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

 

The Art of the Auto-Reply: Responding to Job Applicants

 

If you read our earlier “Test Your Own Job Application” article, then you know that the last step of the test involves the auto-reply message. To some, the auto-reply is a small formality. Not to us. Let’s go deeper into the auto-reply to review ways to connect with applicants.

Yes, your auto-reply message to a job applicant matters—maybe even more than you think.

Consider the applicant’s point-of-view for a moment. If they’ve applied for a job via your automated system, they’ve probably spent some time on your website, got to know the facts about your company, and perhaps even started following your company on social media. They’ve decided that things look and sound like a good fit for their next career move.

Most likely, up until the moment they click “send” on their job application, it’s been a one-way relationship. The auto-reply will be the first time the job seeker has received anything from your company back to them.

Sure, a generic auto-reply is acceptable, but you can also use it as a way to differentiate your company. According to a recent report on HR recruiting trends, company culture is the #1 thing candidates wish they knew about your organization before they accept a job offer.  Why not use this opportunity to make a great first impression?

The auto-reply tells job applicants that there’s a human on the other end of the process.

Whether you’re reviewing an existing auto-reply, or creating a new one, now is a good time to consider your language and tone. If your marketing department has developed brand guidelines, by all means consult them before writing your auto-reply. If you have a copywriter in your organization, reach out and have them assist in the development of your auto-reply content.

Short of that, there are a few ways you can keep the tone both personable and professional.

  • Opt for an active sentence structure, rather than passive. (Active: “We have forwarded your email…” Passive: “Your email has been forwarded…”) The active voice is warmer, and has a little more personality.
  • Keep sentences short and conversational. For example: “A member of our HR department will be in touch,” as opposed to, “Shortly each applicant will be receiving an email reply from a member of human resources division.”
  • Provide some general information about what happens next in the process. Job applicants will appreciate having a sense of next steps. An example may read like this: “Expect to hear from us within the next two weeks. We will provide you with an update of your application status at that time.” And if you go this route, remember that white space is your friend. Compose your note as a series of stand-alone sentences, rather than a blocky paragraph. Your readers will appreciate the chance to scan.

Here are a few other ways you can make sure your auto-reply to job applicants is working for them and for your company.

  1. Personalize the message as much as possible. Depending on your email configuration, and how your auto-reply is synched up with the job application, you may be able to personalize your auto-reply by including the candidate’s name, and the job title they’ve applied for in your reply message.
  2. Include ways for applicants to find out more about your brand. Not all of your job applicants will have started following your company’s social media feed, signed up for your e-newsletter, or read the last blog post. The auto-reply is a great way to invite them to do so. Include social icons, links to your website, or e-newsletter buttons in order to deepen a potential employee’s connection with your company.
  3. Add a small degree of professional networking. Include links to other job posts, and provide them with a way to forward posts to friends or colleagues who might be interested.

 More than anything, remember that the person on the receiving end is connecting with your company—quite possibly for the first time. While an auto-reply is automated, it’s still a chance to show that your company is human.

Should Businesses Be Worried About Their Job Application Completion Rates?

Sixty percent of job seekers quit filling out job applications in the middle of the process. That’s a lot of drop-outs. But is that a good or bad thing?

One school of thought says you’re actually weeding out the bad applicants. Another says job applications rates are one of your most important HR metrics. Is either right?

The Psychology of Job Applicants

When a potential job applicant sees an opening and begins the process of filling out an application, they’re not necessarily committed to completing it. They have a lot of unanswered questions about the position and the company, and they might be in the early stages of researching a career move.

Whether or not they complete the job application can depend on a) how badly they want the job, b) how likely they think they are to get it, c) how much time they have and d) how difficult they think the application will be to fill out.

If we look at each of those items independently, we can start to see what kind of applicant might complete a lengthy application, and what kind might not

Are Desperate Job Applicants the Best Applicants?

You want a hungry applicant, right? Maybe. While a sense of urgency and follow-through might be strong qualities to have in an employee, it could also mean an applicant with a low skill set and mitigating factors that have left them unemployed for a long period of time. A difficult-to-fill-out application can weed out passive applicants who already have jobs, have a strong skill set, and who are casually looking for a change. That’s not a good thing.

Don’t Let the Job Candidates Make the Selection for You

Why not let candidates self-select? If a candidate thinks they’re a good fit for the job, and is therefore willing to fill out a lengthy application, wouldn’t you rather have them complete the application than the candidate that doesn’t? Again, maybe. The problem is, maybe that certification you’ve listed isn’t that important, especially if the candidate is a certified genius.

