Any company that claims to care about people - whether it’s customers, employees or communities – should be paying attention to their candidate experience. The easiest place to start? Listening.

While that doesn’t sound like rocket science, it’s not exactly easy either. 

That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top candidate experience pain-points, as voiced by actual candidates. We’ve compiled these from our own research, as well as studies and surveys conducted by reputable sources in the industry, including The Talent Board (CandEs), LinkedIn, Talentegy and SHRM.

But wait, there’s more! 

For every challenge, we’ve also name-dropped a company doing a super-awesome job at addressing it. We know being presented with what is essentially a long list of problems to solve can be...overwhelming. It’s unlikely any of us could address every challenge immediately, but this way you can pick off one or two and check out how other companies are tackling them. 

Take away the buzzwords and an awesome candidate experience is ultimately about being more human 

As people-centred organisations, we should be conscious of how our recruiting processes support this truth: That every candidate is a human - worthy of our respect, compassion and kindness.

Sometimes that means getting them through fast - knocking them out as early as possible so they’re not wasting time languishing in a process that they’ll never succeed within. Maybe it means finding a way to deliver useful feedback at scale. It might even be looking for opportunities to build education steps into your experience so candidates can self-select out if it’s obvious they won’t be able to perform at their best with you. 

It can include simple changes that help create an inclusive, welcoming entry point - reviewing the language you use or the images on your career site. It might involve reviewing processes or implementing new tech.

Wherever you’re placed the same general rule applies: Improving candidate experience should start by listening to the feedback candidates are giving us.

So without further ado, here’s the hot-list: 

The most common candidate experience challenges for 2019

“Your career site doesn’t work properly on my mobile”

This is one of those embarrassing things that feels like it should be easy to fix, but gets held up by budgets and scheduling. We’ve all been there. Rebuilding a career site doesn’t need to be a pandora’s box situation. Web development has changed a lot in the last 10 years - simple sites that are easily evolved and amended are the new norm. More HRTech tools are improving their role in this too - with simpler integration processes and more customisable/better design job listing pages. 

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?


“Your application process is tooooo long”

See a job you could be interested in, jump on that apply now button, then spend the next 45mins filling out a standard form that doesn’t work properly on your phone. Then rinse and repeat an average of 200+ times. There’s definitely room for disruption here.

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?

Target Australia

“There are too many hurdles/why is applying here so hard?”

Asking a candidate to fill out that form, then upload the same info in resume form, then write a cover letter, then undergo skills testing - it’s a lot. Slimming those requirements down as much as possible, or spacing them out with great communication after each step goes a long way to improving this experience.

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?


“It feels weird giving you all this info about me when I don’t know anything about you”

I mean, this makes sense right? It’s a pretty one-sided relationship and to be honest, contradicts the “culture of transparency/people-first/respect” values we’re all busy weaving through our employer brand messaging. Be honest, let your candidates know what they’re walking into - the ones who will thrive in your environment will engage even harder, the ones who don’t connect with your values and purpose will self-select out before they’ve wasted anymore of their time (and yours). Win-win. 

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?


“What’s happening next? When will I hear back? Do I just wait forever?” 

The 2019 Talentegy report shows one of the biggest drivers of negative CX is “an overwhelming lack of communication after applying, with 63.2% of job seekers being dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied.”. No one likes being ghosted, right? It really is as simple as that.

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?


“This job description sucks!”

There are three common forms to this complaint:
a) Recruiters getting language wrong in a way that means the job description literally doesn’t make sense (eg. getting Java and Javascript muddled up), or
b) Including conflicting messages in the description and criteria (eg. “entry level” positions that also require tertiary education and years of experience), or
c) Lots of words, no actual information. Especially when it comes to salary information and specific tasks/responsibilities the role includes.
At the end of the day, SHRM research shows only 50 percent of candidates find job descriptions to be valuable, down from 55 percent of candidates in 2017 and 77 percent in 2014. That’s an alarming statistic, if not a surprising one. 

Who’s doing a great job of fixing this?

Basecamp or Lever

If your experience could use a little attention, Weirdly's custom assessments make it easy to engage, educate and connect with your candidates while gathering your own candidate experience metrics.