What Frustrates Jobseekers Most About the Recruiting Process?

Lack of communication? Inaccurate job descriptions? Long response times? These topics are always frequently named when talking about improving the candidate experience, but what, exactly, is the most frustrating thing jobseekers cite about the recruiting process? The answer may or may not surprise you.


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A new survey from Glassdoor reveals that a lack of information about a job’s total compensation package, including pay and benefits, is among the biggest frustrations for U.S. workers and jobseekers during the interview process.
Half (50 %) of U.S. workers/jobseekers say that this would be among their biggest frustrations, with an equal proportion saying it is potential employers canceling or postponing interviews. Ranking third, 47% of respondents say that potential employers not responding in a timely manner are among their biggest grievances.
The online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor in May 2018 among over 1,100 U.S. adults who are either currently employed or not employed but looking for work, also highlights specifically what would make people pull out of a recruitment process.

Frustrated Enough to Pull Out of the Recruiting Process?

So, what other reasons are there for jobseekers to pull out of the recruiting process? According to Glassdoor respondents, the following reasons would make jobseekers back off:

  • Employer announcing layoffs (44%),
  • A poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager (40%),
  • Reading negative reviews from employees (35%),
  • Hearing about employee or leadership scandals (33%), and
  • Reading negative news coverage about the company (32%).

“Recruiters have a challenging task of coordinating multiple interviews in addition to ensuring each candidate receives the necessary information to evaluate an opportunity. Jobseekers clearly feel that understanding the total compensation package, including pay and benefits, is absolutely essential to fully evaluate a job opportunity,” said Julie Coucoules, Glassdoor’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition. “The good news is that this and the top frustrations that jobseekers have with the recruitment process can all be improved by any employer of any size. Recruiters that want to create an informative and organized process can use this feedback to make their interview process more effective and positive.”

What Job Candidates Want Most

When asked what would constitute a positive job application experience, nearly three in five (58%) U.S. workers and jobseekers said that a company communicating with them clearly and regularly is what they want. More than half (53%) said they would want a company to set out clear expectations for them so that they could prepare well and 51% said getting feedback from the company, even if they were not successful, would be appreciated.
A company explaining how many interviews candidates might need to go through and who those interviews might be with would make for a positive experience according to 45% of U.S. workers and jobseekers, followed by 43% who would welcome a simple and efficient online job application process.

How Do Men and Women Differ?

Just as it’s important for those in recruitment and HR to understand the frustrations of jobseekers and what may cause them to pull out of the recruitment process, it is also essential to consider how different audiences are impacted by various factors.
For instance, 57% of women indicate that not receiving enough information about the total compensation package is among their biggest frustrations during the job interview process, while only 44% of men report this as a frustration during their job search.
In addition, this survey data shows that among U.S. workers/jobseekers, 43% of women would pull out of a recruitment process after reading a negative review from an employee, while only 28% of men say that this would cause them to remove themselves from the recruitment process.

How Long Should the Interview Process Take?

More than four in five (82%) U.S. workers and jobseekers said that they would want the entire interview process to take less than a month and two in five (40%) said less than a week. In a 2017 study, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain found that the average length of the interview process in the U.S. is 23.8 days. However, even the jobs with the fastest interview processes globally are a minimum of 8 days or more.
“Time to hire is a key metric that many employers track and pay attention to, so recruiters and candidates really are on the same page when it comes to the outcome: they all want a quick and efficient match, resulting in informed, quality candidates on board as quickly as possible. Nobody likes to have their time wasted, which is why it is so important for employers to provide the necessary information up front to allow people to make good decisions about the jobs they are applying for,” said Coucoules.
Now that you know what’s the most frustrating aspect of the recruiting process, from a jobseeker standpoint, you can start to improve your talent strategies for a better candidate experience, and ultimately happier employees.