If a candidate doesn’t have time to fill out your application, then they’re going to be too busy to concentrate on their job, right? This isn’t necessarily an accurate assumption either. On-the-go people might be the very people you want in the position, especially if you’re looking for an outgoing sales rep or a high-level executive.

Meet Jill, the Employee That Didn’t Complete your Job Application

So let’s put these factors together and compare a fast application process versus a slower application process.

Let’s look at Jill, a sales representative who has been rapidly increasing sales at her current job, but was passed up for a promotion. She’s been discussing it with a friend at a café. Her friend goes up to the counter to purchase a latte. While Jill is waiting, she casually pulls up Indeed, and stumbles upon your job posting. It’s a perfect match for her job skills.

In Case A, there’s a social apply option, so that Jill can apply for your job in 5 minutes with her LinkedIn profile before her friend returns with her latte. She applies.

In Case B, Jill clicks on the apply button and sees a page that makes her fill in data manually. She doesn’t apply.

Bad Job Applications are Bad Karma

According to a recent recruiting trends report, the information candidates most want to know about a company when considering a potential employer are its culture and values.

Don’t make a bad first impression by asking job candidates for more information than you need up-front, or, worse yet, forcing them to double-enter data. When job candidates feel like their time isn’t being valued, they may assume you won’t value their time while they are employed as well.

Smart Applicants Want Smart Applications

Savvy, in-the-know job applicants generally want to see that your company is also savvy and in-the-know. If your job applications look like a throw-back from 1997, it may imply your company is also behind the times.

If you’re looking for engineers or professionals that understand the current market and user-experience, you’ll want to demonstrate that your company is also current.


How to Increase Your Job Application Completion Rate 

It’s a simple equation. The faster an applicant can fill out a job application, the more likely it is that they’ll do so: a five-minute application gets a higher completion rate than an hour-long one.

Most large and mid-sized companies use an application tracking system (ATS) to assist with creating, tracking, and submitting easy-to-fill job applications to career websites or online job boards. myStaffingPro is a 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

Streamline Your Recruiting, Tracking, and Qualifying Process

Streamline Your Recruiting, Tracking, and Qualifying ProcessTo streamline your recruiting, tracking and qualifying processes you need to eliminate waste and increase effectiveness. Take a moment to document the steps, interaction, and points of frustration during the recruiting, tracking and qualification process.

Continue reading

Fill Your Talent Pipeline

Fill Your Talent PipelineBuilding a community of talent can help your recruiters attract the right people so that when an employment opportunity comes available, you have a pool of talented people to select from that are already engaged with your services and/or products.

Instill your brand and culture throughout the community by integrating the corporate brand and culture into the application experience.

  1. Do you have a career page that showcases your company’s unique corporate culture and work environment?
  1. How is your company rated on employee job sites?
  1. Do you have engaging employee testimonials on your job listings?

If your company is struggling to find qualified candidates, evaluate where you are sourcing your applicants from. Are you currently sourcing from:

  • Colleges
  • Social media sites
  • Social networking communities

Having a community of talent resources to recruit from will help you maintain a steady flow of applicants so you are able to fill your open positions faster.

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

4 Questions to Help Define Your Recruiting Needs & Improve Your Processes

4 Questions to Help Define Your Recruiting Needs & Improve Your ProcessesHiring for new positions can be difficult. To effectively recruit applicants for your company, you need to define what your company talent needs are.

To define your company’s goals, needs, and wants – take a moment to answer the following questions:

  1. What are you company talent goals?
  2. What processes are in place to recruit talent?
  3. Who is involved in the recruiting and applicant approval stages?
  4. Is the current process lacking anything?

From here you can determine where improvement is needed.

Take the burden off of your HR staff and hiring manager by eliminating their manual processes and help reduce their time-to-fill average with an automated recruiting and applicant-tracking system.

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

Save Time Identifying The Right Candidate

Save Time Identifying The Right CandidateRecruiters are an integral part of a businesses employee commitment. But with that comes many challenges. Recruiters have to know how to convey the right message in order to attract  specific individuals with the skill sets they need.

A poorly designed recruitment process can produce job applicants who are unqualified or lack diversity. If unqualified candidates are selected to be hired, this may contribute to turnover later down the line.

A comprehensive recruiting and qualifying system can help eliminate any discrepancies in the process by helping your HR team save time identifying the right candidate by automating:

  • Recruitment objectives
  • Recruitment strategy
  • Recruiting activities
  • Measuring recruiting results

With the ability to oversee the promotion, the reporting, and any candidate communications from a single interface, your recruiting team can get more done in less time.

