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5 technology roadblocks that are killing candidate experience

You've probably spent a good deal of resources on building a candidate experience that will keep your talent pipelines healthy, but have you ever wondered how much of that investment is hindered by your own technology?

According to a CareerBuilder report on how the candidate experience is transforming HR technology, there are a number of reasons you could be failing in your efforts and affecting your chances of attracting great talent.

“Technology can be your greatest ally or enemy when you’re interacting with job candidates,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said.

“Job seekers today expect the application process to be fast, informative, more personalised – and mobile-optimised. The more in-demand one’s skill set is, the less likely the job seeker will be to jump through hoops.

What the study shows us is companies that have a complex application process and don’t have the technology in place to routinely capture and re-engage candidates are at a competitive disadvantage.”

1. Failing to capture interested candidates

Not all job seekers – especially passive ones – may have the time to apply to a position at first glance. In fact, 39% of job seekers feel the ability to leave their contact information with an employer and apply later is extremely or very important.

Considering 57% of HR professionals don’t use any tools to capture candidates who didn’t apply to their jobs, there are a considerable number of missed opportunities to connect with more elusive talent.

2. Failing to re-engage applicants

Maintaining relationships with viable candidates who weren’t hired, but could be a good fit for a job opening down the road is another challenge.

More than one-third of HR professionals (36%) said they don’t re-engage job candidates who weren’t offered a role – generally because they have moved on to the most current applicants (69%) or because no one has time to do so (28%).

While 38% of HR professionals reported they do re-engage candidates every six months or more, a significant number aren’t tapping into ready-made talent pools that have already expressed interest in their companies.

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3. Automating responses

While automated responses have become a popular means to inform candidates that the company received their application, many candidates (39%) felt it’s not enough.

The survey highlighted 62% of job seekers expect more personalised communications. Almost seven out of 10 (67%) even expect a phone call from a recruiter after submitting an application.

4. Limiting applications to the desktop

The common use of mobile technology has fuelled the expectation that the job search experience should be the same whether you are on a desktop or mobile device. However, nearly half (46%) of HR professionals don’t offer candidates the option of accessing their applicant tracking system (ATS) via a mobile device, mostly due to technical or resource constraints.

Although 33% of HR professionals said they saw a bigger drop-off rate because their ATS was not mobile-optimised, only 2% of all HR professionals thought the ability to apply to a job via a mobile device should be considered part of the candidate experience. The report stated this factor raised a serious concern considering that when job-seekers can’t apply via a mobile device, 65% said they rarely return to their desktop to finish the application.

5. Using a complex application process

The majority (53%) of HR professionals felt a long application process is good because it weeds out less enthusiastic or less qualified applicants. This may be true to some extent, but the report highlighted they also weed out highly skilled, currently employed talent that is less likely to tolerate filling out multiple pages.

Six out of 10 job seekers said they have begun an online application, but ultimately didn’t finish it due to how long and complex it was.

More than half (54%) of HR professionals also said their application process takes more than 20 minutes to complete. This was a concern, considering 29% believed the application process should take 10 minutes or less.

Image: Shutterstock

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