Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

What Have Candidates Told You About Their Greatest Frustrations?


Employees are usually the best advert for your company. You want them to stay with you as long as possible and tell everyone what a fab company it is to work. But before they become your employee, you need to make sure their experience as a candidate when applying for a role is also second to none.

This week our panel of experts share some of their first-hand experiences from some candidates who weren’t given the best impression of the company they were applying for a job with.

Katrina Kibben

10000% of the time, it’s the black hole. They don’t understand how, after spending hours applying, the company could just not respond or send some form letter. There’s no hope in the application and it frustrates people.

Katrina Kibben is the CEO and Principal Consultant at Three Ears Media.

Kevin Grossman

The biggest frustrations include never hearing back from an employer and their time being disrespected during appointments and interviews.  In fact, well over 50 percent of candidates in our 2017 North American and EMEA research had still not heard back from the employers they had applied to over 3 months earlier. And the biggest reason for candidates who rated their experience overall a very poor 1-star experience (on a 1-5 Likert scale) to withdrawal from the recruiting process because their time was disrespected, at nearly 50 percent.

Kevin Grossman is President of Global Programs at The Talent Board.

Lori Sylvia

My husband changed jobs last year, and watching his candidate experience was painful. The poor guy was so frustrated by the lack of communications or sometimes ridiculous communications, and the clunky career sites with links that didn’t work and the lengthy applications that sometimes wouldn’t save his information after he spent way too long filling it out. I felt so bad for him and kept saying “I know, I know” and was compelled to apologize on behalf of all TA everywhere. Customer Experience expert Jeanne Bliss was spot-on in her RallyFwd keynote presentation when she said that we should all be asking, “Would you do that to your mother?”

Lori Sylvia is the Founder and CEO of Rally Recruitment Marketing.

Manuel Heichlinger

I’d point out to two things here. Firstly, I’d say by far the biggest frustration for candidates is when they are left waiting for days, sometimes weeks, on end without hearing an update from the hiring manager or recruiter. Of course, this can happen due to multiple reasons and it is impossible to keep every candidate continuously updated on where they stand in the interview process at every step of the way, but if they are left too long without any news, it can cause them to drop out of the process or accept another offer. Another frustration many candidates have is the lack of constructive feedback they receive at the end of a recruitment process and often after several interview rounds. Companies who do not use this opportunity to help applicants learn from the interview experience are really missing a trick.

Manuel Heichlinger is LinkedIn’s Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition.

Jeanette Maister

Candidates hate slow response times and never knowing where their application stands, especially when the application itself requires heavy time commitments. For many candidates, you aren’t the only choice for employment, so response time is crucial to getting the people you want. Let your applicants know where they stand and keep them in the loop whether you do it manually or use automation to achieve this. Constant connection helps bond them to the company and may drive them to work for you.

Jeanette Maister, is Head of Americas at Oleeo (formerly WCN).

Josh Tolan

The main frustrations that I’ve heard candidates speak about are:

• Undefined hiring process timelines
• Slow hiring processes
• No expectation on when/if they will hear back from the company
• Unstructured and disorganized interview experiences

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Sparkhire.

Aida Fazylova

Recruitment teams face dynamic challenges when it comes to candidate engagement. Around 60% of job seekers quit an online application due to its complexity and time restraints. Of candidates who finish the application, 65% of them say they never receive feedback from the employer after submission.

Aida Fazylova, CEO and Founder, of

Benjamin Gledhill

Probably a few things. The first being the shocking state of most careers websites; impossible to navigate and find the information you want. Secondly, a lack of communications following your application, also known as the “Black Hole”. Finally, ancient and out of date assessment techniques that have no relevance to the role you are applying for.


Benjamin Gledhill is the Head of Resourcing at Yodel.


Jill Shabelman

One of the common frustrations candidates seem to share across the recruiting industry is the lack of communication and transparency in the job search. Hiring teams who are able to put themselves in their candidates’ shoes, recognize the stress that is associated with the “waiting to hear back” phase, and proactively communicate next steps will go a long way in building a culture where people will want to work.

Jill Shabelman is the Employer Brand & Marketing Manager at Deloitte Services LP.

Chris Murdock

Candidates hate being ghosted. Candidates have used the term black hole to describe the process of applying online. The lack of timely feedback or just complete lack of feedback is a huge problem.


Chris Murdock is Senior Partner and Co-Founder at IQTalent Partners.

By Ushma Mistry

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