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

The Power of Employee Referrals

The Power of Employee Referrals“The Hidden Job Market” refers to jobs that are filled internally through employee referrals. Referrals are an optimal way for employers to fill open positions.

Talent acquisition levels are often higher for referral candidates. Your employee already knows what the company offers and what the company needs –– even if he/she doesn’t know the specifics about the open job. That overall company culture information can be communicated in personal, meaningful terms to an interested candidate (e.g., Our company is looking to make a difference).

With a highly qualified candidate (one who comes with a strong recommendation as being a good match to the open position), your company may save money on standard recruiting costs. Referrals still go through the same processes –– posting of job ad, completing application, background check, etc. –– but referrals may have more commitment to the job, and may be less likely to quit. In the end, this can save your company from the costs of employee turnover.

Referral bonuses are a big hit in the workplace. That’s because it’s a win-win-win for employee, candidate, and company alike. But don’t think that money alone drives your employees. Many employees are aware of how referrals could reflect upon them and only refer candidates if they feel he/she would be a good addition to the team, possesses a similar work ethic, and/or has a knowledge or skill set that would be good to introduce to the company as a whole.

A robust applicant tracking system can actually help you boost employee referrals. With multiple choice and/or text response pre-screening questions that have scoring capabilities, you can design your online application to have the referred applicants stand out. This will not only help you track who is referred, but will help to ensure that the employee gets their bonus.

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

Buzzwords Are Boring –– Move Past the Robotic Descriptions

Buzzwords Are Boring –– Move Past the Robotic DescriptionsWith the race for top talent on, many companies endeavor to look innovative and cutting-edge. And use hip and trendy language such as ninja instead of focused or maven instead of motivated in job postings to avoid looking behind the times.

The result? Confusion.

 

When people read something that confuses them, studies show:

• 60% find jargon annoying

• 14% find jargon intimidating

Neither of these are the outcome you want to solicit with a job ad.

Writing a great job posting begins with a clear idea of the job’s role and responsibilities. A robust applicant tracking system has an administrative interface that helps you configure the hiring process and create clear job postings. For example, you can set up an organizational structure for easy job posting reporting. Within that structure, you can construct a job description library that can be used to quickly create requisitions.

You can create a universal hiring process with a designated workflow. This will help you interact with hiring managers using feedback tools. Social media tools can help you share job openings and provide one-click access to apply from LinkedIn®, Twitter®, and Facebook® –– and also provide candidates with one-click access to apply. You can also distribute the job posting to search engines and more than 25,000 partner sites, such as Glassdoor®, Indeed®, Simply Hired® and Trovit®.

The goal, after all, is not to wow candidates with wizardry. Rather, you seek to engage with candidates to build relationships. By expanding your recruiting reach –– among network building, social media, job distribution, and career sites –– you can help strengthen your employment brand and culture. An applicant tracking system ensures a seamless process for the candidate and integrated searching, tracking, and communicating for HR managers.

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

Top 3 Recruiting Productivity Hacks

Top 3 Recruiting Productivity HacksLet’s say you manage HR for a company with 100 employees. Right now, there are five job openings: one executive, two management, two entry-level. The two management and entry-level positions are in three different departments.

Different roles and different responsibilities all amount to different qualifications among different candidates. Is your head spinning yet?

Clearly, no one person can expect to retain every single job specification in his/her brain. Yet, when you’re talking with the hiring managers, they are speaking to you like you know the ins and outs of their particularly job-fill need.

Here are 3 recruiting productivity hacks a robust applicant tracking system can deliver: 1. Set up the system before you even advertise. The first thing you want to do is set up an organizational structure. Within that, you can create a job description library. This easy access to accurate and up-to-date information can help you create job postings that solicit the most qualified candidates. Similarly, you can design your online application process to meet your specific needs using tools such as multiple choice and text response questions with scoring capabilities.

2. Reach the broadest pool of candidates. These days, automatic-recruiting tools can help you maximize your reach. With a simple click of the mouse within your applicant tracking system, you can share job openings on LinkedIn®, Twitter®, and Facebook® –– and also provide candidates with one-click access to apply. You can also distribute the job posting to search engines and more than 25,000 partner sites, such as Glassdoor®, Indeed®, Simply Hired® and Trovit®.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. From an automated “Thank you for applying” message to ongoing emails, you want to keep applicants interested and engaged. This also works for attracting passive applicants with opt-in email notifications, job opening RSS feed, and a recommended jobs sidebar. These vast communication tools can help you build and sustain a network of qualified applicants.

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