Job candidates continue to abandon online job applications before completing them at a staggering rate.
For example, a CareerBuilder survey found the abandonment rate, also known as “drop off and drop out,” to be as high as 60% for some companies. A recent white paper by AppCast pegged the abandonment rate upwards of 90% in some cases.
Why so many drop out
Those survey results represent a wake-up call for the entire online employment sector, says John Bell, president & CEO at reThinkData. His company’s mission is to simplify the exchange of data and content by introducing industry-standard web services to integrate multiple software platforms and data management systems.
“We need to slash abandonment rates for the benefit of everyone involved — job candidates, employers, applicant tracking system (ATS) providers, recruiting sites and job boards everywhere,” Bell says.
While some abandonment can be chalked up to self-selection (candidates dropping out of an application they’ve begun because they feel they don’t fit the role), most candidates have already determined they’re suited to a role when they begin filling out an application. Far more often, a dreadful candidate experience leads to abandonment, according to Bell.
Bell says a poor candidate experience can involve a cumbersome or complex ATS application process; application forms that are too lengthy; questions that seem irrelevant or invasive; and applications that aren’t optimized for mobile devices. Any one of these can cause abandonment to soar. He calls two or more the “kiss of death.”
Integrate recruitment and your ATS
There is a candidate experience factor that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, Bell explains, and it’s a key reason for high abandonment rates: most of the recruitment websites used by job candidates are not integrated with the ATSs employers use.
“Despite the technological sophistication of the online employment sector, recruiting sites and job boards are largely disconnected from ATSs,” he says. “Consequently, candidates often suffer through a frustrating application experience, one fraught with redundant steps, multiple registration points and potential bottlenecks."
For example, Bell cites a job candidate who logs onto her favorite job board, where she’s already registered and has stored a resume, professional profile and other support documents. She reviews a job description and finds she’s suited to the role. She clicks on the “apply” button and is delivered to the employer’s ATS website, where:
- She’s forced to register again, create another profile account upload her resume.
- She’s offered a variety of registration options—e.g., registers by using a social profile, a recruitment site profile, or other methods. While this is intended to be helpful, she finds it confusing. She’s not sure which option is best or which the employer might prefer.
- She’s also told to review and agree to User Terms and Liability Disclosures before proceeding, which raises concerns about how her personal data might be used.
- By the time she completes the last of the required forms, Maria has invested well over an hour to apply for a single job—a process she may have to repeat with each application.
“No wonder candidates are abandoning this process in droves,” Bell says.
The lack of integration between recruitment sites and ATSs negatively affects more than just job candidates. Employers suffer because they aren’t accessing all of the talent trying to reach them. Nor are employers getting full ROI from the recruitment sites and job boards they’re relying on to supply talent for their pipeline.
ReThinkData’s approach to resolving this recruiting roadblock is a product called SimpleAPI. SimpleAPI’s cloud-based integration connects any recruitment site and any job board to any applicant tracking system, and it improves the way candidate information is shared and delivered, according to Bell.
One of the most powerful benefits that SimpleAPI offers to recruitment sites, job boards and ATSs is one-and-done integration. ReThinkData’s partners and clients only have to connect with SimpleAPI once. The result is a seamless connection. It also eliminates updates or workarounds, exchanging candidate information with efficiency and security, according to Bell.
“Bottom line, we need to foster industry-wide integration,” Bell says. “We need an employment ecosystem that is elegantly integrated and capable of serving everyone’s best interests.”