Many job seekers drop out during the application process. There are many reasons for this. A study identifies the main reasons.

The shortage of skilled workers in Germany will continue to grow: At 67 percent, two out of three HR decision-makers expect the situation to worsen in the coming year. This is the result of a Forsa study commissioned by Onlyfy by Xing, a subsidiary of New Work SE.

The survey was conducted by telephone in Germany among a total of 500 HR managers in companies with 50 or more employees. The concern is particularly pronounced in companies with more than 250 employees. 78 percent of respondents were concerned about gaps in skilled labor.

Talent bounces and withdraws during the application process

However, another finding of the study is interesting in this context: In 2022, almost all HR decision-makers had the experience that talent had left them during the application process.

Specifically, 90 percent of HR managers say that applicants have dropped out during the ongoing application process. At 37 percent, almost one in three HR managers confirmed that candidates had dropped out occasionally in the last twelve months, and 24 percent of respondents said this had even happened frequently to very frequently.

“The balance of power in the labor market has shifted. Companies no longer hold the trump cards. Today, companies apply to talents, not talents for jobs,” says Frank Hassler, board member of New Work SE. The employer market is becoming the employee market.

Optimize the application process, relieve HR managers

Companies now have little room for error and should take a very close look at how they are setting up their recruiting strategically and in line with the times. The reasons for the rejections are diverse and range from a better offer from the competition to a lack of flexibility on the part of the employer to procedural reasons, such as an application process that is perceived as too time-consuming.

Another factor that is not an advantage is that a large proportion of HR managers (over 60 percent) must spend their time on administrative tasks such as payroll and the organization and coordination of application processes.

“Many HR departments today are overburdened by administrative time-wasters. Companies should take intelligent approaches here and find solutions to better relieve the burden on their managers,” Frank Hassler continues.

In South Africa we have seen a number of reasons why we have not been able to take candidates all the way from submission to successful placement. A reason that keeps coming up is that companies believe still that they are in the driving seat and can determine when they can interview, sometimes at short notice. Many skilled applicants are not really in need of a new job, just curious to see what is out there and if there is a better match. Companies looking for really skilled and hard working staff need to sell themselves to the candidates and try and be accommodating of their schedule. What we have also seen is that many candidates lose interest if scheduled interviews get postponed for whatever reason from the company. Many of the candidates we asked believed that this is a sign that the company is not serious.

Of course it is a balancing act between the applicant, hiring manager and interview committee, but from experience it has shown that interviews scheduled way in advance and not rescheduled at short notice is a big contributing factor to candidates not withdrawing during the process. Additionally, we must not forget that we still have the danger of a counter offer at the end of the journey so the better the communication and hence the experience for the candidate, the  higher the chance of a successful candidate placement.

For more information on the current dangers of counter offers kindly read here.