Are You Scaring Job Candidates Away?

If you’re on the search for the best talent to join your organization, you certainly want to create a welcoming environment. But is it possible that your organization’s recruiting behavior and reputation is actually discouraging job seekers from applying?

Symptoms that your organization may be scaring candidates away: 

  • Not enough applications for your open positions
  • Not getting the right talent to apply
  • High candidate drop-off
  • Low offer acceptance rate
  • High turnover

What deters candidates from a potential employer? In the 2018 Candidate Experience Survey, we found that recruiting top talent depends heavily on the candidate experience – how the job seeker is treated throughout the hiring cycle.

How an applicant perceives they are treated can impact their likelihood to accept the offer, stay on the job, and what they communicate to others about your organization. Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruitment tool and candidates WILL tell others!  Even if an applicant doesn’t receive an offer this time, it doesn’t mean they won’t be the perfect fit for a different opening soon or a position in the future after further training and/or experience. 

Most Discouraging Words
We asked candidates about the most discouraging aspects of the application process. Following are their top five:

  1. No Response from Employers: Lack of response was the most discouraging aspect to candidates. Unfortunately, one-third of respondents said they “rarely” or “never” heard back from employers with confirmation of their application receipt. 
  2. Missing Compensation: The next indiscretion noted by 28% of respondents was “no salary included” in the job description. Respondents said that salary was one of the most important aspects included in a job posting. A blank salary field may decrease a job posting’s performance.
  3. Length/Complexity: The difficulty and extended time to apply followed closely as another discouraging aspect for 27% of respondents. Candidates also noted that employers’ requests for redundant information contributed to this irritation. 
  4. Multiple Processes: Some candidates experienced frustration with job postings that directed them to another site/system to apply, which also can relate to the length and complexity of the process. Job seekers 40-plus years of age were generally more discouraged by this. 
  5. Short/Non-Descriptive: Candidates want to know more! Even though they want a smooth, quick application process, they are quickly discouraged by short job descriptions and job postings that were non-descriptive. The description must accurately reflect the position and properly align with the actual job.

To learn more about candidate experience and how your organization can improve, download your free copy of the full 2018 Candidate Experience Survey Results & Analysis under “market research” at