Does Your Job Application Have Abandonment Issues?

What if you knew that within the first hour of posting a job application, ten candidates started filling the application out? Pretty good, right? But what if we told you that six of those candidates QUIT filling out the application halfway through?

Recent statistics suggest that this is what’s happening: as many as 60% of applicants quit filling out an online job application right around the mid-point. If the number sounds high to you, many hiring experts suggest that the actual rate may be even higher. And their reasoning is simple: candidates often get turned off when a job application is either too long or too complex.

Doesn’t a long job application “weed out” weaker candidates?

Once upon a time, hiring professionals believed that a longer job application was better. As they saw it, the long job application helped screen candidates who were either less qualified, less motivated, or both. Even today, some recruiters and hiring managers still trust this model. But for job seekers, the opposite is often true.

When an online job application is too long or too complex, employers may lose out on job candidates from across the talent pool.

Today’s job seekers are well-aware of how valuable their time is. In an online environment, they expect job applications to keep up with the medium itself.

  • They want to be able to complete job applications in real-time, rather than having to save and return to them later.
  • They want online applications to function in a web-friendly way, from how it looks on screen, to how it works across devices (laptops, tablets and phones).
  • They don’t want to deal with redundancies like multiple log-ins, keying or pasting information from their resume into the application, or answering similar sounding questions as they scroll from page to page.

 

Previously we’ve written about the importance of testing your own job application. It’s a great way for you to determine if you’re asking the questions needed to find the best candidates for the job.

Here are additional questions to ask yourself when you’re creating or revising a job application. When you avoid these red flags, you can help keep candidates engaged with the job application process from start to finish—and may lower your bounce rate accordingly.

  1. How many questions does your job application ask? The recruitment company Appcast found job applications of 25 or fewer questions have twice the completion rate than applications with 50 or more questions. If the goal is to encourage candidates to complete your online job application, fewer questions is often better.

 

  1. Is your application redundant in any way? Ensure the application doesn’t ask unnecessary questions that will solicit similar answers.

 

  1. Is your job application smartphone-ready? Across all demographics, smartphones are becoming more ingrained in our lives by the day. When your job application is smartphone-friendly, you may reach a wider range of job applicants and allow them the ability to fill out your application at a time that’s right for them—whether they’re taking public transportation between job interviews, sitting in a café, or are in the lobby of a movie theater during the coming attractions. Don’t believe us? As one study puts it, mobile recruiting is becoming the “new normal.” And this starts with the job application.

 

As you continue to refine your job application, remember the ripple effect it sends across your entire organization. As we pointed out in a previous post, it takes an average of 52 days to fill an open position. This gap in your org chart may put serious strain on existing employees and the company’s bottom line.

One way to begin bringing this number down is to increase the number of qualified applicants who finish your job application.


Ready to automate your application process?

myStaffingPro’s application tracking software gives you tools to create powerful, easy-to-fill job applications. Candidates can pre-populate fields via social apply or resume parsing, cutting their application time and increasing your application completion rate. On-the-go candidates can even fill out applications via mobile devices.

Our support and integration teams are based in the U.S., and will configure your software to fit your unique process and needs. Our solution even includes candidate support, so applicants with technical questions can contact us with software issues—instead of their potential employer.

 

Contact a Staffing Pro Today

 

7 Tips for Writing a Job Posting Like a Pro

7 Tips for Writing a Job Posting Like a Pro

 

1. Be Accurate First. Market Second.

Writing a great job posting is a far more complicated task than most people think.  A strong job posting is first and foremost accurate.  If your job posting is accurate, your future employee will know what’s expected of them before they’re even hired—laying the groundwork for success.  Meanwhile, an inaccurate job posting can lead to a poor applicant pool, and misunderstandings.

Job postings can be both a recruiting tool and an advertisement for your company. Once you’re sure you have all the facts correct, discuss with your marketing team whether the job posting is on-brand.  Most companies have brand guidelines that define their company’s voice and culture.  There’s no need to go overboard, but adjusting a job posting to fit your company’s style will help increase the likelihood that your new employee is the right fit.

