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How Employers Chase Candidates Away

By Bonnie Johnson,



Employers certainly want to create a welcoming environment for candidates. But is it possible that an organization’s recruiting behavior and reputation actually discourages job seekers from applying? Absolutely.

What deters candidates from a potential employer? surveyed job seekers in the Candidate Experience Survey. Recruiting top talent depends heavily on an employer’s candidate experience – how employers treat the job seeker throughout the hiring cycle.

How an applicant perceives their treatment can impact their likelihood to accept the offer, stay on-the-job, and what they communicate to others about an organization. Word-of-mouth is a powerful recruitment tool and candidates WILL tell others! Even if an applicant doesn’t receive an offer this time, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be the perfect fit for a different opening soon or a future job after further training and/or experience.

We asked candidates about the most discouraging aspects of the application process. Following are their top 5:

  1. No Response from Employers: Lack of response was the most discouraging aspect to candidates. Unfortunately, one-third of respondents said they “rarely” or “never” heard back from employers with confirmation of their application receipt.
  2. Missing Compensation: The next indiscretion noted by 28% of respondents was “no salary included” in the job description. Respondents said that salary was one of the most important aspects included in a job posting. A blank salary field may decrease a job posting’s performance.
  3. Length/Complexity:  The difficulty and extended time to apply followed closely as another discouraging aspect for 27% of respondents. Candidates also noted that employers’ requests for redundant information contributed to this irritation.
  4. Multiple Processes: Some candidates experienced frustration with job postings that directed them to another site/system to apply, which also can relate to the length and complexity of the process. Job seekers 40-plus years of age were generally more discouraged by this.
  5. Short/Non-Descriptive: Candidates want to know more! Even though they want a smooth, quick application process, they are quickly discouraged by short job descriptions and job postings that were non-descriptive. The description must accurately reflect the position and properly align with the actual job.


How do you know if your organization is chasing candidates away? Here are some tell-tale symptoms:


  • Not enough applications
  • Right talent isn’t applying
  • High candidate drop-off
  • Low offer acceptance rate
  • High turnover



To learn more about candidate experience and how organizations can improve, download your free copy of the full 2018 Candidate Experience Survey Results & Analysis.