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You’ve put in the time and effort to nurture a promising candidate. They learn about your company, find your job openings, and start an application. But at some point during the application process…they vanish, never to be heard from again. You don’t know why they disappeared or if they’ll ever be back. All you know is that you have an open position that’s no closer to being filled. Application drop-off doesn’t feel good, nor does it help your bottom line. How can you prevent it? 

What Is Application Drop-Off? 

Application drop-off is when a candidate stops engaging with the application process with little to no explanation.  Many candidates “ghost” by beginning an application and then abandoning it. You may receive some parts of the application, or see that an application was started, but never receive a resume or other important materials. 

Why Does Application Drop-Off Happen? 

Many candidates start an application and never finish simply because it takes too long. One study by Hays found that 73% of applicants never finish job applications that take longer than 15 minutes. 

In fact, according to Talent Board, the top reason candidates exit the hiring process is because they feel their time isn’t valued. This extends beyond the application. If candidates don’t hear from you in a timely manner, or if it takes a long time to schedule and conduct interviews, they simply exit the process—sometimes without letting you know. Not to mention, the longer it takes you to offer a candidate a job, the more likely that they’ll receive an offer from another company, including one of your competitors.  

Five Ways to Decrease Application Drop-Off  

1. Use Analytics to Understand Your Candidate Drop-Off Rate

Once you know that application drop-off is an issue, you can use analytics to find out more. 

Are large numbers of candidates starting applications, but never finishing them? That’s a sign that you need to streamline your application process. Do you see more finished applications when you send candidates reminder emails? That means that you could benefit from streamlined candidate communications. Over all, evaluating and understanding your recruitment analytics is an important part of any hiring process. 

Learn how to get the most out of your healthcare recruitment analytics x

2. Enable Easy Apply 

Easy apply, or one-click apply, is a software feature that lets candidates upload their information with just a few clicks. With easy apply, your application is incredibly easy to complete. This ease of access can attract more candidates. Almost half (49%) of job seekers say that they would immediately apply for a job if the application was simple. 

Job seekers want to feel like their time is respected. When candidates are able to quickly upload a cover letter or resume, they’re much less likely to ghost the application. 

Learn more about easy apply 

3. Audit Your Application

Does the thought of auditing your application process—as in sitting down and submitting an application as if you were a candidate—make you feel a sense of boredom or even dread? If that’s the case, chances are that it isn’t the best experience for your candidates, either. 

Try running through your job postings and applications, inhabiting a candidate’s mindset—you’re in a rush, you have other jobs to apply to. This application audit can also be part of a larger recruitment audit. 

4. Add a Few Screening Questions 

A knockout (or screening) question is a qualifying question that candidates must answer when they apply. In healthcare, knockout questions can look like the following: 

  • Do you have X license or certifications? 
  • Are you licensed to practice in X state?
  • Do you have at least X years of experience? 

These questions can ensure that you’re getting candidates who are actually qualified for your open positions. The most effective screening questions are easy to answer—think multiple choice over longform answers. It might seem counterintuitive to add more steps to an easy apply process, but just a couple more clicks can help you get the most qualified candidates while still creating a simple application experience. 

Learn more about knockout questions

5. Enable Automatic Follow-Ups  

We all know the feeling of applying to a job and never hearing back. It can feel like your resume and cover letter were sucked into a void. If you don’t communicate with your candidates, they may be left wondering if they completed the application properly. Did you even receive it? 

Sending a receipt of materials received is a great way to establish an initial touchpoint with candidates. Let candidates know immediately that you’re there for any questions or concerns they may have. 

You can also automatically schedule interview requests and send information on next steps, so your candidates know what’s coming next. You can send these receipts manually, but that takes a lot of time and effort. Instead, invest in a tool that allows you to send responses automatically. 

Automated workflows can trigger certain messages at every step of the hiring process. You can tailor the messages provided by an applicant tracking system (ATS) like Apploi to fit your unique voice. Apploi offers message templates to get you started, which you can adapt with your own messaging. These steps will help build your reputation as a responsible, responsive employer—and help candidates stay excited about accepting your offer.”

Better Hiring With Apploi

Prevent application drop-off with streamlined, effective job applications. Apploi’s no-login easy apply features can help ensure that the most qualified candidates get through your application quickly and effectively.

Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution, or learn more about how Apploi helps you keep candidates engaged.

Jenny Ortiz

Jenny Ortiz is a strategic marketer with over 15 years of experience in creative, marketing, and advertising. She specializes in developing best-in-class solutions around media diversification, employer brand, candidate journeys, and engagement in order to help healthcare companies attract top talent. Outside of the office, she is an advanced open water scuba diver and a lover of international travel, and enjoys spending quality time with friends and family.