Secret Stats About Applicants to Inspire How You Hire

Updated on: 17. November 2023

Workers are moving between jobs more frequently than ever. LinkedIn data suggests people hold more jobs than they ever used to, while Gallup reveals more than half of employees are…

Workers are moving between jobs more frequently than ever. LinkedIn data suggests people hold more jobs than they ever used to, while Gallup reveals more than half of employees are actively or passively searching for a new job!

While it’s clear people are open to hearing about new opportunities, until now, little research has been conducted into how they feel about the application process. To get a glimpse into their mindset, we surveyed 3,500 applicants about their experiences. Here’s what we learned:

98% view applications as big opportunities

We are pleased that nearly all candidates have a hopeful attitude when it comes to applying for a job. Unfortunately for a lot of people, this positive mentality drop significantly throughout the process.

80% feel there’s a lot at stake

Most applicants believe they can’t afford to make mistakes in the application. An element of nerves is to be expected, but when people put high amounts of pressure on themselves, that’s when errors often happen. Remember this when you put people through their paces!

46% say applications ‘sap their strength’

Even if you don’t see your application process as emotionally taxing, almost half of applicants do. Meanwhile, 16% put them in the ‘annoying’ category. It’s understandable you need to get as much information from applicants as possible, but be careful not to bombard them and scare them off.

90% invest serious energy into applications

If you’ve ever sorted through a pile of CVs thinking people have hit ‘apply here’ with little consideration, have we got news for you! Just under 10% make applications ‘on the hoof’, while the rest admit they pour a lot of effort into them.

Applications put just 11% in a good mood

Most candidates don’t feel great while applying for jobs and admit to feeling judged throughout the process. If job seekers are completing your application feeling stressed (as 74% admit they do, to some extent) their view of your company might be soured in the long run.

24% feel they can’t show who they really are

Less than a quarter of applicants say they feel strongly about being able to show who they are in job applications, while more than a quarter struggle to do so at all. Do away with narrow-minded multiple choice questions and stubborn drop-down boxes which might force candidates to falsely identify themselves.

83% feel employers hold all the cards

Most applicants report feeling a lack of control when it comes to applying for a new job, while 38% feel the outcome frequently comes down to luck. It’s important to for SMEs to tailor communications to individual applicants so they understand their unique profile is what will sway your decision, not ‘luck of the draw’.

63% want you to sell to them

While applicants understand the need to impress potential employers, more than half feel that companies should sell to them as well! Candidates want to feel wanted and courted, just like employers want to be desired. After all, candidates have options too!

Creating a better candidate experience

Be mindful that job hunting can be a highly emotional experience. Use these insights to inspire a better candidate experience.

For more helpful data about applicants, check out our survey:
How Applicants Feel About the Application Process.

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