2. Make Sure the Job Posting You Write Has All the Parts

A job posting need not account for every task that an employee might ever do.  On the other hand, it should absolutely list the basics, like:

  • Job Title
  • Type of Employment (Full-time, Part-Time, or Temporary)
  • Expected Hours or Shifts
  • Likelihood of Overtime or Weekend Work
  • List of General Responsibilities
  • Requirements and/or Preferences in:
    • Education
    • Experience
    • Technical Skills

3. Don’t Be Coy about Salary in your Job Posting

Many employers choose not to list a salary range when they write their job postings.  This makes sense if the salary of the job you are offering has considerable variance.  For example, if you’re not sure whether you want to hire someone junior-level with less experience and train them, or whether you’d like to hire someone more senior level who can hit the ground running—you might set a salary range to Depends on Experience (DOE) in order to capture both types of candidates.

Not setting a range for the sole purpose of trying to minimize salary, though, may not be the best strategy.  Savvy, busy professionals may not have the patience to submit an application without knowing whether the salary meets their expectations; and less qualified candidates might take the lack of a salary range as an indication that they can get in the door by keeping their demands low.

If you have a budget and know what level of experience you’re looking for, setting a salary (or  salary range) at the low end of your scale will help ensure a stronger—and more refined— applicant pool, while leaving room for negotiation if the applicant you want requests more.

4. Research Job Titles and Get Them Right

Job titles matter.  A writer is different from a content manager.  A director is different from a manager.   A CEO is different from an owner.  Because job boards like Indeed, or Glassdoor are so crowded with job postings, job seekers are quickly searching on the titles they think they fit, and ignoring other jobs that they might also qualify for.  Consider who you’re trying to hire, and what job title they might be searching on.  Consider less sophisticated titles for junior positions, and more sophisticated ones for senior ones.

5. Don’t Overdo It

While it’s important when writing a job posting to list the tasks and responsibilities that will take up the majority of an employees’ time, this can be done in a general way.  The digital format allows for longer job postings, but consider keeping them short and sweet so a potential candidate doesn’t pass them over.  Think of ways to shorten your posting.  For example, instead of writing, “posts status updates to Facebook, creates tweets for Twitter, and produces articles for LinkedIn,” you might simply say, “manages social media channels.”

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Job Posting

One of the advantages of digital communication is that it’s easy to edit.  If your needs change, or if you’re not pulling in enough (or the wrong kind of) applicants, don’t hesitate to edit or rewrite your posting.  Because search tools are so sophisticated, a simple word change can alter the number and types of applicants that your job posting draws in.

7. Broadcast Your Job Description Everywhere

The task of writing a strong job posting doesn’t stop when you save it to your hard drive.  Writing also means promoting.  Savvy recruiters post the job on dozens of job boards, and then promote those postings across their company’s social media channels.

If you’re a busy recruiter, you know how time-consuming the writing and promotion of a job can be.  That’s why HR professionals are turning more and more frequently to recruitment software to automate the promotion of their job openings across job boards and social media.


Ready to Automate your Job Recruitment Process?

Your applicant tracking system (ATS) may be the first thing a potential employee sees from your company.  Leave a professional impression with myStaffingPro, the premier ATS for HR professionals. Recruit candidates, seamlessly flow applicants through interviews, offers, background checks, and onboarding with our trusted software solution.

Contact myStaffingPro Today

Evaluating Your ATS Options

 Evaluating Your ATS OptionsStaffing is much more than filling seats. A recruiter’s key role is to build a talent pipeline.

A comprehensive web-based applicant-tracking system can offer full-featured applicant tracking, candidate recruiting, and onboarding in one scalable, configurable solution. HR departments can use the application to work with staffing agencies in one shared strategy.

Continue reading

Understanding What Matters When Selecting An ATS Solution

Understanding What Matters When Selecting An ATS SolutionApplicant-tracking systems have improved resume parsing, helped streamline the job application process, and, through new reporting metrics, as well as enabled HR administrators and leaders to save money on the overall recruitment process.

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Weeding through Resumes

Weeding through ResumesDoes it still surprise when you see “Email your résumé” on some job postings?

