What do candidates expect in today's recruitment marketplace?

Posted on 13 Nov 2023
What do candidates expect in today's recruitment marketplace?

Cronofy has produced its third annual Candidate Expectations report. 6,500 candidates across the globe have been surveyed to understand their preferences and frustrations with the hiring journey.

The findings are crucial in understanding what the candidate wants and expects from the hiring process.

Key findings

  • 40% would expect it to take no longer than 6 days after applying for a job to arrange an interview – up from 30.5% in 2021 and 33% in 2022.
  • Responsiveness during the hiring process is most important for UK (52%) candidates – up from UK (43%) in 2021; and UK (40%) in 2022.
  • 41% say lack of communication is the most frustrating part of the recruitment process – up from 24.75% in 2021 and 36% in 2022.

Shortening attention spans

  • 49% left the recruitment process when it took too long to schedule an interview, compared to 38% last year.
  • 72% say the smoothness of an interview process would affect their final decision on whether or not to take the job, particularly those who work in finance (78%).
  • 14% of people working in IT would disengage from an interview scheduling process if it took longer than 2 days.

Everything now

  • 81% of senior candidates would wait no longer than a week to schedule an interview.

The human touch

  • 29% of UK candidates say that human touch is the most important factor during the recruitment process.

Culture vultures

  • 73% of candidates in the 18-34 age bracket say the experience of scheduling an interview affects their perception of an employer, compared with 65% in the 35-54 age bracket and 60% in the 55+ age bracket.
  • 57% of respondents in the 18-34 age bracket said they would be less likely to recommend or engage with an employer in future if their interview scheduling process was slow.
  • Nearly a third said a slow interview process would make them believe that the employer doesn’t care about their candidates and that they had an insufficient HR function/team.

Personalisation is key

  • 66% agree there should be more focus on the candidate rather than the company.

Heightened expectations

  • 70% of respondents in the UK agree that the switch to a more virtual world during the pandemic has led them to expect more from business technology throughout the hiring process.

The report's key takeaways...

Recruiters need to be fast – speed is everything in a time of growing impatience and decreasing attention spans, largely due to the technological age and social media

  • Candidates want to be bought into your brand and company culture, especially the younger generation – the interview scheduling process is a reflection of your whole company.
  • Stress and anxiety are rising, especially among the younger generations and women – a slow or haphazard hiring process can amplify these negative emotions and lose you talent
  • The recruitment industry is highly competitive and the way to get ahead is to move quickly. 
  • Although there is a lot of helpful technology for recruiters to use, they should never sacrifice human connection
  • It’s about making the process as smooth and fast as possible while showing consideration for the candidate.
  • Personalisation is key – people want to feel individual in a time of generative AI.

If you'd like to read more, you can access the full report by clicking here.

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