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Half of Businesses are Ghosting their Job Applicants

Half of Businesses are Ghosting their Job Applicants
14 March 2023 Samantha Anderson

New research of 100 companies across nine industries uncovers the real ‘candidate experience’ for jobseekers.

  • The average time to apply for a job is four minutes 42 seconds
  • 95% of job adverts do not disclose any form of salary information
  • One quarter of organisations do not confirm receipt of application upon submission

Nearly a third of job applications in the UK do not ask any questions about diversity, according to new research from global provider of workforce and advisory solutions, Resource Solutions.

The study, which audited over 100 companies across nine industries to uncover barriers facing today’s job applicants, also revealed a quarter of organisations do not confirm receipt of application upon submission. And just 6% of companies requested feedback on the application process.

Meanwhile, just 3% of roles were transparent in terms of salary, benefits, and work patterns such as hybrid and remote working arrangements. Of those audited, Monzo, BAE Systems, and Heineken Holdings were the most transparent in these areas.

The findings also uncovered that in the initial stage, candidates must allow four minutes and 42 seconds to complete an online job application – or the equivalent of 40 clicks.

Roles in financial services and consulting have the longest application time of around six minutes, compared to just one minute 24 seconds for jobs in fintech, or nearly four times as long.

Sum Up and Revolut are ahead of the game in redefining and improving the candidate journey, requiring only 45 and 52 seconds respectively to apply for a role – and only six mandatory fields for both.

A staggering 76% of online job applications require candidates to create a new user account, and complete 24 mandatory fields with personal information. This results on average in double the application time.

James Atchison-Wootton, Practice Lead, RSConsultancy, Resource Solutions, said: “There is no denying that if a company’s application process is unnecessarily time-consuming, prospective candidates will lose interest and look elsewhere. By making the application process more efficient and user-friendly, including for neurodiverse candidates, organisations can improve the candidate experience and attract top talent.”

“The majority of companies we audited ask candidates to provide a lot of personal information, without offering much transparency about the role being advertised in return,”

Atchison-Wootton added. “In fact, 39% of the job adverts we reviewed did not specify whether the role was hybrid, on-site, or completely remote. Companies that are not transparent right from the start risk seeing candidates drop out mid-process if the compensation packages don’t align with expectations.”

Although 85% of companies provided a confirmation of receipt via email or text, nearly half (44%) of organisations did not provide candidates with any definitive response within four weeks of receiving their application. Insurance companies were shown to be the most responsive, with 70% of those audited informing candidates within the month whether or not they would be called in for an interview.

Atchison-Wootton said: “In the midst of a severe skills shortage, power dynamics in the job market have shifted in favour of candidates – yet businesses behave as if the roles are still reversed. Our research found that only 6% of organisations requested proactive feedback about the customer application experience they provided, meaning most companies are missing a trick to improve their talent acquisition success rate. In everyday life, we use feedback to improve and refine the services and products we come into contact with, and it should be no different in recruitment. Businesses must avoid ‘ghosting’ candidates at all costs, and instead ensure candidates are kept informed every step of the way, ideally directly from a recruiter rather than a no-reply email address.”

The Candidate Experience Audit is a comprehensive end-to-end analysis of the recruitment journey through the lens of the candidate.

Experienced Innovation, Brand and CX Practitioners analyse nine different stages of the recruitment journey through a candidate experience ecosystem, consisting of three main pillars, four driving factors, and a proven framework that look at over 162 data points.

The result is a personalised toolkit of strengths, opportunities, and recommendations for organisations to reflect and implement.

For more information, download the full ‘CX Application’ report here.


Methodology – The ‘Candidate Experience’ Audit
To conduct the research, RSConsultancy reviewed 100 companies across Aerospace, Consulting, Financial Services, Fintech, FMCG, Insurance, Pharma, Technology and Telecommunications between November and December 2022. For each company, RSConsultancy applied to one professional job vacancy advertised directly on the company’s careers website at Senior Manager/Director level.

About RSConsultancy
RSConsultancy is a team of experienced recruitment professionals with specialist innovation consultancy skills; part of a pioneering workstream within Resource Solutions that disrupt, inform and lead on the major challenges of today and tomorrow clients in the field of recruitment are faced with.

About Resource Solutions
Resource Solutions is a leading provider of workforce and advisory solutions, managing a recruitment budget of over £2 billion on behalf of our clients since 1997, as part of the Robert Walters Group.

Resource Solutions’ comprehensive suite of tailored services serves clients across various sectors and industries such as Professional and Financial Services, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and FMCG.

Pioneers in the development of outsourced recruitment, Resource Solutions has a global footprint across 70 countries, working in close partnership with organisations managing talent acquisition for global brands with demanding resourcing strategies to single sites with specialist recruitment needs.