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When it comes to the early stages of acquiring talent most companies have it WRONG. Most companies are using outdated technology, and more importantly outdated methods to actively engage with job candidates. Today’s candidates expect more from companies and those companies that are on the forefront of using new recruiting techniques will win the continuing war for talent.

As part of a large research project, AlignMark assessed and evaluated over 100 online applications from well-known companies across a variety of industries. This is the first installment of our findings.

Company Online Applications

Most businesses have implemented at least an online application process (96%). However there are still 4% of businesses which had no online process at all, and a much greater number of business (36%) that had an online process for only “higher level” jobs (e.g., management and above). In fact, the majority of companies in the retail industry still require candidates at the associate level to simply “show up” at the store to talk with a manager.

Job Seekers Expectations

Today’s job seekers (especially passive ones) are looking for an experience where they can learn about the company and job opportunities without having to invest too much time and without having to share personal information upfront. Over 95% of the businesses with an online process required the candidate to “register” before actually starting the application process. While information is included in a careers page most passive job seekers do not want to “register” first, they’d rather learn first and make an educated decision on whether it’s worth going further or not.

Engaging Job Seekers with Multi-Media

Obviously companies are beginning to understand that video and audio are more engaging formats vs. reading rows of text on a web site. Multi-Media assets play a large role in application appeal yet only 36% of companies included any use of audio or video. Of the 36%, only 27% of those included multi-media assets into their actual application process (used in the assessment process); the other 73% only included a branding video on their career tab.

Interactivity is Key

While the use of video is growing the interactivity of the process is non-existent. 99% of companies have not designed their application to interact and respond to what the job seeker actually wants to learn about. If you’re wondering how this can be done the answer is simple, ASK THEM. Based on questions of the job seeker the message back to them should be tailored to their responses. Give them the information they want to hear. Right now companies are treating the application process as “the same shoe fits all.”