SmartRecruiters Blog

The Candidate Experience: Complaints at the Tip of the Iceberg

Just “the tip of the iceberg.” That’s how Ray Tenenbaum describes several fundamental complaints about the candidate experience in a recent article.

As I talk to candidates, I hear similar complaints and know full well that each one represents similar views held by many more. And you know what they say about icebergs — you only see the top 10 percent or so.

The common thread that weaves these complaints together boils down to poor communication throughout the entire hiring process — from initial discovery of opportunities through accepting an offer. Fortunately, recruiting software makes it a lot easier to communicate far more effectively.

So here are a few of the top complaints:

“Your career site isn’t mobile friendly.”

I might have viewed this as a rather mediocre “less than ideal” practice only a few years ago, but today it’s absolutely inexcusable. According to a Glassdoor survey, 45% of job seekers say they use their mobile device specifically to search for jobs at least once a day. Why would a top candidate even think about working for a company that can’t provide a decent mobile experience, let alone an excellent one?

Not only does SmartRecruiters automate delivering a delightful mobile experience to candidates, we do the same for recruiters and hiring managers as they collaborate on making hiring decisions.

“Your application is too long.”

How much information do you need? Only enough for an initial screen. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask for additional information later.

But more importantly, why not let candidates apply in just a few seconds, by uploading their resume or sending you their LinkedIn profile with just a click or a tap? Any modern talent acquisition suite such as SmartRecruiters includes this functionality – more important than ever as candidates grow weary of typing, cutting, and pasting the same information over and over and over again.

“Did you get my application?”

C’mon. Really? There are companies that don’t even acknowledge receiving an application?

Do these same companies fail to acknowledge customer inquiries? Believe me, it’s not hard to automate notifications like these. No SmartRecruiters client would ever knowingly fail to acknowledge a candidate’s application because those processes are fully integrated.

“When will you let me know about your decision? Is the job filled?”

Each job may call for different evaluation processes, a variety of interviews, assessments, tests, etc. While you know what that process looks like, candidates don’t. Be transparent so you can set reasonable expectations and follow through with timely status communications.

“How long will it take to get me the offer, because I need to give an answer to another company?”

Think about how candidates feel as they’re being considered for a job. Changing jobs can be a major life event. Choosing between taking an offer that’s been made by another company or waiting for an offer from you isn’t easy. The more time you take, the less likely it is that you’ll close an excellent candidate.

Melt the iceberg: Automate processes and gain valuable insights from recruiting analytics

These complaints about the candidate experience seem far too common. That’s frustrating because I know they’re mostly avoidable. Not only can tools within SmartRecruiters easily address all these complaints, you can also access recruiting analytics that show how your performance against benchmarks is improving.

I know that recruiters are only human, but as Ray explains, both people and processes need to be in alignment.

When candidates are happier, that iceberg of complaints will melt away and you’ll be building an even bigger pool of highly qualified talent interested in working for you.

Nupur Vilas