April 28, 2021

6 Ways You May Be Driving Candidates Away Before They Even Apply

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Tags: HR

The recruitment and hiring process can be long and labor intensive for recruiters. On average, talent acquisition professionals spend ‚Öì of their work week (13 hours!) sourcing candidates for a single role.

When you spend so much time sourcing talent, you may be wondering why you don’t have a stronger candidate pipeline. While you could chalk it up to a “tough candidate market,” it’s worthwhile to evaluate your recruiting process and attempt to identify the factors that prevent you from hiring top talent.

If you’re not sure what may be limiting your company, we outline 6 common mistakes that drive candidates away before they even submit an application. Many of these mistakes can be mitigated using a recruiting or applicant tracking tool.

Which HR software is right for you?


6 mistakes that deter candidates from applying

  1. Job descriptions are too vague
  2. Outdated social media and website
  3. Slow hiring process
  4. Unreasonable recruiting requirements
  5. Clunky interface and application portal
  6. One-sided job listing

1. Job descriptions are too vague

A job description should give job seekers a clear idea of what the role involves and what skills and experience are required. Use simple language and accurate descriptions and avoid company jargon. In the end, if your job description is generic or lazily written, it’s your own company that suffers.

If your job description is vague, it may indicate to the candidate that if the employer can’t accurately describe what the job entails, their management may be equally as poor. If you’re finding that creating the job description is difficult, take a look at similar job descriptions of your competitors. These ideas can get you started in accurately portraying what you’re looking for in a candidate.

2. Outdated social media and website

Job seekers rank social and professional networks as the most useful job search resource compared to job boards, job ads, employee referrals, recruiting agencies, and recruiting events. Candidates use LinkedIn, Instagram, and your company’s career page to get a feel for the culture, brand, and work environment. If your social media or website is out of date, it may be a red flag to the candidate if they’re looking to work for a fresh, progressive company.

If your social media platforms are a candidate’s most useful resource in deciding whether to apply, it’s important to have your company’s mission, vision, and purpose clearly visible. Candidates get the full picture of what your company is about and determine whether they’d be a fit. It also increases your chances that the candidates in the pipeline align with your brand.

3. Slow hiring process

Top candidates are likely being pursued by multiple recruiters, and they won’t wait around for a lengthy hiring process. For companies, the longer the hiring process continues, the more it costs in money, talent, and general competitiveness.

If you want to hire top talent, make the recruiting process seamless and engaging. Evaluate your current processes and see where bottlenecks start to form. An applicant tracking system is a great way to automate and optimize routine aspects of hiring, freeing up your recruiters for more important tasks. Tools such as Jobvite allows teams to share candidate information with relevant coworkers, deliver personalized content to the right candidate, and quickly move candidates through the pipeline.

4. Unreasonable recruiting requirements

The recruiting process is a two-way street, especially in a highly competitive market for talent. It’s likely you’re not the only recruiter the candidate is in contact with, so being rigid with requirements and scheduling will quickly turn them away. This is especially true if you’re in a highly competitive field where you’re often looking for passive candidates that already have a job (especially a job they’re not motivated to leave).

Be willing to work around candidates’ existing work schedules and priorities. Provide ample time for candidates to produce documents and meet requirements. If you’re not tolerant toward your potential recruits, don’t expect them to be tolerant toward you.

Also read: Data Skills To Look For In Every Hire

5. Clunky interface and application portal

Clunky, slow interfaces and application portals that are difficult to navigate can be a major turnoff to candidates going through the application process. An easy way to determine if your interface is candidate-friendly or if it’s turning job seekers away is to look at the application analytics to see the percentage of applications who abandon the process midway. (Similar to retailers analyzing why shoppers abandon their online shopping cart before checking out.)

Recruiting tools such as JazzHR offer customizable, user-friendly application portals that give a great impression of your brand. They also provide analytics and the ability to build custom reports to have the data-driven insight to enhance your application process.

Candidates are also increasingly likely to use their mobile device to submit a job application, so it’s important that the process is mobile friendly. Most recruiting tools offer this functionality, one being ClearCompany, so you don’t lose a single qualified candidate to frustration.

6. One-sided job listings

Candidates may think twice about applying to your company if the job description is a long list of expectations without mentioning how the role can benefit them in return. It’s an indicator of a poor company culture that won’t bother to invest in your personal or professional development.

Job seekers want to feel that their ideas and work are valued. Be sure to include benefits, the perks of your company culture, what you value as a company, PTO information, and any special bonuses your company offers. This will communicate to potential recruits that working for your company is rewarding and won’t be one-sided.

Recruit the best candidates with recruiting software

Recruiting top talent is done by putting effort into every step of the process. Using a recruiting system allows you to streamline all steps and have them work together cohesively. If you’re wanting to create an impressive talent pipeline, use our Recruiting Software Product Selection Tool to get recruiting software recommendations that are tailored to your unique needs.

Top Human Resources Software Recommendations

1 Paycor

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Paycor’s HR software modernizes every aspect of people management, which saves leaders time and gives them the powerful analytics they need to build winning teams. Paycor provides a full suite of HCM solutions with a single source of truth for employee data, so users never have to switch platforms, log-in to multiple systems, re-key data or open multiple spreadsheets. Everyday processes become simplified, allowing organizations to focus on their most important work.

Learn more about Paycor

2 Factorial HR

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Complete HRIS solution. All your HR processes in a single place, improve the management of your business.
Factorial converts never-ending, manual processes into integrated, effective ones.

Learn more about Factorial HR

3 GoCo

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GoCo is modern HR, benefits, and payroll, built for flexibility and ease-of-use in mind. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more all in one place. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Unlike other HRIS platforms, GoCo is built to be flexible enough to support existing processes, policies, and providers, so you don't have to change the way you work just to adopt a modern HR system.

Learn more about GoCo

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