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Removing Applicant Friction: Why is it so Important?

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Hiring Tips | 0 comments

By Eric Waldowski

With the state of technology that we live with day in and day out, we have all come to demand instant gratification, or at a minimum, no unnecessary steps when it comes to tasks we must take on. Why go meet a local CPA when TurboTax will let you file from home and provide service when needed? Why go to a bank to refinance or start a mortgage when RocketMortgage will get the ball rolling from your iPhone, all online? In the insurance space, we are seeing clients demand more technology to remove “Friction” when signing documents to bind coverage or when submitting a claim. All of that technology, while keeping businesses competitive, has also altered expectations on how much “Friction” someone should have to undergo to complete a task.

People applying for work are no different; they are going to choose the path of least resistance, all other things equal when faced with the task of applying for jobs. We want it to be as simple and pain-free as possible for the candidates that choose to apply, but this doesn’t have to impact how rigorous our standards are. Some employers have felt that having a long or complex recruiting process would weed out people that lacked motivation or the desire to move forward with the job; in this market, it is dissuading some of the most sought-after applicants from moving forward. Let’s talk about some of the top points of “Friction” for applicants during their application process and how we can help reduce them while still making the right hire.

  • Your Online Presence and Application Process – Ensure that an applicant can get a great idea of your culture, values, and specialties of your agency before they even hit apply. All of our applicants are vetting us and researching us online, so make it easy for them to get a great first impression, quickly. Read more about how this can impact your applicant traffic here.

    Now that they are interested in your company and its culture, we would hate to lose them due to a clunky application process. An article from JJ Keller and Associates stresses the importance of saving your applicants time. Once the ball is in our court, we can do so with timely follow-up to applications and a smooth interview (Candidate Experience) process, but what if the applicant never gets to the point of being a “Candidate?” To help reduce this friction, we should emphasize the time from when they see an ad, to the time that you have all of their information needed to potentially offer a job. Focusing on making applying to the role via the job boards an easy process and ensuring that all steps of your initial screening process can be completed on a phone or tablet can help more applicants see their way to being “Candidates” for your role.

  • The Candidate Experience – There are few things worse than a highly qualified candidate disengaging during the interview and recruitment process. One of the top ways to prevent this is to make the process seamless and easy to complete, from a “User” standpoint. The IdealTraits assessment, for example, is automatically delivered after the candidate applies, and is mobile-friendly. Not every part of the recruiting and engagement process can be automated with technology, but the more that can, the easier it will be to scale this outstanding candidate experience when people apply for your opportunities.

    Consider utilizing virtual meetings, or even a one-way video interview tool to make it easier to “Meet face to face” with prospects in place of an initial phone screen. A recent report from Jobvite.com shared that 37% of job seekers have been screened or interviewed by a recruiter using video, of those 59% preferred this process to in-person or phone calls. Additionally, with one-way video interviewing you and the candidate can take action on your own time; it’s much easier for a candidate to sit down and record interview answers in a quiet place the same day they apply than it is to schedule a meeting, virtual or in person. Read more about engaging with your candidates here.

  • Candidate Communication – This is not only the most important part of the overall candidate experience but is also the easiest part to scale with technology. Like the candidate’s experience with the hiring process itself, candidate communication is the experience of how the applicant interacts with us as the employer. We can make massive strides in this area by incorporating text and email reminders to applicants to remain engaged, regular calls within 24 hours of qualified applications, and clear, concise job ad writing. Learn how to build better job ads here.

    The very first communication we have with the candidate is our job ad. Be clear about how much and how frequently an applicant will be paid. Being clear about compensation plans will start more conversations than any other single thing we can show in an ad. After a clear and competitive pay plan, candidates are hungry to learn about your culture. Beyond your online presence, as discussed above, you have a real opportunity to show a positive culture by staying engaged with the candidate.

    Per Jobvites’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation report, the preferred communication method for the financial services industry is the phone, with 40% of workers opting for that method. This is a full 10% higher than all other industry averages. To help remove friction for applicants, call them proactively. Follow-up is absolutely essential in our current candidate market, and IdealTraits can provide the tools, knowledge, and support to streamline your engagement process.

If you make it easy for candidates to understand the opportunity, ask questions as they arise, and navigate your hiring process, you will have more interested candidates see themselves to the final interview. All employment opportunities represent a relationship that goes both ways, and that relationship begins with your job ad and onboarding process. Investing in a solid hiring plan that emphasizes candidate engagement and simplicity during the initial application process can save us a tremendous amount of time and money, while also giving you access to top-quality talent, who have the ability to be picky when shopping for new jobs.

Happy Hiring

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