We are months into a global pandemic and there are two emerging groups: those who have hunkered down with their current employers, and those who are using this as an opportunity to find new employment. Whether they were already looking before the pandemic or have been influenced by the way their company has handled Covid-19, employees are ready to make the move. A study done by Quinyx shows that 18% of deskless workers (think healthcare, logistics, and retail) are planning to leave for better benefits and new opportunities.

If you’re hiring right now and aren’t getting the applications you hoped you would, it might be because your ATS is deterring candidates. Despite the desire for new employment, candidates are likely still nervous about leaving for the unknown and if the first thing they see is a messy job application, well, that doesn’t make your company look like the safest choice.

Did you know that up to 92% of candidates who hit the apply button on your job postings never actually submit their applications? Many companies focus their recruitment marketing and branding efforts early in the application process to encourage candidates to click “apply” but stop there. This leaves candidates with frustrating, dated, and time-consuming apply flows and an overall poor candidate experience that scares them away.

In addition to that, many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are not providing you with your real drop-off numbers. This is because most enterprise ATSs only begin to track an apply start after applicants have registered for an account, not when they press “apply.” However, many applicants are likely dropping out of your process before even registering for an account.

So what should your company do to ensure you’re converting top candidates into applicants? Test out your own application experience!


Here’s a checklist that you can use to test and improve your application experience:

✔️ Does your ATS provide candidates with a streamlined apply flow experience?

The best candidates will not take the time to deal with a time-consuming and frustrating apply flow experience. If a candidate to complete redundant steps and sign into  multiple systems, it provides a negative experience and leads to more drop offs.

When going through your apply flow, count the number of steps candidates need to go through. Consider if any of the questions you asked are repetitive or could be restated in a more concise way. When possible, include areas that can be auto-filled and allow candidates to upload info from social profiles like LinkedIn rather than manually listing their experiences.


✔️ Do users have to register for an account to apply?

An apply flow that requires account log ins or user registration often deters candidates from completing the application. In fact, 90% of the candidates who drop out of your process do so because of frustrations like account registration. Pay special attention if your candidate journey requires creation of multiple accounts, e.g. for the talent community and the ATS.

Even if your ATS makes it mandatory to have candidates register at the beginning of their process, there are workarounds! You could consider implementing an Employee Experience Platform (EXP) like InFlight’s to remove the registration and cut down on application barriers.


✔️ How long does it take to complete your apply flow? Does your apply flow take under 15 minutes? 

Candidates are looking for a quick and easy experience when applying for a new job and will lose interest if the apply process takes too long to complete. In fact, candidates are 365% more likely to abandon an application that takes more than 15 minutes to finish! By finding ways to reduce the time it takes to finish your apply process, you can improve your applicant conversion rate over time.


✔️ Is your apply experience mobile optimized? 

With 75% of the global workforce consisting of millennials by 2025, it is no wonder that a mobile-optimized experience is essential to land quality talent. Many candidates today have grown up with intuitive and easy-to-use technologies and have high expectations from employers when it comes to the application experience.

To assess if you need to focus efforts on improving your mobile experience, try submitting an application to your company on your mobile device. If your application process is a difficult or unpleasant experience on mobile, you should consider addressing your mobile strategy to ensure candidates don’t lose interest and turn away from your apply process.

✔️ Does your apply flow communicate your employer brand across all candidate touchpoints?

Many candidates bypass the career site when applying for a job. This is because candidates often find job opportunities through third-party job sites, rather than through a company’s direct career page. This means candidates might miss out on the important branded messages your organization is trying to convey and instead land into your out-of-the-box ATS apply flow.

As a result, ensuring your apply process is consistently branded – just like it is across your other touchpoints – will strengthen the candidate experience and deliver your unique employer brand messages to candidates who don’t land on the job from your career site.


So, is your ATS holding you back?

How do you think your company would fare on the above test? If you’re missing the mark on several of the areas on this checklist, don’t worry – there are ways to drastically improve your candidate experience without implementing a new ATS.

The InFlight Employee Experience Platform (EXP) integrates with your current system, so that you can do more with what you already have. The InFlight EXP enhances your out-of-the-box ATS application experience to align with candidate expectations and stop candidates from dropping out of your application process


Contact us today to learn how InFlight can help you reduce transform your existing applicant tracking system so you can create a better candidate experience and secure the top talent you need.
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