6 Candidate Experiences Gone Wrong
And how you can avoid them!
If you were to guess how many job applications need to be sent out before getting ONE offer, how many would you say?
Studies show that it takes on average, anywhere from 100 to 200 applications to receive a single offer. That’s a scary number if you’re a job seeker.
Case in point, the Florida worker who recently went viral for his “experiment” in which he applied to 60 entry-level positions and got one interview. Never mind an offer. Now, how’s that for spooky?
We all know job hunting is an anxiety-riddled experience. We also know that in high volume, the vast majority of candidates will be rejected. Of course, there are ways to reject candidates nicely. But, we wanted to go deeper, beyond the data, and get answers from job seekers themselves.
What happens when you’re submitting 10 applications a day? Is there a labor shortage, or is the process broken? And more importantly, we wanted to spot the gaps in recruitment to keep creating technology that can fill them.
So we turned to social media and ran a survey asking candidates from a wide variety of industries all over the world, what were some of their worst experiences and what recruiters can do to make the application process better.
And now, it’s time for the big reveal. Here is the horrific tale of the job hunt according to real-life candidates, their implications, and how you can avoid becoming one!
1. “A recruiter called me at night, while I was eating my dinner. I tried requesting that we reschedule, but he refused to accept my request.”
Did you know that 1 out of 10 candidates have dealt with unexpected calls from recruiters and on-the-spot interviews?
Interviews require mental preparation, and so does a phone call. In a study by BankMyCell, 81% of millennials get apprehension anxiety when summoning the courage to pick up the phone. It might sound like a small thing, but when a job opportunity is on the line, most people appreciate a heads up. On top of that, phone calls have really undergone a cultural change. With the convenience of asynchronous communications via messaging platforms like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, a phone call can be perceived as an unwelcome disruption. We got stories in which the candidates received spontaneous recruiter calls while they were driving, in the middle of the class, or just enjoying their off-time. Some of our respondents even confessed to not answering the phone, especially when it’s from an unknown number. The candidates that do answer, however, often feel unprepared and feel that they could have done much better.
Either way, you end up losing out on qualified candidates and valuable recruiter time, while they’re making phone calls that go unanswered and keeping track of follow ups.
🎃Avoid becoming a horror story: Let candidates pick the time that suits them best, according to recruiter availability. With Talkpush’s automated self-scheduling feature, shortlisted candidates receive a link where they can select a preferred time slot on your calendar. By allowing the candidate to know what to expect and when to expect it, you’re ensuring that both the candidate and recruiter can go through the process in the most efficient way possible.
2. “HR invited us to an interview but sent us home immediately because we didn't have the specific Bachelor’s degree they were looking for. They had our CVs from the very beginning!”
Did you know that 31% of candidates have had at least one bad experience with a recruiter?
Scenarios like this are extremely hurtful for a company’s reputation, with good reason. Candidates should feel like their time is valued. In this case, the candidate went for an interview on-site only to be sent home. That’s a pretty extreme version and not the norm. But wasting candidates’ time isn’t as rare as we’d like to think. For example, having all applicants complete an assessment even when they don’t meet the basic qualifications is a much more common and equally unnecessary scenario.
These types of mistakes can really hurt your employer brand and make it impossible to retain rejected candidates for future opportunities or referrals. But recruiters shouldn’t shoulder the blame. Manually sifting through hundreds (or even thousands) of resumes on a day-to-day basis is tedious work, and leaves too much room for error. Mislabel one column and you have a situation like the one this candidate described.
🎃Avoid becoming a horror story: Reduce the manual and repetitive tasks your team is doing by automating your pre-screening process. With Autoflow, your candidates are automatically filtered based on the qualifications you’re looking for (e.g. age, location, educational background) the moment they submit their application. Your recruitment team can then enjoy the hassle-free pre-screening and focus on qualified candidates.
3. “After the recruiter heard that I wasn’t a college graduate, they ignored everything else I said, even when I had filled the same role in a previous line of work.”
Did you know that 1 out of 5 candidates have been rejected from the first round despite having the necessary skills for the job?
Talent acquisition teams need to set basic criteria to filter out candidates. There’s no way around that, especially in high-volume recruitment, where hundreds of applications come in every single day. A common and helpful parameter is the education level. However, we need to leave room for outliers.
TA professionals are increasingly hiring for potential. Of course, having experience is still valuable, but TA teams are now paying attention to other things like transferable skills and a resilient attitude. So if a candidate doesn’t meet each and every one of your requirements, but has the skills (and in this case, even the relevant job experience) to boot, it might be worth taking a second glance at their application.
🎃 Avoid becoming a horror story: Let’s begin with the basic premise that resumes aren’t the end-all-be-all they once were, and consider the reality that more and more candidates are coming from less traditional backgrounds. The best way to gauge potential and skill while maintaining a quick and effective process is to use candidate assessments. If the candidate passes with flying colors, maybe that degree isn’t so important after all?
But in order to spot these diamonds in the rough, you need to create your own custom filters. Third-party scoring engines won’t flag them. With AutoFlow, recruiters can design candidate journeys according to the parameters they consider most important for each of their open positions and adjust them throughout the process as they see fit.
In the market for a new assessment tool? Check out this list of 10 Great Assessment Tools for Volume Hiring.
