- As layoff and furloughs continue to affect workers, graduating college seniors seeking entry-level positions are applying to more jobs and are more likely to stay engaged with recruiters, according to an April 29 report by iCIMS, a cloud platform for recruiting.
- The company conducted a survey of 500 U.S. college seniors and 500 human resources or recruiting professionals, between March 10 and March 23. The class of 2020 expected to apply to an average of 10 jobs before stay-at-home orders were instituted across the country. However, that number doubled to 20 in mid-March, iCIMS stated. After applying for a position, almost all of the job seekers (95%) expect hearing back from an employer in less than two weeks; timeliness is also an important factor of an employer's response, survey respondents said.
- The report also found that 37% of graduating seniors evaluate an employer's diversity and inclusion initiatives when considering a job; yet 85% believe that there is bias in the hiring process. Almost all (91%) of recruiters said employers prioritize promoting their companies' diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the job market has shifted substantially. However, in recruiting candidates, there are best practices that should remain constant, according to research. For example, keeping candidates engaged and informed during the hiring process should include personalization, an area major companies have struggled with.
The State of Candidate Experience: 2020 Benchmarks, a report by Phenom, a talent experience management firm, published in November 2019, provided insights into where employers are meeting job seekers' expectations. The report found that almost all Fortune 500 companies (97%) fail to "hyper-personalize" the candidate experience. The majority of companies do not include a chatbot in their candidate experience, or offer a social login that allows candidates to browse relevant jobs. And less than 20% provide candidates with semantic search capability. "Employers must stop neglecting their candidate experiences," Mahe Bayireddi, CEO and co-founder at Phenom, said in a statement.
Communication and engagement with recruiters is important to candidates applying for entry-level jobs, according to the iCIMS report. More than half of the graduating seniors surveyed (60%) said that timeliness is pivotal to them during the hiring process. The majority (79%) also believe they should receive a response from a recruiter within seven days of applying for a job.
College seniors expect the hiring process to take 35 days, the report found, but the average time to fill entry-level positions is 48 days, according to iCIMS. Some of the top challenges when recruiting for an entry-level position are sourcing the right candidates' applications and resumes and screening out irrelevant applications, recruiters said.
Effective candidate experience combines technology with personalization, based on the responses of job seekers in a ManpowerGroup Solutions survey. To leave new hires with a good impression, employers should use technology in managing the offer letter process, including using digital web portals for paperwork, according to iCIMS.