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Job seekers are in control – can you meet their expectations?

November 9, 2018

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Low unemployment and high demand for talent is creating a recruiting environment where job seekers and newly hired employees are in control. CareerBuilder and SilkRoad have released the results of a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll identifying job seekers’ and new employees’ expectations for hiring and onboarding. 

Candidates today have higher expectations for communication, logistics, and new hire onboarding during their job search process—68% of employees believe their experience as a job candidate reflects how the company treats its people. Prospects today are evaluating a future employer from the first page of the job application. These findings suggest that job seekers are accustomed to the environment they experience as consumers online, where everything is at their fingertips with a digital, mobile-friendly, and engaging process. 

“The survey results confirm a significant shift of power from employers to candidates—largely fueled by sustained low unemployment and widening skills gaps that are making it more and more difficult for employers to find and keep the talent they need to compete,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Nearly one-half of employers said it’s taking them longer to fill jobs today than in any other period in the post-industrial era—which not only costs money, but has an impact on productivity and speed to market. The fight for talent is only going to become more intense for U.S. companies, and employers need to deliver on job seekers’ continuously-evolving expectations to attract the best candidates. This starts with streamlining the entire hiring process, from the first candidate engagement to new hire onboarding.” 

Not only has power shifted to the job seeker but the current employee as well—newly hired or tenured. 51% of job seekers report they’ve looked for other jobs even when an offer has been extended and the background check is in process; therefore, a tech-enabled offer and signature process that can happen fast is pivotal. Approximately 67% of employers report almost a quarter of new hires not showing up after accepting a position – AKA being ghosted. 

When both candidates and newly hired employees have higher expectations for how they’re being treated by employers, that experience can make or break a company’s ability to attract and keep top talent. Candidates, as well as employees, are consumers and they expect to have a seamless, clear, and mutually beneficial type of experience with employers. The employer enjoys the benefit in the long-run—a strong pipeline of candidates, filled positions, and an engaged workforce that leads to lower turnover. Positive experiences in recruiting and onboarding also enhance the ability to gain referrals from satisfied and engaged new hires, which can lower recruiting costs. 

“How you hire is how you manage. Candidates intuitively know this, which is why you can either win or lose hearts before an employee even shows up for their first day,” stated Shannon Reed, ASE’s senior manager of talent acquisition services. 
Additional key findings from the survey include: 

  • 60% of employers across industries see positions becoming longer to fill in the last year due directly to a tough hiring environment. Nearly a fourth of employers (23%) have seen delays in filled positions up to three weeks or more. 

  • 82% of employees expect employers to provide a clear timeline for the hiring process and keep them updated throughout the process when they apply for a job. 

  • The candidate experience speaks volumes about the employee experience. 68% of employees believe their experience as a candidate reflects how the company treats its people. 

  • Candidates are not willing to wait. When applying to a job, more than half of employees (55%) will give up and move on if they haven’t heard from an employer within two weeks of applying. They also expect a fast and easy application experience. Job seekers today are not willing to fill out multiple application pages, especially on a mobile device. 

  • One-in-five candidates give less than 10 minutes to a job application (20%), or two to three pages on a mobile device (21%), otherwise they drop off. 

  • Nearly one in ten employees have left a company because of a poor onboarding experience, and 37% of employees didn’t think their manager played a critical role in supporting their onboarding experience. 

  • 51% of employees expect HR to check in with them regularly throughout their first year of employment.

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