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Job Board Journal: What Candidates Want Part 2

A weekly column covering the art and science of job boards & other online recruitment advertising solutions by TAtech CGO Stephen O’Donnell.

For the past 22 years I have nurtured a fascination with job boards. This fascination has manifest itself in the form of the National Online Recruitment Awards, where we identify and celebrate the very in the job board sector in the UK.

In my capacity as founder of the awards, and chair of the judging panel, I reckon I am the busiest jobseeker in the country – I’ll register with over 500 recruitment websites each year, search for jobs, and go through the application process.

In the nomination process for the NORAs, we also ask jobseekers for their feedback on what their preferences are, and often they volunteer their dislikes too. Whilst not a scientific survey, it is always illuminating to absorb this information.

So What Do Candidates Want?

• No black hole – they want to know the apply process before they apply – length of time, number of steps, interviews, assessments, calls etc. Visibility of the process is crucial.

• Rejection feedback is not as important as you think. Candidates prefer a fast rejection over a detailed reason why they were unsuccessful.

• Applicants want more live information on the status of the job being advertised.
o “How many candidates have applied for this job?
o Candidates who applied for this job also applied for that job.
o People who worked at your company then went on to work for these companies.
o People who studied the same degree course as you, and worked at your company then went to work for these companies.”

• Enable candidates to filter search results by employers and agencies. Additionally, filtering by fixed, hybrid, or remote location is essential. Vercida in the UK, provides a great example of more advanced search filtering, and catering to the needs of jobseekers.

• It shouldn’t need stating, but jobseekers will steer well clear of job adverts with no salary details displayed. Job boards can influence the behaviours of recruiters by demoting salary-less job ads to the bottom of search results.

• Inform candidates of precisely who has viewed their CV.

• Interact with candidates more:
o Flag when they include details on their CV which are a security risk, like a passport number, driving licence number, NI number, DOB etc
o Provide candidates with real-time insights to their sectors (niche job boards do this)
o Link to employer’s/ recruiter’s profile on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, YouTube, or insist on a detailed profile.

We all know that job volumes are dropping, programmatic platforms are seeking out previously undiscovered candidates, and the lemon is being squeezed tighter than before. However, before squeezing even tighter, remember that jobseekers / candidates / applicants have higher expectations than ever, and are much more likely to reject job boards and job adverts which do not cater to their needs.

This post is part 2 of a 2-part series. Click here to read part 1.

Stephen O’Donnell is the Chief Growth Officer of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions and the founder of the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORAs), which celebrate the best of the job board sector in the UK.