Getting job postings in front of the most qualified talent is only the beginning. Even if the jobs offer in-demand benefits like flexibility and professional development, candidates may not even start, let alone finish, an application if they run into any challenges or frustrations along the way.

Here are a few ways to encourage the best candidates to move through the hiring process.

More information upfront

Before diving into the application process, candidates need to know if applying is worth their time. They don’t want to find out later in the process that the position doesn’t meet their salary and scheduling expectations. They also need to be able to gauge whether or not the job is a good fit for their skills and experiences.

Including salary and shift information upfront, as well as what kind of flexibility the job offers, will help candidates make a quick decision to either learn more about the job and apply or move on. In addition, job descriptions that are outcome-based, rather than task-based, can help candidates determine whether or not they can succeed in the role. 

Candidates might also benefit from automated solutions like chatbots to quickly answer any additional questions about the position and application process.

A faster, easier application process

Most job seekers aren’t applying to just one job — they’re searching far and wide for the perfect match. So they don’t want to get bogged down with an intensive application process. A long, complicated process might even scare them away completely — 60% of candidates abandon these applications.

While it’s important to thoroughly vet candidates and filter out those who aren’t a good fit, a simpler application ensures the most highly-qualified candidates will hang in there till the end. 

And mobile-friendly applications are a must. About 61% of job seekers filled out applications through a mobile device in 2020, compared to only 39% from a desktop.   

Communication and feedback

Whether or not they get the job, candidates want to receive timely updates on their application status.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for employers to leave job applicants hanging — 90% of candidates said they’ve been ghosted when applying for jobs. And two-thirds of job seekers say that applying to many jobs but receiving little to no feedback has caused “application fatigue.” 

Putting all that effort into job applications only to be left unaware of the result can discourage job seekers from continuing their search. That’s why it’s critical to keep candidates informed at every stage of the hiring process — from confirming receipt of their application to the decision to (or not to) hire them. 

But while it might be tempting to just send out an automated rejection email to all the candidates that didn’t make the cut, job seekers will appreciate a more personal response, particularly candidates who made it further along in the hiring process. It might be worth taking a few minutes to discuss their current strengths, what qualities would’ve made them a better fit for the position, and where they might improve their resume or interview skills. (This is also an excellent opportunity to collect feedback from candidates on what they liked and disliked about the application process.)

A smooth application process and good communication will leave job seekers with a positive impression of the company. Even if they don’t get the job, they could become future clients or customers, and they’ll be more likely to recommend the company to their contacts.