I went to the CIPD event in Manchester at the end of 2014 and I found it incredibly interesting. As well as the main conference, there were some fantastic presentations in the exhibition hall. As I look after Chiumento’s HR recruitment practice, I was of course particularly interested in those focusing on recruitment. The presentation that I found most useful was by Rob Williams who works for Indeed. As well as being a seemingly very nice chap, I thought that his session was the best 30 minutes that I spent whilst in Manchester.

As a recruiter, I do sometimes take the view that a couple of hurdles thrown into the recruitment process can help separate the wheat from the chaff. If someone really wants the job, they will go to great lengths to apply and ultimately we will end up with candidates that are committed and keen to do the role. Mr Williams claims otherwise with the view that the best talent will take the path of least resistance when applying for a new role. I am inclined to agree with him.

A year or two ago when opportunities in HR were dwindling, candidates certainly would go to greater lengths to apply to your roles. They would toil with the most clunky applicant tracking systems going and fill out the longest application forms known to man. That just simply isn’t the case any longer. A better economy with growing businesses that need more bright HR people means there are more jobs and a greater demand for good HR candidates. Who will the best talent apply to first? The organisations that have the best candidate experience or the ones that make it difficult to apply?

Increasingly we live in a mobile age and Rob made this point beautifully by highlighting how we shop, find dates and trawl the housing market all on our mobile phones or tablets. Finding a new job is no different and if your application process is not mobile friendly, you could be alienating a massive portion of the talent pool that you are seeking to attract.

Filling out long application forms becomes twice as hard when you start doing it on a mobile phone. Many candidate management systems will ask for candidates to upload a photo when you click the ‘upload CV’ button rather than a word document, which, as we know, are not easy to manage on mobile phones. If your candidate has to fire up their PC later to make an application then there is a good chance that they won’t apply at all.

As a result of this session, I am going to carry out a review of Chiumento’s own application process via mobile platforms. This will play a key part in the selection of a new applicant tracking system this year. We want to make sure that we give our candidates a great experience and that includes making it easy for them to apply. As a recruitment business, we often want to capture as much information from candidates as possible as it helps make it easier to search our database when we have new roles. The fact is that long application forms do put candidates off which, is why we decided years ago to keep ours short and sweet.

We would love to hear your views on what makes an application process a relatively painless experience. Have you applied to roles using your phone? Have you reviewed recruitment processes to improve the mobile experience? What changes did you make?

Tom Gale

Head of HR Solutions

Chiumento Recruitment Solutions

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