Kiss-for Your-applicant

There's a reason why the U.S. Navy's "Keep It Simple, Stupid" (KISS) mantra has enjoyed continued use since its inception in the 1960s. Though it was originally instituted as an engineering principle, the notion of keeping things as simple as possible while remaining effective is one that has permeated the way we think about user design and experience. While we're busy KISSing up for our customers, can we say the same of our hiring processes?

Job seekers often cite frustration at what is perceived as unnecessarily complex or difficult interviewing processes. From excessive interviews through jumping through hoops and stomaching extended waits and having a cumbersome hiring and onboarding process is detrimental both to companies and their new employees. An individual who is exhausted and frustrated from a difficult job search will certainly be thrilled to have a job, but may struggle with a lack of energy or stamina on the first few days of work, making it harder to hit the ground running.

So how can you put together an interviewing and hiring process that rewards people who are interested in working for your company? According to a survey compiled by Ere.net, the top applicant frustrations are:

Lack of Response. Do your applicants' resumes go into an HR black hole? Even if they're carefully screened by a living, breathing human, without confirmation an applicant may have no idea of what's going on. Make sure you have an auto-response programmed into your ATS, and that when the position is closed, you send an email around to everyone who applied, thanking them for their interest. Bonus points: invite applicants to follow you on social media for more information about your brand and any open positions you may have.

Questions About Compensation. While compensation data should be handled on a position-by-position basis, it's important for candidates to know early in the interview process what they're looking at financially. Alternately, you could include expected salary as part of your selection process. Don't blindside your candidates with salary or lack thereof.

Search Irrelevance. Is your targeted ad missing the mark? If you're advertising a position, make sure you have it optimized for the right audience. Include minimum qualifications at the beginning of the advertisement as applicants increasingly use smart devices that require scrolling. If recruiters spend six seconds scanning resumes, applicants spend similar amounts of time reviewing your post.

The Application is a Marathon, Not Sprint. An application that takes too long to complete is marked by high abandonment rates. Eliminate anything applicants may hold as confidential, and be smart about your mandatory fields. This is especially important because...

Most Applications Aren't Mobile Friendly. People increasingly browse and apply for positions on their smartphones. Is your application process mobile friendly? Can it be completed quickly on a small screen? A number of digital interview platforms are easy to use on mobile. If candidates can take digital interviews on their phones, being able to apply from that same device should be a no-brainer. Take mobile into consideration and your application rates will likely skyrocket.

To be a brilliant company, you'll need brilliant people. Make the path to entry as easy to traverse as possible, and show your candidates that you appreciate their interest. Many applicant frustrations can easily be addressed and corrected. Doing so will help you focus on the objectives, not the obstacles, in the talent acquisition lifecycle.

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