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Top 10 Things I Hate About Your Hiring Process

March 30, 2017


When employers are in the process of hiring, their focus is on identifying the right person for the job. And rightly so. But it can be easy to forget about the candidate experience. Put yourself in their shoes - remember what's like looking for a new job? I do, too. It's not always (or usually) an enjoyable experience. This might have something to do with the emotional state of the average job seeker: It's stressful! As a candidate, you're hoping to complete the hiring process smoothly. But finding that perfect job posting, sending a resume, interviewing quickly, and receiving a job offer with minimal frustration or setbacks is simply not common.

Most hiring processes for professional positions are not so simple, and it's for good reason. Organizations want to make sure there is a good fit, and that they are getting top talent. Though the process might be complex, there are measures to be taken that can make it less stressful for the applicant.

Below are 10 things that applicants hate about a hiring process. If you can avoid these causes of applicant frustration, you'll have a great chance at maintaining a solid applicant pool, making a good impression to earn a positive reputation, and increase the likelihood that the superstars will say 'Yes!' when you make them an offer.

10. Spending too long on the application process

  • Have you ever applied for a job by uploading your resume and then be forced to input onto a job application every single detail that was on your resume? I have. It's pretty frustrating. Many new application software programs are actually pretty good at detecting the information in your resume, copying it, and placing it into the application.

  • A great way to test your own application process is to go through it on your own - write down any steps that seem redundant or irrelevant. If you don't have the latest application software, maybe there are other ways you can shorten this process and make the experience more enjoyable for candidates.

  • However, keep in mind, this might be a good tool as it can screen out applicants who aren't serious about the job.

9. Inaccurate job posting

  • The key here is to deter unqualified candidates from applying to the job in the first place. If your job posting is misleading and attracts unqualified applicants, then you'll have to screen them at some level of your hiring process. Do your company a favor by screening out unqualified candidates BEFORE they apply.

  • Also, you don't want a large number of applicants going through the work of applying, getting rejected early on, and then damaging your organization's reputation by complaining on social media.

  • A well-designed job posting will help you avoid these issues and set you up for success from the beginning.

8. Outdated technology

  • This can include everything from the application process to the job offer. If your hiring process is outdated, then chances are high that your applicant pool will assume the same about your company. Don't let talent slip away by not using the right technology with your hiring process.

  • Make sure that your website, the application process, and any online hiring assessments are modern and, ideally, mobile friendly.

7. Poor communication

  • No one likes to be in the dark. Especially when it's regarding their career. All too often, employers will communicate internally within the company, but leave candidates out of the loop. When candidates know the next step in the process and exactly when that step will take place, the candidate can plan and prepare appropriately for the next stage.

  • One of the most common questions asked by candidates after an interview is, "What happens next?" When a potential employer can be proactive by letting them know the process and giving them contact information of someone that can answer those types of questions, the candidate has a much better experience with your hiring process.

6. Poor online assessment(s)

  • Online hiring assessments can be a great tool to help predict a candidate's future performance. However, this is only if they're properly designed. It's important to use an assessment that has validity, reliability, and is legally defensible.

  • Some online assessment tools will also gain data about applicant satisfaction regarding the assessment itself. If this data is obtained, you can quickly find out if your online assessment is one of the 10 things applicants hate about your selection process.

5. Unstructured interview process

  • Most HR professionals know that a structured interview is the most effective, not to mention most legally defensible, form of interviewing.

  • Not only is it important to keep the questions consistent from one candidate to another, it's also very important to make sure the questions are relevant to the job. I remember being asked during an interview, "If you were a shoe, what kind of shoe would you be?" I remember thinking it was a very strange question, and I'm sure other candidates had even stronger thoughts against it.

  • Finally, candidates also want to interview with members of the company that understand their background and skills. If a candidate interviews with individuals with a similar background or knowledge, the candidate will feel somewhat validated if he or she doesn't get the job.

4. Getting rejected via email

  • This one is fairly simple, but it goes a long way. When you are rejected by an email versus a personal phone call, it makes a huge difference. Sure, it's the easier way to go, for a number of reasons. By delivering the message directly, you're able to provide a good explanation and allow the opportunity to ask questions.

  • This leaves a much better impression with the candidate, and it will speak volumes of your company in the long run.

3. Poor orientation

  • Though the orientation is not technically part of the selection process, it typically occurs immediately following. This is a time where the selection process is fresh on the new hire's mind, and therefore is a valuable time to give feedback.

  • The orientation is also a key moment for the organization to demonstrate the connection between the job posting and the actual job. Though there may be a few days to weeks of job shadowing and training, it's important for the new hire to understand his or her new role in the company.

  • If this opportunity is neglected, the good feeling can quickly turn the other way, inviting thoughts of quitting. And we all know the high cost of turnover.

2. Interview process is too long

  • Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor Chief Economist, says that the interview process has become more comlex, meaning job candidates have to jump through more hoops and over more hurdles.

  • Glassdoor.com also presented results that the average interview process has almost doubled in the last 5 years - from 13 days in 2010 to 23 days in 2015.

  • Maybe it's not possible to shorten your interview process, but you can be proactive by communicating with your candidates. Be sure they understand basic timelines in the interview process, and let them know if those timelines change.

And the number 1 thing applicants hate about your hiring process is:

1. I'm a real person. Treat me that way.

  • This might be common sense, but it still needs to be said. People want to be treated like people, and not just as a resume. By heeding the other nine reasons listed above, you'll have a good chance of making people feel like they matter - even (especially) if they don't get the job.  

  • In the end, you want to build a strong pipeline with an applicant pool full of top talent. Take the time to add a human touch. This is how good companies become great companies, and that solid reputation helps them to consistently secure future talent.

I realize it may not be possible to adopt all of these areas into your hiring process. Keep in mind, though, these individuals will be the future of your organization. You want them to start off on the right foot - and you also want them to guide their talented friends your way. It's always a good idea to revisit all the steps in your hiring process to see what needs an update. It may take some hard working and problem solving, but it could do wonders for all facets of your company.

After mentioning interviewing quite a bit, I thought you might find this helpful - 9 Interview Errors that Hiring Managers Must Avoid:

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Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Analyst at PSI. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.