The importance of providing a high-quality candidate experience

As recruiting and talent acquisition evolve and adapt, candidate experience continues to be at the center of conversation for HR professionals. However, we’ve noticed that these discussions often overlook a key component that every candidate must go through at one point – the apply flow.

We already know that the experience you give your job applicants is a direct reflection of your brand. To potential employees, it might even be the deciding factor when it comes down to whether they’re willing to invest their time in applying for your jobs and whether or not you’re able to hire top talent.

In fact, research has shown that 90% of candidates abandon their job applications due to frustrating applicant tracking system (ATS) experiences. That’s 9 out of 10 candidates you’re missing out on, and 90 cents from every dollar you spend attracting applicants gone to waste. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you’re making the most of your recruitment efforts and the time you have with candidates.

Ultimately, we found ourselves curious about candidate experience trends and the current state of the experience provided by ATS like Workday, Taleo, BrassRing, SuccessFactors, and others, so we set out to research what it was like to be a candidate applying for jobs at Fortune 500 companies today.

We’ve bundled up this candidate experience research into the State of the Apply Flow report, which gives you a deep-dive into the most common apply flow and candidate experience trends – and problems – out there right now. We also provide you with our tips, tricks, and recommendations when it comes to strengthening your apply flow and making the most of the time and effort you put into securing top talent.

 

Our findings

In the State of the Apply Flow report, we go through the major setbacks that we found in the candidate experience and the steps that your organization can take to combat these issues.

Here’s what you should know:

Finding 1: Applications are getting shorter, but there are a lot of clicks.
  • The average Fortune 500 job application takes 4 minutes and 52 seconds to complete
  • It takes 51 clicks to complete a job application from start to finish
Finding 2: We aren’t making the most of our time with candidates.
  • 51 clicks in 4:52 means that candidates only take 5.7 seconds between each click
  • Many candidates are quickly skimming through the information that companies are asking them to consider
Finding 3: Employer brand is clearly important… until it’s time to apply.
  • 48% of Fortune 500 companies share their billing with their ATS logo
  • 8% of Fortune 500 companies don’t have their logo in their application pages
Finding 4: You aren’t always in control of your employer brand.
  • Your career site and ATS might not be the most prominently displayed in Google for Jobs
  • 95% of Fortune 500 job applications required candidates to click Apply Now more than once
Finding 5: The people focused on experience aren’t the ones buying and configuring the tech.
  • The level of branding carried through in the apply flow doesn’t correlate to the application experience quality
  • Even companies that included consistent branding weren’t able to provide a smoother apply flow or fewer clicks

Key takeaways

Though job applications are getting shorter, and organizations are realizing the value of optimizing the candidate experience, there’s still a lot of friction in the candidate experience that can be easily minimized by improving the apply flow. Providing a positive candidate experience is a key component to securing high-quality hires and competing for top talent in today’s fast-moving labor market.

Want to know what you can do about the most common barriers in the candidate apply flow experience? Download the State of the Apply Flow research report to find out how you can make the most of your efforts – and how InFlight can help!

Download the report here!
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