Recruiters: Speed up your job application process or loose 92% of job applicants

I don’t need to tell you that recruiting is tough. Wages are soaring, and job opportunities are abundant. New research identifies how to change your recruiting tactics to compete. For example, if your job application process takes more than five minutes, you may lose up to 92 percent of your applicants. In addition, job descriptions are too long —and, perhaps paradoxically — have too few details. Job posting costs are rising dramatically. What a mess! But there are successful tactics to get your organization the talent it needs.

This research comes from new reports issued by Appcast, The Top Recruiting Trends for 2022 and How to Create a World-Class Mobile Candidate Experience.

Here are the findings:

1- More candidates now apply for jobs using a mobile device than a desktop, with 61 percent of applications being from mobile devices. This percentage represents a doubling of mobile device applications since 2016.

2- Mobile app users are less tolerant of long application processes. And we are only speaking about a difference in minutes. According to Appcast, job candidates’ average desktop application time is 11.9 minutes. It is only 7.4 minutes for mobile device applications. When it gets long, the job applicants simply drop off.

Appcast has also found that an application time of fewer than five minutes results in an apply rate of least at 19 percent higher than for any other time increment. They also found that this trend holds up for hourly and professional job applicants. I will add to Appcast’s recommendations that if you are recruiting Gen. Z,  you need to find them where they hang out on social media, using mobile devices.

3- Job description length is also a major factor affecting job application rates, especially with job candidates that apply from mobile devices. Job applications with 200 to 299 words have the highest apply rates with mobile device users. I have also noted that more than 50 percent of job descriptions use terms that drive away applicants, and especially women. It is an easy fix.

4- Mobile device users are more often to apply for jobs with their devices from these industries, gig workers, transportation, warehousing and logistics, food service hospitality, real estate, and security. They are less likely to apply from these industries: technology, HR, finance, insurance, management, science and technology, legal, and education.

5- Recruiters should expect to spend more on job advertising to connect with job applicants. Both cost-per-click and costs-per-application have increased and remain high. Appcast Research finds that overall, across all industries / job functions, from January 2021 through August 2021, cost per click (CPC) increased by 41.25%. Cost per application (CPA) for the same period increased by 27.63%. For certain industries / job functions, CPA increases were significantly higher. From January 2021 through August 2021, in food services, CPA increased by 44.1%; in hospitality, CPA increased by 45.62%; and in gig, CPA jumped 62.31%. These are substantial increases, which will impact your recruitment marketing budget.

5- Job advertising needs to be more specific. Recruiters need to move away from a “job-posting” mentality to “job advertising” mentality. A “job advertising” mentality leads to communication that’s much more specific about employment offerings. Instead of writing the company offers “a competitive benefits package” the ads list the details.

6- As I have previously noted in other posts, most office workers want to remain working remotely, often preferring to be remote about three days a week. According to Appcast, job applicants will want to know more than if the job is remote or hybrid, but for how long? Is it remote from anywhere in the US or just within 50 miles of major city? Is there a requirement to come into the office one- or two-days week, or not at all? Job ads need to include this information.

7- Appcast has noted, as I have, that wages are going through the roof, and you can’t hire job applicants paying five to 20 percent below the market. I still have organizations calling me trying to hire candidates and paying below market. It won’t work.

In addition to Appcast’s findings, I have previously reported Jobvite’s annual recruiting survey and its predictions. Many dovetail with Appcast’s conclusions. Jobvite stresses the importance of using text messages, as many job applicants ignore emails, and diversity hiring goals.

Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting and managing partner of InnovationOne.. He works with companies to transform HR and recruiting, implement remote work, and develop extraordinary leaders, teams, and innovation cultures. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Hack Recruiting: the Best of Empirical Research, Method and Process, and Digitization. Subscribe to his weekly blogs at 

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