70% of candidates considered dropping out of their last hiring process

New report reveals why candidates are dropping out of hiring processes and what candidates really want

70% of candidates considered dropping out of their last hiring process

As some countries report two job vacancies for every one jobseeker and the global shortage of talent strengthens its stronghold on business, HR software company Sterling has released findings from a comprehensive survey that gives unique insight into the candidate experience and the global state of hiring during the talent shortage.

The report collated responses from 3777 recent jobseekers (who had been through the hiring process within the last 12 months) and 1208 HR professionals involved in the hiring process for their organisation. The global survey included responses from 13 countries across 16 industries.

Positively, the report found that 68% of candidates said their last hiring experience was either simple or somewhat simple. Despite that, seven out of ten recent jobseekers said they considered dropping out or did drop out of their last hiring experience. Almost half (45%) of the candidates surveyed said they considered dropping out and more than a quarter (26%) actually dropped out, sending a clear message to employers that the pendulum of power has swung the job seekers way.

Read more: Recruiters blasted for myopic hiring process

Interestingly, the majority of candidates backed out because of issues with the hiring process rather than taking a different job or choosing to stay in the same position – reiterating the importance of organisations providing an efficient and engaging hiring process.

What reasons are candidates giving for dropping out of the hiring process?

  • The process was taking too long 39%
  • The hiring process was too complicated 37%
  • There were too many touch points in the process 27%
  • I had an issue with the background screening 25%
  • The role ended up sounding different to what I expected 19%
  • I decided the company was not a good fit for me 18%
  • I didn’t feel a connection with the people I met during the process 16%
  • I took another job instead 9%
  • I stayed at my previous job 6%

“If hiring is challenging for your organization, the time is now to invest in ways to build a culture that feels magnetic for job seekers and truly is inspiring for your team, said Robyn Price Stonehill, chief people officer at Sterling.

Conversely though, the survey revealed a discrepancy between opinions of HR professionals and candidates about how well organisations demonstrate their culture and values during the recruitment process – 41% of HR respondents believe their hiring process demonstrates culture very strongly, but only 32% of candidates agreed.

Read more: How to use social media in your hiring process

During a talent shortage it is critical that organisations align their hiring processes with the current expectations of job seekers. The survey enquired on factors that are very important or somewhat important when they were deciding where to work, unsurprisingly, pay and benefits are still the most important factor but coming in very closely behind is a real need from candidates to work at organisations where they trust they can be safe.

“We’re all in the people business, no matter the industry, size, or competitive strength of your company. People want to genuinely imagine themselves as part of your team and want to feel like they’ve made a great career choice,” said Stonehill.

Factors that are most important to job seekers

Pay and benefits 83%

Safety in the workplace (colleagues/people) 82%

Safety in the workplace (physical environment) 80%

Flexible work hours 78%

Time to hire 75%

Remote work options 69%

“As the global workforce continues to change and evolve, hiring practices need to adapt as well. With the nature of work and hiring in a state of flux, HR professionals should be planning to operate in a continuously evolving environment for the foreseeable future,” said Stonehill.

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