Common Causes for a Bad Candidate Experience

By Posted in - Recruiting on October 17th, 2013 0 Comments

There has been considerable discussion lately on how important is the candidate experience in a selection process. I think there are a number of reasons why it is very important. In many cases, candidates are also customers or potential customers and a bad experience is likely to be shared with multiple people in the person’s network. This is particularly true today where social media serves as a forum for public grievances. Within minutes, everyone they know will also know what happened to them during their interview. Widespread sharing of negative candidate experiences will ultimately affect an employer’s brand and their ability to attract top applicants.

What are the main causes for a bad candidate experience? In this blog, I describe some of the more common contributors. There are others but this would be my short list of those things that make applying for a job a painful process. A good hiring manager with the proper tools can overcome these.

Technology is a Barrier to the Application Process

Most organizations are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them manage the selection process. However, these systems do not always provide a good candidate experience. This is true for even some of the major players. Common problems include:

  • Difficulty in navigating from home site to career site; career site to job listings
  • Links don’t work
  • File upload problems (resume upload mangling the resume)
  • Time out problems (leave the computer for 10 minutes and lose all your data)
  • Not supporting mobile browsing
  • Have to re-enter resume into ATS required format

Time/Steps Necessary to Complete the Application or Application Process

Excessively long time required to complete an application can result in frustration and even abandonment from the process. Contributors to a lengthy application process include:

  • Cover letter requirement (requiring that a cover letter be drafted and included in the application)
  • Register and complete a profile (rather than upload a resume)
  • Type professional information into message fields (manual data entry)
  • Answer lengthy screening questions or complete a test

The Black Hole of Communications and Recruiter Feedback

Probably the worst and most common contributor to a bad candidate experience is a lack of communication or feedback. When there is communication, it may be distorted. Other communication problems include:

Bad Interviews

Another common problem is the employment interview itself. For those candidates that are lucky enough to secure an interview, this can be a very painful process. Some common problems include:

  • Death by interview (excessive number of interviews required)
  • Irrelevant or inappropriate questions (increased legal exposure)
  • Rudeness (e.g., starting late or terminating the interview early)
  • No air time (interviewer does all the talking instead of the candidate)

All of these problems are easily corrected. What is required is for employers to wake up and recognize the importance of the candidate experience. OMNIview can help your HR department improve their hiring and candidate experience with our tools. Contact us today to learn more about how OMNIview can help.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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