Here is a universal truth, nearly all job applicants hate applying for a job through a company applicant tracking system. The reason for this is simple, the experience is usually horrific. HR and / or Talent Acquisition Teams have usually designed the system based on what they need, without factoring in the experience or needs of the user. The result is that over 90% of job applicants drop out of the application process, if they are redirected to the company applicant tracking system from a job board where the vacancy is advertised. There will always be a need for an applicant tracking system to manage hiring for large corporates, but they need to drastically redesign the process to enhance experience, as more often then not, the system is causing them to lose more applicants than it gains. The other reality is that it is always the company’s fault that the experience is bad. All applicant tracking system have the capability to provide simple, user friendly experiences. But the company decides to complicate the process and add layers of unnecessary complexity.

Why does the applicant need to create an account?

Let’s start with one of the biggest pet peeves, why does a user need to create an account before they are able to apply for a job with your company. This is idiotic. There is literally no reason why this is necessary. How many times are you expecting a person to apply for a job with your company? It is completely unnecessary, and it puts applicants off wanting to apply in the first place. Nearly all applicant tracking systems can enable a one or two click application process. Corporates often say they need to do this for reasons around data privacy consent, but it is not true. You can have a one click apply, and have them tick a box to confirm that they have read and agree to the company data privacy policy, just like everyone does for pretty much every other online transaction they do. There is no need to create a username, password, authenticate their email address and so on, before they are even able to apply for a vacancy.

Duplication of information

When a person applies for a vacancy, they submit their resume. Can we all agree that this is correct? A person includes their contact information, career history, education background on their resume. Also correct? So why, after registering for an account, and uploading their resume, do job applicants need to then spend somewhere in the region of 5-20 minutes filling out fields to provide information on their contact information, career history and education background. It is complete unnecessary and another key reason why so few job applicants have a positive candidate application experience. The application process should end immediately after the applicant has uploaded their resume. There is absolutely no reason why anything is needed beyond this.

Communicate with your applicants

Another criticism of the applicant process from applicants is that they never hear back from the company again after applying. This is perplexing as nearly every applicant tracking system has the capability to send the applicant a notification for each stage of the application process. So, every time that there is an interaction with their profile by the recruiting team they can be notified by an automated message. The fact that 99% of applicants do not get one means one of two things. Either the company has chosen for a random reason to turn this off. Which means they have actively decided that there is no need to inform candidates about the status of their job application. Or worse, that the company has this functionality turned on, but are not even looking at the applicants who apply. Either way, it is an incredibly simple fix to ensure those automated notifications are sent to applicants and would go a long way to making an applicant feel like they did not complete waste their time applying.

*If you are looking to build an amazing candidate experience then you should check out my best selling book – The Talent Acquisition Handbook: A Practical Guide to Candidate Experience. You can pick up a copy by clicking here. Alternatively, you can search for the book on any Amazon site including UK, US, Singapore, India, UAE, Japan, Canada, Australia and various others to order a copy. If you are in another location, Amazon will be able to ship globally to you. It is also available as an e-book via Amazon Kindle.