If so, you’re not alone. In many cases this is due to the fact that companies have yet to make the switch from their internal manual hiring process to an automated one. The whole point of automating your applicant recruiting and tracking process is to increase productivity and easily identify a qualified candidate.

A comprehensive applicant tracking system can parse data and you can set the rules on how the résumés will be analyzed.

For example, you can have a keyword match to your job description. If you’re looking for someone who has experience with scheduling and logistics, the system can automatically search for those common terms. The system can then prioritize those résumés with the most keyword matches. An automated search functionality reduces data entry error when your HR teams are dealing with hundreds of résumés.

Also, with an expanded search, you will want to keep track of where the résumés are coming from. For example, an applicant tracking system makes note of which résumés came from social media, job positing sites, and offline recruiting such as a newspaper want ad.

When the position is successfully filled, this type of information can help you analyze what went right (or needs improving) in the hiring process. You can quickly locate data and create reports evaluating trends and applicant workflows.

Incorporate usability techniques into your online application process with these tips.

INFOGRAPHIC: Increasing Workplace Productivity

Because hiring is one of the top factors for a company’s success, having a robust applicant tracking system in place can help to ensure that your company overcomes that barrier and doesn’t fall into a statistic failure category.

The infographic below explains how a comprehensive applicant tracking and recruiting system can help to increase your applicant success rate and improve your overall workplace productivity levels.

Productivity Infographic

 

What You Need to Know about Your Best Assets

What You Need to Know about Your Best AssetsOver the course of an HR manager’s career, applicants come and go. Many disqualify themselves, pulling out of the race for candidacy. A treasured few stick around for the long haul, go through the interviewing process, and sometimes do (or do not) make the final cut.

There can be a wealth of data to be derived from your application process. A robust applicant tracking system has reporting tools that you can monitor as the job posting remains open. For example in a single screen view, you can review easy-to-read bar graphs and pie charts to track:

• How many applications received

• How long has the job been open

• How many applicants progressed to the next step (e.g., initial screening interview)

• From how many sources were the applications received (social media, job boards)

You can easily interact with hiring managers using feedback tools and you can stay connected with candidates through an Outlook® integration for contacts and appointments. A universal hiring process makes it easy to maintain a designated workflow.

Once the job is filled, you can create a report for executive review. The applicant tracking system easily collects data across applications and quantifies:

• How many days to fill position

• How much did it cost to fill position

• Which application questions received the highest scores

With data collection and reporting, you can quickly locate data with comprehensive applicant, requisition, and résumé search functionality. This data can be shared with colleagues through vast export, email, printing, and reporting capabilities.

To learn more about how applicant-tracking software can help you achieve better hiring results, click here.

Tenacious and Tactical Hiring

Tenacious and Tactical HiringIn order to be tenacious and tactical with your applicant recruiting and hiring processes, tools and resources are essential to helping your HR admin improve their productivity levels.

Promote Your Company’s Best Features

Throughout your applicant recruiting process, it’s important to highlight your company’s best features. These can include benefits your company offers, any awards it has won and possible employee testimonials or ratings. Promoting your company’s features doesn’t just fall in the recruiting process, you can continue to do so even after a candidate has been qualified to hire. Make a great first impression on newly hired employees by eliminating the need to complete paperwork manually on their first day. By standardizing new hire paperwork, you can collect Form I-9, Form W-4, state tax withholding forms, and voluntary self-identification information. You can also collect a new hire’s acknowledgement of the employee handbook, company policies, and their application. You can track the time it takes for the new hire to complete this process to comply with wage and hour laws.

Configure Your Hiring Process

With a job description library that you can pull from, your candidates will benefit from having the most accurate and thorough job information available. An applicant tracking system has an organizational structure that is set up for easy job posting and reporting. You can develop your applicant workflow with statuses and automated emails. Through the design of your online application process, you can set up multiple choice or text response questions with scoring capabilities. There is also tiered sourcing data collection, voluntary applicant self-identification collection, résumé and document collection, and a comprehensive application builder.

