Publicación de blog

4 Common Failures of Online Job Applications—and How to Fix Them

Ira S. Wolfe

President, Success Performance Solutions

Recruitment of top talent and skilled workers these days is undoubtedly getting harder. Recruiters and managers blame it on the quality of the labor pool—and many job applicants so lack the necessary skills. But that's only one aspect of a complex problem: the real enemy might be your online job application.

A recent study found that companies with 45 or more fields to complete on an application lose a whopping 88.7 percent of potential candidates who abandon the process before completion. If 45 sounds like a lot, consider that Indeed revealed the average Fortune 500 company's application includes 62.8 questions—and takes an average of 52 minutes to complete.

In today's tight labor market, companies can't afford to lose the best candidates before they even apply. Here are five things you can do to streamline your online job applications, and successfully funnel top talent through the process.

1) Treat Job Applicants Like Customers

Employers don't rule the labor market roost anymore, especially when it comes to recruiting qualified and competent workers. Cut-and-paste job descriptions masquerading as job postings don't cut it either. Applicants desperate for a job may respond to a "classified ad" but top talent is more selective and have more choices. If your company isn't attracting quality candidates, the problem may not be poor recruiting—it's poor marketing. Job applicants are your customers, too. Treat them that way.

Tip: Market job applicants with the same voracity and creativity that you do customers who purchase your products and services. Who knows—they could become your customers too!

2) Optimize Your Website

It's 2017, people! Your website matters. While an eye-catching, attention-grabbing website is important, it's not enough. It also needs to be fast, responsive, and easy to navigate. People are often researching jobs from a public WiFi network, or scrolling through opportunities on a mobile device. If your web pages take too long to load, or job seekers can't find the information they want fast enough, they are likely to just swipe left—and leave.

Tip: Make sure your website (including all career pages) is fast, responsive and mobile-ready.

3) Make the Application Easy to Find and Fill Out

There is nothing more frustrating to a potential employee than wanting to apply, but not being able to find the application. And yet many online job applications are buried under hard to find careers page or included as a link in the footer. In fact, 56 percent of Fortune 500 companies' application processes are not mobile-friendly; and the number is much higher for small businesses.

Tip: Don't make potential applicants play hide and seek. Ensure your online application is mobile-friendly and prominently displayed on your website.

4) Respond Quickly to Applicants

The HR black role isn't a myth. It's painfully real. After clicking submit on an online job application, more than half of applicants sit and wait like abandoned lovers waiting for the phone to ring. Many companies seem to have adopted the foolish practice of "ghosting" (or ignoring applicants) when it comes to dealing with potential candidates. When skills are in short supply and positions are increasingly difficult to fill, ghosting and black holes are talent pipeline killers.

Tip: Respond quickly and often to all interactions with online applicants (including a simple application submission or resume drop).

Photo: Creative Commons

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A New Poseidon Adventure: Flipping Succession Planning Upside Down

Publicación de blog

A New Poseidon Adventure: Flipping Succession Planning Upside Down

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Publicación de blog

The Hidden Costs of Ignoring Your Talent Management Strategy

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The Return of the Moderate Merit Budget – Wreaking Havoc on Pay for Performance

Publicación de blog

The Return of the Moderate Merit Budget – Wreaking Havoc on Pay for Performance

With the economy now on steadier ground, most organizations have returned to administering a merit budget to the pre-recession levels of 3 to 3.5%. In the years immediately following the economic downturn, many merit budgets were eliminated entirely or were reduced significantly and reserved for a select segment of the employee population. Pay for performance has become a necessity for many organizations that are expected to accomplish more with fewer resources. I often get asked: "How can I truly award my top performers with such a limited budget? Should I do so at the expense of my ’Meets Expectations’ performers? What if I need to retain my ’Meets Expectations’ performers and giving them 0% to 2% increase puts me at great risk for turnover? But if I don’t recognize my top performers, don’t I risk losing them...?" These are difficult questions to answer, however you can determine the best solution for your organization by considering the following: Are your employees paid at market pay levels? Is your organization’s performance management process mature? Does your organization have other compensation programs in place to reward top performers (e.g. variable pay)? Market Pay If turnover is a concern, and your organization needs to maintain ’bench strength’ in order to achieve its strategic objectives, your biggest priority should be to ensure that you are paying your employees at market pay levels. Why? Historically, as the labor market strengthens, organizations become vulnerable in terms of losing people. Hiring and onboarding replacement talent is not only costly to the organization, but can also cause dissension among existing employees since new hires may be getting paid more. Be sure to stay abreast of market pay levels and trends, and use the merit budget to correct disparities. Performance Management Process Organizations vary significantly in terms of the maturity of their performance management process. Closely examine your organization’s process and look for ways to improve it. If there is a perception that one management team is an ’easier grader’ than the others, the process is inherently flawed and any pay for performance program will not be viewed as credible and fair by employees. A good place to start is to get a calibration process in place and communicate broad guidelines on expected distribution ratings. Variable Pay Programs Variable pay programs (e.g. bonuses) have become increasingly more popular across all industries and career levels. These programs provide the opportunity for employees to share in the organization’s success while not adding to fixed payroll costs. Some plans have an individual performance component which can be a very effective means to recognize top performers. However, in order for this type of program to be successful, individual goals and targets must be well documented and communicated. Again, this is largely based on the maturity of the organization’s performance management process which takes time to evolve. What are the best steps to avoid wreaking havoc on your pay for performance process? First ensure your pay levels are keeping pace with the market Continue to evolve your performance programs with calibration among managers and a rigorous goal setting process Promote variable pay plans to reward high performers without adding to fixed pay roll costs It’s not always an easy journey but, in the end, it’s best to use a measured approach that is based on business needs and a realistic assessment of your current programs and processes.

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