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8 Things Job Candidates Will Expect in 2023

What recruitment looks like has shifted a lot over the past few years. The competition for top talent is stronger than ever, and job seekers have specific expectations about what they do and don’t want. Just getting a potential employee to complete the initial application can be difficult, and keeping candidates in your hiring funnel once they finish applying can be just as hard.

Understanding what job candidates expect when it comes to the recruitment pipeline and candidate experience will help you attract and secure top talent in 2023 and beyond. Here are 8 things candidates will be expecting from the hiring process.

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1. An Easy Way to Apply

If you are still asking candidates to fill out multiple-page applications and then upload copies of resumes with the same exact information they just painstakingly input, you are setting your recruitment process up for failure from the start. 

Today’s job hunters by and large aren’t interested in an application that takes hours to get through - in fact, 92% of applicants won’t finish online applications they’ve started. This can be the top reason your hiring funnel isn’t performing at the very top: a lack of candidate volume can mean a lack of applicant patience.

Meeting expectations:

Make the initial application process as easy as possible. If you can utilize an app so that people can apply directly from their phones, for example, you might get more completed applications. Apps are now actually the most used way of completing a job application: 67% of job seekers applied for a position using a mobile device in 2021, up from just 51% in 2019.

2. Low Demands at the Wide End of the Hiring Funnel

As with a complex initial application process, multiple demands for online assessments and pre-hire tests early in the pipeline can make candidates feel that their time is being disrespected. You can lose high-value talent as candidates self-select out of the recruitment process in frustration.

Additionally, not all of those pre-hire assessments supposedly designed to help you select the best candidate are very good at predicting Quality of Hire. In fact, one popular assessment was found to have the opposite result: those candidates who scored highest on the assessment turned out to have dismal performance post-hire.

Related Article: See Top 6 Recruiting Pipeline Metrics to Track in 2023]

Meeting expectations:

Carefully select the tests you plan on using as pre-hire assessments, and only depend on the results as part of your overall evaluation of candidates. Limit how much you ask of each candidate at each stage: you want committed applicants, not just desperate ones. You can always add requests one at a time as candidates get deeper into your pipeline.

3. Constant Communication

Communication is a big item on job seekers’ must-have lists for candidate experience. A startling 77% of job seekers say they’ve been ghosted by a prospective employer, and 10% say an employer ghosted them even after making a verbal job offer.

According to Career Sherpa, the average amount of time it takes a hiring manager to reach out to an applicant after receiving their application is 1-2 weeks. However, without sooner communication, job seekers can quickly lose hope and abandon the hiring funnel. Using automated systems to ensure applicants are updated as steps are completed in the hiring funnel can help keep them engaged and in the pipeline.

Meeting expectations:

81% of respondents to one survey said that simply getting consistent communication during the hiring process would greatly improve their candidate experience. TalentWall™ by Crosschq helps hiring managers and recruiters stay on top of high-value candidates and ensure touchpoints are made regularly to ensure ongoing candidate engagement.

4. A Swift, Streamlined Interview Process

Candidates who make it through to the interview stage aren't necessarily going to wait around for weeks while employers struggle to coordinate schedules and book the interview. They also expect to hear back promptly after an interview and are likely to hang around for more than a week before seeking other interviews or entertaining competitors’ offers.

According to one survey, 28% of professionals say they have abandoned the hiring process while in the interview stage. One of the most common causes for bailing is recruiters or hiring managers who schedule interviews but never show up, who cancel and reschedule several times, or who are themselves disruptive during an interview.  

Meeting expectations:

Again, the key to meeting candidate expectations for interviews is communication and efficiency. Make sure your candidate knows you wish to interview them, use a scheduling app to get all the right people together as soon as possible and communicate all pertinent information to the candidate.

After the interview, make sure to contact the candidate immediately thanking them for their time. Let them know if they are still in the running; if not, provide constructive feedback - this can make a candidate 4x as likely to apply again with your company in the future.

5. Transparency About Job Responsibilities and Compensation

A majority of job seekers (61%) say they’re more likely to apply for positions that share a salary in their postings. Even more (67%) think that organizations should disclose their CEO-to-employee pay ratios, and an even bigger percentage (70%) believe all companies should disclose overall pay gaps.

Employees also want to know what the job requirements and responsibilities are: asking for a “marketing ninja” or a “social media unicorn” in a job description is going to result in a hard pass from many potential applicants.

Meeting expectations:

Make your job descriptions as clear and comprehensive as possible. Focus on must-have requirements and separate them from “like-to-have. Include soft skills along with hard ones, and clearly detail salary range, benefits, and expectations for employees along with a hint at your company culture.

6. Flexibility with Regard to Work Location and Times

Recent surveys reveal that flexibility has moved from a desirable workplace benefit to a dealbreaker for many Americans. Over the past few years, 55% of workers say that work flexibility has become more important when choosing a job, compared to only 52% who cite higher pay as being more important. 

Flexibility applies to location (being able to work remotely) as well as work hours (being able to choose, even if only to an extent, what a worker will be available for work.) What this looks like can vary widely from company to company.

[Related Article: See How to Improve Your Remote Hiring Process]

Meeting expectations:

For some employees, full autonomy is desired; as long as they meet deadlines and deliver quality performance, they want to go their own way, working from wherever they want at whatever hours they choose.

For others, flex hours that give them a few hours of leeway on either side of a normal 9-5 can help them avoid rush hour traffic and better manage childcare. A hybrid setup that requires showing up at a desk in the office a few days a week while telecommuting the rest of the time may be an option.

7. A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging

It’s not enough to pay lip service to DEIB values. Companies are realizing that this generation of workers places a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging high in their list of must-haves when choosing which companies to work for. 

In a Deloitte survey, 80% of respondents said inclusion is important when choosing an employer, 39% said they would leave their current company for a more inclusive one, and 23% said they had already done so. 

HR Pipeline Management Survival Guide

Meeting expectations:

Reduce hiring bias in your recruitment pipeline by using tools like Crosschq 360, which streamlines the reference-checking process and standardizes it to get rid of unconscious bias. Monitor diversity at each stage of your pipeline with TalentWall™ by Crosschq to ensure you have a wide range of high-quality candidates.

8. Respect for Their Time and Their Humanity

Above all, what job seekers look for in a candidate experience is the simple act of being treated with dignity and respect. A poor experience with recruitment impacts candidates’ decision when choosing where to work, and 40% of job seekers list their candidate experiences as the single most important factor in deciding which job offer to accept

Give candidates an experience that leaves them talking about it in a good way. A staggering 82% of job seekers would share a positive candidate experience vs. 69% who would share a negative candidate experience. However, those bad reviews can sink your reputation as an employer; 55% of job seekers will think twice about applying or even abandon the hiring funnel if they read negative reviews about the company online.

Meeting expectations:

Communicating with employees, treating them with the respect their humanity, experience, and time deserve, and showing them you have a company culture committed to diversity and inclusion are all some of the main ways you can make your organization more attractive to potential new hires.

In a recruiting landscape where everything hinges on candidate experience, meeting job candidates’ expectations is key to acquiring top talent. To learn more about how Crosschq can help you achieve your organization’s recruitment goals, contact us for a free demo today.

Heather Miller

by Heather Miller

Staff Writer

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