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Report Finds That Job Candidates Desire A More Efficient & Empathetic Hiring Process

The job market has mostly stabilized following the significant disruptions caused by the pandemic and its aftermath. However, this doesn’t mean that employers should ease up on their hiring processes and expect ideal job candidates to effortlessly come forward.

In fact, a lengthy, confusing hiring process that includes spotty communication may be doing your organization’s brand substantial harm. According to the iCIMS 2023 Talent Experience Report, which is based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. job seekers, more than half of respondents said they’re less likely to be a customer of a brand after a poor job application or interview experience.

That’s right, today’s ‘ghosted’ job candidates can become tomorrow’s negative online reviewers and word-of-mouth detractors. Other survey results reveal some practical ways to perhaps improve your organization’s hiring process.

Tighten Up Your Hiring Process, Within Reason

More than 40% of survey respondents used words like “frustrating” and “long” to describe their job hunts. The report even found that 72% of respondents believe that the entire hiring process — from application to offer — should take three weeks or less.

Now, whether that time frame is feasible for your organization is debatable. Attempting to hurry through the hiring process could stress out your employees and increase the risk of unsuccessful hires. Then again, if your hiring process is too long, it could be putting you at a competitive disadvantage. The solution: Quantify and monitor your ‘time to hire’ and look for reasonable ways to improve it.

Communicate Effectively

Among the most frustrating aspects of the hiring process, said respondents, is lack of communication. Whether it’s where an application stands or what the results of an interview are, job candidates are often left hanging for long periods or even indefinitely.

Put yourself in applicants’ shoes and take a hard look at how — and how often — you communicate with applicants during the hiring process. Determine whether you could improve the quality and frequency of interactions. You may want to start by tailoring communication methods to candidates’ preferences. According to the iCIMS report, almost half of respondents now prefer to interact via text. Meanwhile, well over half said phone calls are their least favorite form of communication.

Keep An Eye On AI

There’s no getting around it; artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow as a driving force in hiring. If you’re already using it, be careful. Concerns have arisen that inadvertent discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act can occur when employers rely too much on AI to vet job candidates. In fact, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidance on it.

Conversely, many job applicants have already accepted AI as an inevitable part of hiring. Roughly 40% of respondents to the iCIMS survey said they were open-minded about using AI in the workplace, with 20% reporting being more open to AI than they had been six months earlier. Interestingly, 17% of respondents admitted that they’d used AI to create a resume or write a cover letter.

Set The Right Tone

As the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. How you interact with job candidates sets the tone for their perceptions of your organization — and word gets around these days. Continuously improving your hiring process can strengthen your financial position by lowering turnover, helping ensure employee engagement and supporting robust productivity. Contact us with questions.

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