The “Resume Black Hole” is Not a Myth
Since the economy bottomed out in 2008, the “resume black hole” has gained folk lore status, cropping up in the national employment conversation like clockwork every few months. And while employers would prefer to believe it’s a myth, a recent survey of over 2,500 job seekers conducted by our team at Seven Step RPO proved otherwise.
The “resume black hole” is real – and employers’ broken job application processes are to blame.
When asked about their latest experience applying for a job via a prospective employers’ website, one quarter of candidates reported that they’d never received employer acknowledgement of their application. Only one-third recalled being asked to join a prospective employer’s talent community for future job alerts, company news, and other updates. And nearly half (41.8 percent) reported looking for a direct HR contact, even after applying for a job online.
While none of these findings are overly surprising, what is surprising is how often companies abandon obvious logic in building their online application processes. As a result, companies lose qualified candidates every day and suffer the eventual degradation of their employment brands. There are universal best practices that must be followed, regardless of the age, income-level or location of a candidate. Still, careless mistakes are made again and again. Below are a few of the most common:
A lengthy process
The best online applications take under five minutes to complete. Consider the minimum level of information you need from a candidate in the screening phase and ask for just that– don’t get greedy. Also, invest in the technical resources needed to develop an intuitive, world-class user interface.
Your application confirmation email and confirmation page need to be more than a mere auto-reply to candidates that you’ve received their resume. Use this message to provide very clear next steps, to continue selling the company culture and to promote the company's social talent communities and additional jobs that may interest the candidate.
Activate the advanced features of your ATS. Most ATS platforms allow for "social applies," which allow candidates to pre-populate information from an array of social media channels. Almost all ATS communication platforms also provide for graphically rich and dynamic communication.
Download our Talent Acquisition Survey for an overview of job seeker preferences and more careless mistakes to avoid in your automated application process.
Paul Harty is President of Seven Step RPO, having previously served as VP of Solutions Delivery. He has more than 20 years experience in operations and client management, with expertise in client relationship development, team building, process design and optimization, sourcing strategy, recruitment tools and operational delivery. Prior to his work at Seven Step, he served with the firm's holding company, Motion Recruitment Partners, in the positions of Division Manager, Regional Director, and Vice President. Paul is a graduate of Plymouth State University and lives near Boston.