How Branding Can Ease Candidate Anxiety During the Application Process

We’ve all been there when applying for jobs. Lots of stress, significant time commitment and often little-to-no communication from the employer. Too often, applicants may apply for a job and literally never hear back. The proverbial application black hole has taken hold once again.

According to a recent survey of more than 23,000 job seekers across more than 100 countries, Potentialpark revealed that a “complicated applicant tracking system (ATS) resulted in a drop-out rate of 48% of applicants,” and that the top three frustrations applicants typically experience are “the time it takes to fill out a form, not knowing if their application will be read and not being able to complete it in several sessions.” So while an ATS may streamline the way employers quickly identify qualified candidates, it can overlook the great candidate experience that applicants deserve, especially if it’s not consistent in presenting your employment brand. And it may end up costing you the talent you’re looking for.

It’s not just about technology

When it comes to creating a seamless candidate journey that puts applicants at ease, it’s important to remember it takes much more than technology to showcase an authentic employment brand. Once an individual has taken the all-important step of getting to know your company—whether through various attraction methods or on your career site—and then decides to actually apply for a position, you must take every step to ensure your internal brand message is reinforced along the way.

One easy way to dispel anxiety your applicants may have is to clearly communicate on your career site both the application and job selection process. Explain to candidates what it means to create an account in a talent gateway, how they can upload information about themselves, including their skills, achievements, certifications, references and background information. Help them understand how to upload their résumé and complete the online application fully. Let them know that they will receive an automatic confirmation when their application has been received. Walking applicants through this process is key for them to understand that you want them to succeed in applying through your ATS and gives you opportunity to extend your internal brand into the application process.

Empower your applicants

Next up is helping applicants stay informed. Give people the tools they need to feel empowered. Through a personal application page, you can reinforce your employment brand and allow individuals to check on the status of their application. Another way to help applicants stay in-the-know is to clearly explain the candidate review process for job selection. Your career site is again a great way to help applicants understand that once an application is received, the recruitment team will review and make selections with the hiring department.

Describe that candidates who possess the knowledge, skills and abilities aligned with requirements of the position will be contacted for subsequent interviews. But don’t overlook the opportunity to help applicants understand what happens to individuals who do not meet the role requirements. Ensure your employment brand is reinforced by sending follow-up communications to those who are not selected to proceed in the process. Thank applicants in a timely manner for their interest and then invite them to receive future job alerts for roles they may be interested in. Because someone who may not be the ideal fit for one job in your company may be the perfect fit for another.

When you help applicants avoid feeling nervous, misled or anxious after they have submitted an application, you can build trust and strengthen the confidence they have in your employer brand. According to a recent online article from Monster:

Job candidates often feel strung along by prospective employers. One minute the hiring process is moving forward at breakneck speed; the next it comes to a complete standstill…internal dynamics are often driving this equivocation…[b]ut no matter how legitimate the backstory is, the end result is a candidate who feels misled.

Remember, the key is to present a consistent, authentic, transparent view of your organizational culture—and pair it up with the latest technology—to create a seamless experience that helps applicants understand your organization, envision themselves in your environment and feel confident once they’ve decided to take part in the application process.