The Job Search Black Hole: 3 Ways Recruiters Can Improve the Candidate Experience

If you’ve ever flown with a one-year-old, then you know it can get pretty stressful. But if you’ve ever flown solo with a one-year-old, then you’ll know it’s a whole other level of stress.

Recently I had to fly on a solo mission with my daughter, all the way from Austin to New York. How did it go? Let’s just say that my daughter wasn’t too keen on the whole flying thing. And she was, well… vocal about it.

However, what could have been a truly terrible experience was transformed into a great one by the crew. They checked in frequently and did everything they could to make the flight more enjoyable. And just before we landed, they came out and presented my daughter with a certificate, honoring her for an exceptional day of flight.

That great experience is one reason why, whenever possible, I always fly with the same airline.

But why am I talking about flying with a one-year-old on a blog dedicated to employer and recruiter insights? Let’s put it this way: it’s not just when we’re flying that the experience matters. Nowadays, people choose products, services, and companies based on the quality of experience they consistently have with them. And experience is crucial to recruiting, too.

The dreaded application black hole

Have you ever been stuck in traffic behind a car with an Apple logo on the back windscreen? Yes—some people love a brand so much they effectively tattoo their car with it. Heck, some people tattoo their bodies.

When people have a great experience, they want to share it. They talk about it with their friends, and in the 21st century they jump online and rave about it.

But remember: When people have a bad experience, they also talk about it. And this applies to recruiting just as much as anything else.

According to a 2016 report from Talent Board, candidates share their positive recruiting experiences with their inner circles more than 81% of the time, and negative ones are shared 66% of the time.

Only one person can land a specific job, but everybody can have a good experience for the duration of the journey, even if they’re not ultimately the chosen candidate.

Now, a study by Indeed found that waiting to hear back from a potential employer is the #1 pain point for 48% of job seekers (1). As one respondent told us,  “I always prefer to receive any response than no response at all.”

So what kind of experiences are candidates getting? Let’s look at some numbers.

On average, 4% of candidates hear back within a day, 37% hear back within one week, and 44% within a couple weeks. Some wait months. And, let’s be honest, some never hear back at all.

Waiting, uncertainty, frustration….these are not good experiences. And job search is stressful enough already.

There’s a reason of course. Recruiters are swamped. In fact, screening applications and reviewing resumes is the #1 top reported pain point in the hiring journey reported by employers (2). Employers and job seekers alike are feeling the pain here. So what can be do to help candidates—and ourselves?

Three steps towards a solution

Well, you could invent a super…

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