Top Takeaways from the 2014 Jibe Talent Acquisition Survey

As a talent acquisition professional, would it concern you to find out that 19% of job seekers would rather spend an entire day at the DMV than go through the frustrations associated with applying for a job online? How about 22% saying they’d rather speak in front of 100 strangers? Or 12% saying they’d rather get a root canal or go skydiving without any training? Those are some pretty damning data points about the level of frustration associated with the job application process today, but that’s exactly what we found out from the results of the 2014 Jibe Talent Acquisition Survey.  

For the second straight year, Jibe partnered with independent research firm Kelton Global to survey more than 1,200 job seekers and over 300 corporate HR and recruitment professionals about the state of talent acquisition today. We encourage you to download a copy of the survey results today to learn more, but have summarized some of the top takeaways below. The survey details many of the frustrations encountered by job seekers today, as well as outlining some of the challenges faced by recruitment professionals.

The bottom line? Candidate experience is more crucial than ever, and much more needs to be done to improve it. If not, employers risk not only losing out on attracting top talent, but also damaging their corporate brand and bottom line. Let’s take a look at some of the details.

Job Seekers are frustrated
It probably comes as little surprise that candidates today are disheartened by many elements of their job search, but the level of dissatisfaction with the online application process is striking.

  • A majority of job seekers describe their search as time-consuming (80%), stressful (78%), discouraging (71%), and even painful (60%). 
  • Three in five job seekers feel that job applications are more challenging to fill out than other common types of applications, including those required to apply for a mortgage (48%), get health insurance (46%), or a student loan (32%).
  • Amazingly, 19% of respondents said they would rather spend a day (a full day!) in line at the DMV than go through the pain of applying for a job online, while 12% would rather get a root canal or go skydiving without training. 

Job Seeker expectations do not match reality
Some might argue that today’s job seekers expect too much from employers, but our survey reveals that even the most basic expectations are not being met.

  • A majority of job seekers (51%) expect to be informed by the hiring company about the status of their application, but only 14% say they actually are. 
  • Six in ten (60%) job seekers generally expect companies to reply to applicants in a timely manner, yet just 20% feel most companies do.
  • And while 51% of job seekers expect clear communication from employers about the application process, only 24% report that they receive this.

Recruiting Professionals get it. To a degree.
The good news for job seekers is that those working in HR and talent acquisition recognize that there is a problem, though just how deep the frustrations are may not be fully realized.

  • Most practitioners report that it is extremely important for candidates to feel their application process is clear (69%), user-friendly (64%) and easy (56%). Yet most admit that if they were applying for a job at their company today, it’s unlikely they could describe the experience in those terms. 
  • More than half (54%) of professionals surveyed agree that candidate experience is important to their hiring practices, but almost four in ten (36%) report that improving the candidate experience is one of their greatest challenges.
  • Nearly two in five feel it’s hard to keep candidates engaged throughout the application process (35%) and communicate effectively with them at each step (34%).

Recruiting Professionals are frustrated as well
That last point about the difficulties associated with candidate engagement is particularly alarming considering the preponderance of tools and channels available today designed to enable constant connectivity across just about every aspect of our lives. Perhaps that’s why talent acquisition pros themselves expressed frustration about the tools currently available to them. 

  • A majority of professionals reported that the tools they use today are not intuitive (65%), not easy to customize (59%), and don’t save them time (53%) or money (58%).
  • Nearly three in ten (27%) say that the tools they currently have right actually get in the way of their ability to do their jobs instead of making them better at what they do.
  • Almost two in three (64%) express some dissatisfaction with or plans to replace their current applicant tracking system (ATS).


The negative impact of a poor candidate experience is substantial and far-reaching
And this is why there continues to be such a focus on improving candidate experience across the talent acquisition landscape. The impact of not doing so is very real, and potentially very severe.  

  • Thirty-seven percent of recruitment professionals are concerned that their company’s application process is deterring quality hires.
  • That concern is legit as almost a quarter (23%) of job seekers agree that if they had issues filling out an online application, they’d never apply at that company again. And nearly half (44%) say they would put off or not apply at all if encountering an outdated online application process.
  • One quarter (25 percent) of talent acquisition practitioners think that this limitation might even prevent consumers from buying products or services from that company.

For much, much more, get your copy of the 2014 Jibe Talent Acquisition Survey today. And stay tuned to the Jibe Blog in the weeks ahead for additional analysis of the survey results, including a deep dive into respondent perspectives on mobile recruiting and analytics.

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