Research from PageUp reveals strategies business leaders can implement to crack the code on talent attraction. PageUp surveyed 185,000 applicants worldwide to understand what really matters in the hiring process. The findings give leaders valuable insights on how to secure talent in the face of ongoing talent shortages.
“This research shows that candidate experience is more crucial than ever. With global unemployment still sitting below long-term trends, companies are struggling to attract the right candidates — and it’s putting huge pressure on productivity,” says PageUp Group CEO, Mark Rice.
“To support long-term, sustainable organisational resilience, it’s vital for companies to reflect and take action to close the gap between what candidates expect from a hiring process, and what they’re getting.”
The research follows the jobseeker journey through three key stages — pre-application, job search and application — to show what impacts the candidate experience at each stage.
The findings highlight the significant impact technology, transparency and data have on optimising the applicant journey, and shows the value for companies invested in giving candidates a stand-out experience.
“We found that 32% of applications are submitted via a mobile device, a number that continues to grow each year,” says Rebecca Skilbeck, Head of Customer Insights and Market Research at PageUp.
“Technology has a huge role to play when it comes to scalability, streamlining processes, accessibility and guiding candidates on their journey. But, while the right tech makes a huge difference, it’s not solely about the platforms —it’s also about how companies choose to use them. To today’s jobseekers, information is key.”
Of the surveyed applicants, 80% expressed that it was important to have access to critical information before deciding to pursue a role —but only 36% were satisfied they had access to the information they needed. With 64% of jobseekers beginning their search on the careers site, this presents an opportunity for organisations to showcase their employer brand, provide jobseekers with critical information, and optimise this channel to increase applications.
When it comes to job ads, jobseekers wanted clarity and transparency: clear job titles and descriptions, a defined salary range, eligibility requirements and required documentation were the most frequently requested elements.
At the application stage, the findings indicated that question type had a much larger impact on experience —positive or negative —than factors like application form length.
Questions asked without context, or questions jobseekers felt were ‘intrusive’ or ‘invasive’ had a strong negative impact on experience, whereas applicants praised companies who opted for clear, direct and relevant questions.
“Many organisations believe the candidate experience starts once a jobseeker has submitted an application. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our aim with this research is to provide a comprehensive view of what can go right — and wrong — at the start of the hiring process, before you even see a candidate: from initial interest, through job search to submitted application,” Rebecca adds.
“In what feels like a tumultuous talent market, this report gives business leaders tangible, actionable data —things within their control —that they can use to their advantage. This is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’: it’s the only way to win the best talent.”