Hays UK blog


Applications too slow for marketers

By Clare Kemsley, Managing Director of Hays Marketing, Retail and Sales, UK&I

Finding marketing professionals to join your organisation is a challenge at the best of times, competition for skills is fierce, and the top talent highly coveted. In order to attract and engage the best candidates, your candidate journey needs to be considered at every stage of the recruitment process.

Recently we discussed the factors in your job adverts that could be reducing volumes of candidate applications, but that’s just the start of building a positive candidate journey. In our new What Workers Want research, we found the initial application process to be an area where many potential candidates are lost. Victims of clunky websites and lengthy processes. 79% of marketers told us that the main reason for their below average experience when applying through employer websites is that the overall process was too long, with too many requirements; 73% also said they would consider abandoning an application which took longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Unfortunately, we also found that 34% of marketing employers have application processes which last over 15 minutes, thereby reducing their pool of potential applicants significantly.

The primary complaint about the application process for the majority of applicants is the length of the process - but frustration is also caused by the amount of data required and the lack of a point of contact. 64% of marketers find having a person to contact during the application stage is important, yet this is often overlooked by their potential employers.

How can you improve your applicants’ journey?

1. Do a trial run yourself

Apply for the role yourself, see how long it takes you to successfully submit an application. Use your common sense and ask yourself if the process seemed too long or poorly structured. Remember who you’re trying to attract - marketing professionals may have a higher than average expectation of what a positive user journey entails. Measure the time taken against applicant’s expectations and remember that crossing the 15 minute line could affect the volume and quality of your applications.

2. Only ask for what you need

You only have a small window of opportunity to retain the enthusiasm of the applicant, and nothing kills a potential employee’s confidence more than a poorly thought out or repetitive application process. Is all the detail you’re asking for necessary? Are there any duplicated or superfluous questions? Do you need all the information up front? Open ended questions can often be left for the interview rounds. Streamline your process and you’ll keep great applicants engaged for longer.

3. Don’t be afraid to invest into your website job portals

Budgets may be tight, but the benefits of hiring the right employee to add value to your business is often worth the greater investment into your career portal. At a minimum, try to make sure you are meeting the basic expectations of your ideal candidate. Consider investing in a digital recruitment campaign to enhance your candidate attraction strategy, and most importantly, ensure your website or portal is mobile optimised.

Your application process is the first true interaction your candidates have with you, it has the potential to colour all further interactions – or stop them from happening entirely. Don’t undermine your ability to compete for the best marketing talent, make sure you create a good experience for the candidate and shorten your processes to provide a more engaging and intuitive application experience.

You can hear more about improving your hiring processes in our latest podcast.

About this author

Over her last ten years at Hays, Clare has developed a detailed understanding of creative and customer focussed industries and the talent they need to succeed. She is a believer that great behaviour drives the culture of the business and allows the customer experience to be one of the highest quality.


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