Are You Missing Out on the Best Candidates by Making It Too Hard to Apply?

Last week I got some feedback from one of our jobseekers that has been echoed by a number in the past.  This lady is a quality candidate and she was applying for a job that suited her perfectly.    On another website. Lucky for us, we also got her on JobGetter and she dropped me a note to tell me how easy it was to apply.  That, however, is not the interesting part.  The interesting part was that she went on to say how difficult it had been on another job site and that, while the job on that site was something she really wanted, the site just made it way too hard.  Ten minutes into her application, she simply gave up. It’s something we see all the time.  Employers, in trying to make it easier for themselves, are making it harder for their candidates. Thanks to technology and the instant nature of everything, we’re now part of a generation with very limited patience.  Everything is now accessible to me instantly, whether that’s an explanation on quantum physics or instructions on how to bake the perfect pavlova.  Why then, do we make it so hard to apply for a job?  And, more importantly, how many good  candidates do we miss because it’s just simply too hard? There’s a fine line between getting the information we need and making it so frustrating for a jobseeker that they simply give up. As HR professionals, we should be aiming to get as many people into the funnel as possible – and then having a way to get the cream to rise to the top.  (Luckily, JobGetter has a ranking system so this is easy). Having candidates not only complete your online application – every time! – but then answer a myriad of questions (some of which require a short essay) is not conducive to getting candidates on board.  “If this is how hard they make it to apply, how hard do they make everything else?” is the sentiment that goes through the head of a frustrated jobseeker.  Remember, Gen X, Y and Z are used to things happening fast! While you might think “well, if they can’t be bothered, we don’t want them”, that case is more “don’t make me jump through hoops unless there’s actually a chance of a job”. It’s a problem we’ve made for ourselves.  All too often applicants are ignored in the job seeking process.  We make them go through the long process of application but often don’t even give them the courtesy of a reply – or even an acknowledgement of their application – so I can certainly see their point. Making it easier for people to apply for jobs mightn’t give you every piece of information you need – but you will find that you get more (and better) candidates applying.  Once you’ve filtered them, and advised them they’ve made it to the next level, then you’ve earned the right to ask them to spend some substantial time on your specific needs.

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