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Five tech barriers to recruiting

Tuesday October 14, 2014 Written by 
Five major technology-related barriers can kill the candidate experience - and your business's chances of landing great talent.

The findings from a new study are part of a larger report titled “How Candidate Experience is Transforming HR Technology,” which was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from June 2 to June 25, 2014, and included a representative sample of 374 HR professionals and 319 job seekers across the United States.

“Technology can be your greatest ally or enemy when you’re interacting with job candidates,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Job seekers today expect the application process to be fast, informative, more personalized – and mobile-optimized. The more in-demand one’s skill set is, the less likely the job seeker will be to jump through hoops. What the study shows us is companies that have a complex application process and don’t have the technology in place to routinely capture and re-engage candidates are at a competitive disadvantage.”

The five roadblocks identified by the study include:

1. Failing to capture interested candidates

Not all job seekers – especially passive ones – may have the time to apply to a position when they first come across it. In fact, 39 per cent of job seekers feel the ability to leave their contact information with an employer and apply later is extremely or very important.

Considering the fact that more than half (57 per cent) of HR professionals don’t use any tools to capture candidates who didn’t apply to their jobs, there are a considerable number of missed opportunities to connect with more elusive talent. Only 23 per cent of HR professionals use a shortened version of an application to gather candidate information.

 2. Failing to re-engage applicants

Another challenge HR professionals are facing is maintaining relationships with viable candidates who weren’t hired, but could be a good fit for a job opening down the road. More than one-third of HR professionals (36 per cent) reported that they don’t re-engage job candidates who weren’t offered a role – generally because they have moved on to the most current applicants (69 per cent) or because no one has time to do so (28 per cent).

While 38 per cent of HR professionals reported that they re-engage candidates every six months or more often, a significant number aren’t tapping into ready-made talent pools that have already expressed interest in their companies.

What’s more, job seekers welcome continued communications. Two in five (42 per cent) would like to receive emails about new opportunities opening up at companies.

3. Automating responses

HR departments were one of many casualties of a recession that caused deep cuts in staffing and budgets, making it difficult to acknowledge and build relationships with applicants. While automated responses have become a popular means to inform candidates that the company received their application, many candidates (39 per cent) feel it’s not enough. Sixty-two per cent of job seekers expect more personalized communications. Sixty-seven per cent even expect a phone call from a recruiter after submitting an application.

4. Limiting applications to the desktop

The ubiquitous use of mobile technology has fuelled the expectation that the job search experience should be the same whether you are on a desktop or mobile device. However, nearly half (46 per cent) of HR professionals don’t offer candidates the option of accessing their ATS via a mobile device, mostly due to technical or resource constraints. Although one-third (33 per cent) of HR professionals reported that they saw a bigger drop-off rate because their ATS was not mobile-optimized, only 24 per cent of all HR professionals think the ability to apply to a job via a mobile device should be considered part of the candidate experience. This raises a serious concern in light of the fact that when job-seekers can’t apply via a mobile device, 65 per cent said they rarely return to their desktop to finish the application.

5. Using a complex application process

The majority (53 per cent) of HR professionals feel a long application process is good because it weeds out less enthusiastic or less qualified applicants. This may be true to some extent, but they’re also weeding out highly skilled, currently employed talent that is less likely to tolerate filling out multiple pages. Sixty per cent of job seekers said they have begun an online application, but ultimately didn’t finish it due to how long and complex it was.

More than half (54 per cent) of HR professionals said their application process takes more than 20 minutes to complete. Nearly three in 10 job seekers (29 per cent) believe the application process should take 10 minutes or less; 62 per cent said it should take no more than 20 minutes.

Thirty-seven per cent of HR professionals said they typically ask more than 15 questions during their application process. Half of job seekers (51 per cent) said there should be no more than 10 questions.

The survey was conducted online between June 2 and 25.

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