We were very interested to hear of a recent study on the online job application process. We have been hearing more and more, that candidates are abandoning job applications if they are seemingly too long or complicated and the study from Hays backs up what we are hearing. They found that the majority (73%) of applicants abandon job applications if they take longer than 15 minutes.

In their What Workers Want Report 2018 they also found that 49% of candidates would consider applying for a role instantly if the process appeared simple. The research, which surveyed 14,600 employers and employees, also found that the majority of employers are failing to prioritise online application processes as part of their talent attraction strategies.

Half of applicants gave a neutral to very poor rating of their experience when applying for a role directly on an employer’s website or online jobs portal. The majority of those who gave these ratings blamed a lengthy process with too many requirements as the main factor.

When applying, online applicants expected to be able to edit and submit their CV easily (90%), save job searches (80%), and receive job alerts (76%).

What is interesting however is that despite the emphasis applicants place on a simple online process, the report found that they still value personal interaction. More than 69% of applicants said it is important to be in contact with a person who can provide updates on their individual application.

This need for clear communication is a recurring theme. Following the final job interview,  applicants expect to hear within three days whether they have been successful, but many employers fail to work to this timeline and can a week or more to respond to the applicant.

In our experience, today’s candidates are certainly more digitally fluent than ever before, and they come to expect a very slick and intuitive user experience regardless of service or function. Not unreasonably, they expect the same ease of use when applying for a new role. In order to compete for the best talent, employers need to prioritise improving the applicant’s user experience on their website and on their online job portals.