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Author:  Gabrielle Bauer

Streamlining the job application process pays dividends on several fronts

In the competitive life sciences market, high-quality candidates hold a lot of power. Knowing they’re in demand, they will naturally favor simple, elegant hiring processes. Indeed, 45% of job seekers view an easy application process as a top priority,1 and over two-thirds would avoid reapplying to a company that didn’t offer a positive hiring experience the first time around.2

To attract choice candidates, you need to remove barriers that may discourage them from applying—and pique their interest with meaningful perks.1 Here’s a tip list to keep you on track.

Cut to the chase: A survey by Jobvite found that nearly 85% of Fortune 500 companies were requiring candidates to register on their website before applying for an open position, losing potential candidates as a result.2 Is it really necessary for a candidate to open an account with your website? Does she need to fill out that generic form? Ask yourself whether your interview process has unnecessary steps that can be cut out—and then do it.

Keep it short: There’s no reason to require a complete application form before you even consider a candidate. To remove the hassle factor, create a bare-bones form that allows

candidates to populate fields with information from existing platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, or Google Drive.3

Text it in: Communicating by text—for example, to schedule job interviews—can help increase candidate conversion. In a 2021 survey, 69% of candidates who received texts as part of the hiring process reported a preference for texting over email or phone calls2—perhaps because texts feel more personal and less bureaucratic. Once you set up a texting option, you can keep using and adapting it to other positions.

Create a user-friendly mobile experience: a recent Glassdoor survey found that 58% of candidates use their phones to search for jobs, and 35% prefer applying for jobs from their phones.4 Be sure to pilot-test the mobile application interface and iron out any bumpy seams.

“Get rid of your [career site] log-in. You don’t need it. The platform SAIC uses doesn’t require a log-in to make an application. Therefore, it takes three to five minutes on average for people to get through, and we complete a huge amount of our applications.” Amy Butchco, director of talent acquisition, SAIC

Make it optional: Don’t require candidates to sign up for your newsletter or receive company updates as a condition of applying. Such extra steps can leave them frustrated. If you have a talent network, by all means give candidates the option to join it, but don’t force it on them: a mandatory registration process typically reduces the number of completed applications.2

Get them on camera: A quick video chat can give you more information about a candidate’s communication style and job fit than a pile of forms.5 Depending on the number of applicants and suitable candidates, you can schedule video interviews earlier or later in the hiring sequence.

Tag it as urgent: An “urgent” flag in a job description will attract candidates looking for fast action—and could motivate your organization to keep the wheels moving on the hiring process.4

Show your working style: In your job solicitation, call immediate attention to high-demand benefits such as remote work options and flexible hours. (In today’s market, you’d be unwise not to offer some type of flexibility: according to recruiters surveyed in 2021, inflexible work options led 54% of candidates to turn down a job offer or even an interview.6)

Bottom line: make it easy, make it enticing, and top-tier candidates will find you.

At Sci.bio, we understand the value of keeping it simple—and the biotech superstars we talk to don’t let us forget it. Bringing in a recruiter can be the first step in simplifying your hiring process, resulting in the quantity and quality of applicants you need for a great hire. Here’s a simple way to contact us today: [email protected]

References

  1. 2021 job seeker nation report. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-job-seeker-nation-report/
  2. 2021 Fortune 500 candidate conversion audit. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-fortune-500-report/
  3. Guide to hiring top talent quickly in today’s job market. Recruiter.com. https://www.recruiter.com/i/guide-to-hiring-top-talent-quickly-in-todays-job-market/
  4. The rise in mobile devices in job search. Glassdoor Economic Research. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/app/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/Mobile-Job-Search-1.pdf
  5. Five steps to simplifying your hiring process. The Undercover Recruiter. https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/simplifying-hiring-process/
  6. 2021 recruiter nation report. Jobvite. https://www.jobvite.com/lp/2021-recruiter-nation-report/