of candidates applying to your jobs.

Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to being more approachable:

  • Make it easier to spark a conversation before candidates apply. Job seekers and employers both agree that job postings can be very impersonal, and they sometimes miss key information about what the role entails.
  • Listen to what candidates want to know about a job. Pay attention to what candidates feel is missing from job descriptions and other hiring tools – and work to fill in the gaps. Providing the most useful information will only help you get better people. And more often than not, candidates want the same thing you do.
  • Realize job seekers want to ask questions, too. 81% would like the contact information of the person who posted the job before they apply; 72% want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.
  • Stop avoiding salary. The top feature candidates would like to see in job postings is salary/compensation (74%).


Get more tips on how to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to reaching out to candidates: See more findings from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.


Pro Tip: Once you get the right information in your job description, use CareerBuilder’s Job Postings as a proactive advertising solution to give them the most exposure possible to the right candidates.

How Long is Too Long for a Candidate to Wait?

April 13th, 2016 Comments off
How long is too long for a candidate to wait?

I’ve recently re-entered the job market in search of my next career challenge. As a recruitment specialist, I might be a bit critical when it comes to a company’s careers website, social media presence and application process. What has surprised me is that — in a world of professional profiles, applicant tracking tools and smartphones — the application process can still take so much time. It does make me wonder if the recruitment manager or head of HR have actually put themselves in the candidate’s shoes to see if they emerge from the process feeling positive about the company (or feeling like they need to lay down in a darkened room).

When designing your application process, you may want to consider:

1. Do you absolutely need this information in order to shortlist candidates? 

If the information is not fulfilling a legal requirement or isn’t essential to the role itself, then why is it being asked? I was asked on an application for my passport number and work permit number, which seemed a bit over the top. A simple “Do you have the right to work in the U.K. without employer sponsorship?” would have been sufficient.

2. If you accept a CV, then accept a CV. 

If you allow an applicant to upload a CV, it is repetitive to then ask the applicant to fill in their education, professional qualifications and work history information in another section of the application. All of that can be found on the CV.

3. Save the interview questions for the interview.

 Some short-answer questions can be helpful for you to understand the interest the candidate has in the role, but asking them to detail what skills and experience they possess compared to the job spec is a question best left to a phone or face-to-face interview.

4. Online assessments. 

SHORT online assessments integrated into the application process can really provide some basic insight into targeted skill sets. There are some handy assessment tools out there that will integrate with your ATS. Otherwise, you may have the facility to create your own within your ATS. The emphasis should be on short, though. Applicants are oftentimes working full-time and perhaps have a family to look after, and if your application takes them more time than they are able to spend, you may lose a quality candidate.

5. Are you mobile? 

With more and more people ditching their laptops and PCs for tablets and mobile devices, can your process cope? People expect to do just about everything on their mobile or tablet these days, including banking, booking a holiday and applying for a job. If your current process or ATS does not allow candidates to apply with their LinkedIn profile or upload a Google doc or Dropbox file, you might want to think about a new solution.

We are all getting increasingly busier with heavy workloads, long commutes, family commitments and outside-of-work activities. Is your recruitment process throwing up obstacles to quality candidates? With the battle for talent, can you afford to be putting skilled applicants off? Don’t make your process so long that you are losing people along the way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Bustos, originally from Colorado, began her career in HR and recruitment with some iconic global hotel and hospitality brands, landing her on the South coast of England. Now, having lived in the U.K. for 10 years, she focuses on transforming recruitment functions into high performing, commercial machines. Some of her notable projects include launching new careers websites, implementing ATS systems and designing and delivering interview skills trainingShe is most passionate about making a positive influence on the community, traveling and cake. 

84% of CEOs Say Their Online Application Process Needs Improvement

January 18th, 2016 Comments off

With unemployment hovering around 5 percent and the continued growth, companies across the country are already experiencing a lower number of candidate applications per open position than any other time this decade. This trend will only continue for the near future.

Now, more than ever, organizations are forced to look at their own recruitment processes to ensure they are making it as easy as possible for candidates to find and apply to their open positions – but is it working?

In a recent survey by CareerBuilder, we found that 19 percent of CEOs viewed the candidate experience of their application process as “bad” or only “OK.” The majority of those that responded (65 percent) claimed their application process was “good, but needs improvement.”

That means a whopping 84 percent of CEOs think their application process could use some work.

What does this mean to you?

Building a better experience for your candidates only leads to positive results: You get a higher number of quality applications and more positions filled in a shorter amount of time; staffed positions provide valuable services to the business; and the company makes more money as a result. Everybody wins.

However, the consequences of failing to offer an accessible and quick application process can be dire. A poor candidate experience leaves a negative perception of your brand in the mind of the candidate, and results in more than two-thirds of candidates saying they are less likely to buy anything from your company in the future. Imagine only having one-third of your customers to sustain the business. Is that acceptable – or sustainable?

CareerBuilder can help

We don’t share these numbers to scare you. Instead, we like you to know that you’re not alone. Visit our site to learn more about our software solutions like Talentstream Recruit and Talentstream Engage, designed to enhance the candidate experience of job seekers who are already interested in your company.

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