Recruitment Practices Fall Short

Companies lose as many as 89 percent of potential candidates due to prolonged screening process

by Maciej Duszyński

With unemployment rates hitting all-time lows, the tables have turned on employers. It’s a job seeker’s market and they get to choose. One bad experience, and it’s the hiring company who’ll get the “thank you, next” treatment.

So, what do the candidates expect of the potential employer? Zety asked 1,010 Americans about their experiences and expectations for the recruitment process.

The results clearly show that the largest numbers of candidates visit company websites both when looking for job offers and when researching their prospective employers. The question is, where do the best candidates come from? Do they come in hordes via company websites and job boards?

Even though Jobvite’s Recruiting Funnel Benchmark Report reveals that 90 percent of applicants do come from job boards and career sites, another study from Jobvite shows that they’re the worst and least effective sources of quality candidates. Recruiters admit that the best source for top talent comes from referrals, custom campaigns and internal hires.

Why are so many direct applications of such low quality? Just like our own study, the 2018 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report revealed that the vast majority of candidates (70%) independently research prospective employers, and the company’s website seems like a pretty obvious destination to get more info on the employer. Plus, the same report further indicated that the number one information the candidates want to learn is the company values.

Since so few quality candidates come from direct applications, we’d venture to say the websites, in general, do a rather poor job communicating company values to the outside world. This is definitely some food for thought before revamping a company website, especially if it’s supposed to attract top talent.

Recruitment Processes and Incentives

Job seekers’ impressions of the recruitment process can influence the way a given employer is perceived — especially since studies reveal that up to 60 percent of job seekers consider their job-seeking experience poor, and 72 percent will complain about it to others.

The findings from our study reveal that company websites matter most; candidates are willing to spend about two hours preparing their recruitment documents, which includes about 15 minutes that they’re ready to spend submitting their application online; the largest number of candidates are ready to spend one to three months looking for a job, yet, in reality, the average time of unemployment in the U.S. is about five-and-a-half months; and candidates would like to get a job offer in a week or two after the first interview, yet, in reality, it takes five-and-a-half weeks.

For the vast majority of job seekers, salary is the most important factor affecting their job choice, followed by duties and the location. The top three employee benefits include paid holidays, medical insurance and retirement plans.

Our study also found that, before making the final decision to accept or reject a job offer, candidates consider what the application and recruitment process looked like and what impressions they got of the recruiter(s) they met during their interviews.  



Maciej Duszyński is credentialed as a certified professional résumé writer and is a career expert with Zety.

Zety, a career toolbox fueled by some of the best career experts — featured in Business Insider, The Guardian and Forbes — and a community of 40 million readers a year, publishes high-quality guides and articles for job seekers.

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