Reducing friction in your hiring process can help you fill positions faster

By: Judy Kneiszel

Publication: Employee Relations Management Today

Date Posted: 03/18/2022

Friction is defined as resistance to motion.

Friction in the hiring process means job applicants are getting hung up somewhere, and in today’s candidate-driven environment, employers can’t afford any hang ups.

Eliminate the friction in your hiring process by making sure it’s easy for people who are interested in working for your organization to apply for positions. A time-consuming and overly complicated application process only serves to frustrate potential employees and may cause them to give up or take a job from a competitor with smoother process.

5 factors to consider if you want to reduce friction

  1. How can you help applicants save time? Figure out how long it’s taking applicants to submit an application. You could go through the process and time yourself. Determine if you are asking for information upfront that you don’t need until much later in the evaluation process.
  2. How can you make applying easier? It’s a pet peeve of job seekers that after uploading a resume, they must fill in an online form with the same information that’s on the resume.
  3. Is it easy to apply with a mobile device? Not everyone has access to a laptop; make sure applicants can easily read your information and apply using a smartphone. Test it out yourself.
  4. Are you providing timely updates? Do your applicants get status updates upon submission and then throughout the process without the need to type out each message?
  5. Are you following up? Don’t leave applicants hanging with questions, or without follow-ups about the status of their application. This can alienate candidates — and it may discourage them from applying again in the future.

Key to remember: If you’re not sure how much friction your job candidates are experiencing, ask people who were recently hired what was good and bad about their experience, from first learning of the job through onboarding. Also ask any great candidates who turned you down. They may have taken another offer because your process was too slow.

About the author
Judy Kneiszel - Human Resources Editor

Judy is an Associate Editor on the Human Resources Publishing Team and she specializes in issues such as recruiting and hiring, onboarding and training, employee communication and discipline, managing problems, team building, inclusion, employee retention, and labor relations

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