Online Job Application Abandonment: How to Fix the Issue
- May 18, 2016
Job candidates continue to abandon online applications at a rate recruiters and employers are hard-pressed to understand; various studies have found the rate to be anywhere from 60% to 90%. Known as “drop off and drop out,” most of the research indicates the top two reasons candidates quit before completing an online job application are length and complexity. It’s a dilemma that affects companies and applicants alike. For organizations, it means the loss of top talent and the expense associated with cost-per-click recruiting models. For applicants, there’s the frustration with the entire process – especially if it’s a lengthy one – with many saying they’ll abandon an online job application if they:
- Encounter tech hurdles
- Are unable to easily upload their resume
- Have no way to follow up on their application’s status
- Are unable to complete the application on a mobile device
What Recruiters and Employers Can DoWhile some organizations believe a more challenging application process will help them weed out apathetic candidates, experts say the opposite is true, particularly in the IT industry, where good candidates know they are in demand. There’s very little incentive for highly-qualified IT professionals to jump through a series of complicated hoops to land a job. Here’s how to simplify the process:
- Streamline Applications. Your top priority? Limit the number of screens applicants need to navigate. Find a way to whittle down the number of questions needed at this stage of the process. Make it user-friendly for those applying, but comprehensive enough to get a sense of the applicant’s skills and background. Studies have found 25 or fewer questions to be adequate. And make sure candidates only need one account to log on throughout the entire process.
- Keep it Short and Sweet. Reduce the time it takes to complete your online job application to five minutes or less; this is particularly important for applicants using their mobiles. The longer it takes, the greater the chance they’ll drop off. Stick to the basics; now is not the time to be asking for references.
- Don’t Repeat Yourself. Applicants find it extremely frustrating when asked to enter in work histories. Scanned or online resumes or links to a LinkedIn profile should suffice.
- Write Concise Job Descriptions. Job descriptions that come in somewhere between 250 and 2,000 words appear to have the highest conversion rate. Include important details, but don’t overwhelm with the tasks the position requires. Instead, focus on company culture and the team they’ll be working with.