Recruitment Best Practices: The Application Process

April 11, 2017 | Career Transition

In a competitive job market companies often receive hundreds of applications for one open position. New data by Glassdoor indicates that a corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes, on average. Only four to six of these people will be called for an interview so that one candidate can ultimately be selected for the job.

Applicant pools can be large, but how can recruiters be sure that they are attracting the right candidates and keeping them engaged in the hiring process? According to a survey by Officevibe, the hiring process takes an average of 27 days, an all-time high, and 60 percent of candidates have quit an application process because it took too long. There are a few steps hiring managers can take to ensure their application process does not deter quality job seekers.

The first step in getting the right candidates through the door is making sure the right audience sees the opportunity. Think about the position for which you’re hiring and where those candidates are likely to be job searching. Job boards – broad and niche – can get a lot of eyes on your job posting as can social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Employee referrals are also a powerful tool and referral incentives can help get the word out about an open position.

The hiring process is often the first impression candidates will have of your company. To engage job seekers from the start, your company’s career portal or application page should be representative of your brand and company culture. Instead of simply listing the job description, include video and photo content so that candidates get a true sense of the company. This will help dissuade the candidates who aren’t a good fit for the company and attract those who are.

Once a qualified candidate sees your company’s job opportunity they’ll need to begin the application process – the simpler and quicker, the better. Many applicants are pressed for time or job hunting from a mobile device, so if they can’t complete an application then and there they might pass on the opportunity. It should take no more than fifteen minutes for a candidate to complete your application, which means it’s important to design an easy-to-use, mobile compatible career portal and build an application that gathers all the information you need in an efficient way. Programs that auto-fill the application with data from applicants’ resumes are helpful in creating a concise but comprehensive application.

What happens after candidates hit “submit” on their applications is as important as the application itself. As part of their impression of your company and in return for the time they put into the application, they want to know that their information was, at the very least, received. Now, because recruiters receive so many applications for each position it is unreasonable to assume that you’d share personalized status updates as each candidates’ application is reviewed; but there are programs allowing hiring managers to auto-schedule personalized emails through the career portal or application site.

Evaluation in the hiring process goes both ways – as recruiters assess the skills of applicants, candidates weigh their interest in a company or position based on the information at hand. It’s important to keep all candidates engaged throughout the hiring process so that even those who aren’t hired for this position return to apply for future openings and recommend your company to other job seekers.