4. “I apply to five jobs a day and no one gets back to me. It is so frustrating!”
Did you know that 43% of candidates have been ghosted at least once by a recruiter?
It’s time to put ourselves in our candidates’ shoes. Most of them are sending out dozens of applications on a weekly basis. As the saying goes, looking for a job is a full-time job. That means they’re spending hours creating profiles, transcribing their resumes into clunky ATSs, receiving generic automated emails left and right about applications received, or worse, dealing with the constant state of not knowing if someone will ever look at their application.
A little compassion can make your candidate experience infinitely better. Knowing all this, employers can stand out by eliminating a few of these challenges. Replying to candidate inquiries and updating them with their application status, even the ones that won’t be moving on to the next round, can be a game-changer.
🎃 Avoid becoming a horror story: Getting back to candidates with a rejection notice may not seem like the best use of your time as a recruiter, but what if there was an easy AND human way to get back to each of your candidates? Yup, rejection doesn’t have to end on bad terms. Instead if you do it right, you can turn rejected candidates into brand promoters. With Talkpush, you can automatically reject unqualified candidates and let them know in a reasonable amount of time.
Want to learn more about the art of rejection and how to turn rejected candidates into brand promoters? Read all about it here.
5. “I spent an entire day collecting my pre-work requirements just to find out it wasn’t what they were asking for. There’s too much paperwork that needs to be submitted in actual paper.”
Did you know that 2 out of 5 candidates experience unnecessary delays in the process?
Speed is of the essence when it comes to high-volume recruitment. Recruiters want to fill open roles with top-notch talent as soon as possible, while candidates are looking to secure a job as fast as they can. So no one is happy when there are delays. Not the recruiter, and definitely not the candidate.
Though delays can happen for a variety of reasons, most common among them are misunderstandings in email communications or long waiting periods during the in-person interview. Then there’s the one that a lot of people can relate to on their first job and that’s collecting their pre-work documents. This rite of passage to adulthood can range from a simple college diploma to waiting in a long line for government-mandated work documents. It can easily take from a few days to a few months before such documents are processed and released. This can make it especially frustrating for a candidate when they learn that they had the wrong documents all along, and now have to go through the entire process all over again.
🎃 Avoid becoming a horror story: Provide a visual example of the specific documents that you require and enable your candidates to submit them online. This way candidates can verify first-hand what actual documents are needed and avoid any mix-ups. Once the documents are submitted, Talkpush uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to recognize key fields so that everything is stored digitally and accurately, with zero manual data entry.
6. “I am a full-time mom so I never had experience working. I applied numerous times at several BPO companies, including those that did not require prior experience, but I never got to move past the first stage. I wish they’d tell me what I was doing wrong.”
Did you know that 94% of candidates want to receive interview feedback, but only 41% of them have received it before?
This story is far too common. Women with long gaps in their resumes due to motherhood face an extreme challenge in the job market. A resume gap or lack of experience doesn’t look good for prospective employers, especially against hundreds of other candidates that don’t have them. But as discussed earlier, experience shouldn't be the sole basis for rejection, especially when a candidate is beaming with potential and hungry to learn.
In a perfect world, when a candidate is rejected from a job, they’d be provided with constructive feedback so that they can improve and further their careers. One of the biggest candidate frustrations, across the board, is feeling like they crushed the interview, only to get rejected and not know why.
Giving feedback to hundreds (or thousands) of rejected candidates seems impossible, but taking this extra step is a surefire way to boost your employer brand, set yourself apart from the competition, and keep these candidates in your pipeline for future opportunities.
🎃Avoid becoming a horror story: Give your candidates the opportunity to express themselves. In customer-facing roles, it makes sense to evaluate their communication skills and how well they can express themselves before brushing aside their application.
The use of a Talkpush chatbot is an effective and engaging application experience where candidates can send rich media like video and audio answers to a question, which recruiters can use as a basis for a decision later on.
If a candidate is still deemed unqualified, simply move the candidate to the Rejected Folder, triggering a personalized rejection letter which will be sent to the candidate in an appropriate amount of time. By using rejection tokens in your rejection letter template, candidates are informed which specific parts of the criteria they didn’t meet. If it was a gap in their skills, education level, or if it’s purely circumstantial (e.g. candidate’s location is too far from the office). Regardless of the reason, your candidates will surely appreciate the feedback and would be more open to reapplying in the future once they know what to fix.
Curious about recruitment chatbots? Explore the possibilities with Talkpush.
Can the candidate horror stories come to an end?
Sure, there’s a lot of spooky stuff going on during the job hunt but as we said early on, you can avoid them. And while we're a long way from preventing every single one of these stories from ever happening again, we can continue to make progress towards decreasing that number by making a conscious effort to improve the field of recruitment both for recruiters and candidates alike.
For Transcom Philippines, a pleasant candidate experience is one of their most valuable assets in the competitive BPO industry.
At Talkpush, we are constantly innovating ways to address the gaps in recruitment. By leveraging automation, we believe that the candidate experience doesn’t have to come second to a fast and efficient recruitment process. Instead, they can work side by side to make the recruitment space better, especially in high-volume industries where thousands of candidates go through the process every day.
Ready to make your recruitment truly candidate centric? Request a demo, and we'll help you create a tailor made solution for you business.