In recent years, the job market has developed into one which is driven by the candidate. The expectations and demands of candidates have grown, while companies are striving to ensure both their successful and unsuccessful applicants are fully contented with their experience while applying for a job. In short, the gap between candidate and customer is becoming less and less.
But why has this phenomena come about and more importantly, what can be done to stay ahead of the curve?
For businesses, it is a growing priority to have a competitive online presence and the need for an effective online recruiter brand; at the forefront of this is the company website and careers page.
Almost half of the candidates we asked stated that if a careers page and website were awkward to navigate or looked outdated, then they would look elsewhere to find a job.
Just as shop owners design their stores to provide a straight forward consumer experience, the most successful careers sites are designed with candidates in mind. As most candidates will turn to the internet first as a means of job hunting, it is important to make the best first impression as it could be the only opportunity to win individuals over.
Out of the candidates asked, 66% stated that a difficult to navigate careers page would negatively impact their impression of a company.
Websites act as billboards for companies; the look and feel of them will have a direct impact on people’s opinions and how they view the brand. A lack of, or a poor online recruiter presence could be too big a hurdle for many candidates, making for a more costly and time consuming recruitment process.
64% of candidates asked, expect to be able to apply for roles online.
Much like online shopping allows customers to purchase items at their convenience, even on their mobile phones; job applications should be available to candidates at any given time.
A fully optimised careers site is essential, especially in capturing passive candidates. These candidates although not necessarily looking to leave their current role, may only require a small push to leave. If for instance they have a particularly poor day at work, a job application that is available on their mobile phone and accessible on public transport or even on lunch breaks, could be the difference between them applying or not.
49% of candidates stated they would boycott a company if they had a bad experience in applying for a job with them.
Candidates are often also customers; it is common for this to be the reason that has brought them to apply in the first place. With this, it makes it more important not to alienate them by creating a poor candidate experience. In short, those that feel offended by any part of the recruitment process will boycott companies as a means of retaliation and will lose any loyalty that they previously had.
According to our survey, 86% of candidates said it was important to them to receive confirmation that their applications had been received.
Notification that job applications have been received is now a given, while a personalised rejection to a job application can buy loyalty from a candidate. Companies can ill afford to alienate their candidate base considering that as aforementioned: candidates are likely to also be customers.
In all, candidates and customers should be treated in the same way. Not only will mistreatment's like a lack of communication cause applicants to vote with their feet and boycott a brand, but candidates will expect convenience and ease when it comes to applying for roles. In treating the candidates this way, loyalty can be bought even when rejecting them.