Track Your Applicants

Without an applicant tracking system, it’s easy to overlook qualified candidates. Your tenacious hiring system needs applicant documentation and history that is easily reportable. You want to be able to quickly locate data with a comprehensive applicant, requisition, and résumé search functionality. With a designated workflow, you can stay connected with an Outlook® integration for contacts and appointments.

In tenacious and tactical hiring, you want the tools for tracking and compliance that facilitate your hiring process. With the ability to interact with hiring managers (using feedback tools), you can share data with colleagues through vast export, email, printing, and reporting capabilities.

To learn more about how applicant-tracking software can help you achieve better hiring results, click here.

5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Pitch to Candidates

5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Pitch to CandidatesThe marketplace can send a lot of mixed messages. Some regions (rural) tend to have high unemployment. Tourist towns (ski, beach) tend to have plenty of jobs but they are mostly low-skill, service type positions. Other regions and/or industries are booming and can’t hire fast enough. Two that most often make the news are the IT and healthcare industries. The race for top talent is on in many sectors.

To be competitive, your company needs to “sell” its open positions to qualified candidates. Here are 5 ways to help improve your sales pitch to candidates:

1. Job title is key.

In a world of organizational charts, a functional title gives an indication of where an employee ranks in a company. For example, if a candidate was an Assistant Manager in their previous organization, a step up would be a Manager position. But if a job is phrased vaguely such as “guru,” “maven,” or “ninja,” this wordplay may not help a candidate build his/her career résumé over the long term. A robust applicant tracking system can help you filter based on job title for effective recruiting.

2. Day-to-day responsibilities need to be specific.

“Manage a team” is insufficient. Whereas “Manage a team of 5 direct reports responsible for new product development” empowers candidates to self-qualify.

3. “Years of experience” is now often paired with “demonstrated experience.”

At one time, saying you had 5 years of experience was a solid indicator of your level of knowledge. Now that the Information Age has blasted apart old paradigms of learning, “years” may be less of a watermark than “actual experience.”

4. Salary range may empower candidates and may help encourage employee referrals.

5. Your company’s differentiator in the marketplace needs to be communicated. A robust applicant tracking system lets you incorporate video to communicate your vision, values, culture, or expectations.

Learn about the importance of the candidate experience during the hiring process and takeaway tips to improve it, here.

Understanding Your Applicants – Who’s Applying?

Understanding Your Applicants – Who's Applying?Ten thousand people retire from the workforce everyday.

Which means, it’s probably important to understand what types of people are applying to the open positions you’re recruiting for.

Let’s take a closer look at some common generalizations of the four different generations of workers who may be sending in their applications:

Baby Boomers

Don’t forget that baby boomers are the original Sixties Activists. Generally, they are not only comfortable with change but they are used to affecting it too. Some say the phrase “social media” and they only mean 20-somethings. When, in fact, nearly half of boomers surveyed are quite comfortable with technology. The difference is, it’s just not their sole media outlet. Therefore, social recruiting efforts may be highly effective with tech-savvy boomers as well.

Generation X

Many Xers are proud of the fact that they represent a high ratio of entrepreneurs. Even if they work for a company, you’ll likely find them mastering hard-to-fill roles. The reason? They are often more intrinsically plugged into information gathering. Which is why a streamlined onboarding system is a necessity for Xers. They often don’t mind the amount of paperwork required, but they do mind a hodge-podge approach to it.

Generation Y/Millennials

Did someone say paperwork? A collective yawn just penetrated the far reaches of space. Which is why a robust applicant tracking system is perceived as a must for most of Gen Y /Millennials. Qualified candidates may not, in fact, fill out their application completely the first time. Or, they may think of something or gain a new experience that they may feel is suddenly noteworthy. A user-friendly process may help optimize the candidate experience. For example, candidates can apply through a mobile phone, Facebook® app, and Internet browsers.

Utilizing effective, streamlined recruiting capabilities, which can be accessed through a variety of platforms to optimize the candidate experience, you can build a talent pipeline to target the best candidates for the jobs you need filled.

Learn more about our robust applicant tracking system, here!