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Complex hiring processes deter 70% of Australian job seekers

New research from Humanforce has revealed that almost 70% of Australian workers are abandoning job applications due to complicated and confusing recruitment processes. This trend poses a significant issue for employers in the current highly competitive job market.

With the Australian unemployment rate standing at a low of 4.1%, job seekers are scrutinising the recruitment processes of organisations more than ever. Frontline workforces, such as healthcare, aged care, childcare, retail, and hospitality, have faced increased pressures over the past three years and continue to experience staff shortages. The Australian Government’s latest ‘Skills Shortage Quarterly’ report confirmed ongoing occupation shortages, particularly in healthcare, which has a job fill rate of just 56%, and hospitality, which has seen its job fill rate decline to below 60%.

“With the job market being so competitive, employers really need to nail that first impression. The hiring process can make or break whether someone even applies, let alone wants to work for a company. If a business isn’t hitting the mark in every step of the recruitment journey, they’re going to have a tough time snagging top talent,” said Holly Barnes, Chief People Officer of Humanforce.

Humanforce’s recent survey highlighted that clear communication is of utmost importance to Australian workers, with 94% of respondents ranking it as the most critical element of the recruitment process. Many respondents identified complex instructions and unclear requirements as significant pain points, with 69% attributing these issues to their decision to abandon job applications. Around 50% of survey participants also expressed frustration over inadequate communication from employers during the recruitment process.

Lengthy and confusing hiring processes have been shown to be a substantial barrier to attracting new talent. The survey indicated that 87% of respondents were unlikely to accept a job offer from an organisation that utilised such a process. Additionally, a lack of transparency around the recruitment timeline led 28% of Australian workers to abandon applications.

The survey also underscored the broader implications of a complicated recruitment process, with 95% of respondents believing that a company’s hiring process reflects its actual work culture. “How a company handles its hiring process can give you a sneak peek into its culture. If it’s all confusing and complicated, or arduous for candidates, they’re going to think, ‘Is this what working here will be like?’ And ultimately that could sway their decision to take the job,” added Barnes.

She further explained, “These days, people want jobs that fit into their lives. Flexibility is a big factor. If a company’s making you jump through hoops just to apply, it’s really sending the message that maybe it’s not the easiest or most flexible place to work.