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Lack of Pay Transparency Tops Applicants’ List of Frustrations


A lack of transparency when it comes to a job’s compensation package is among the biggest frustrations for workers and job seekers during the interview process.

This is according to a survey by Glassdoor, which found that 50% of workers/job seekers surveyed said that this would be among their biggest frustrations, with an equal proportion saying it is potential employers canceling or postponing interviews. Ranking third, 47% said that potential employers failing to respond in a timely manner are among their biggest grievances. (Respondents could choose more than one response.)

The survey of more than 1,100 people who are either employed or looking for work also highlights specifically what would make people pull out of a recruitment process. Primarily, this would be caused by the employer announcing layoffs (44%), a poor first interaction with a recruiter or hiring manager (40%), reading negative reviews from employees (35%) and hearing about employee or leadership scandals (33%).

“Recruiters have a challenging task of coordinating multiple interviews in addition to ensuring each candidate receives the necessary information to evaluate an opportunity. Job seekers clearly feel that understanding the total compensation package, including pay and benefits, is absolutely essential to fully evaluate a job opportunity,” said Julie Coucoules, Glassdoor’s global head of talent acquisition. “The good news is that this and the top frustrations that job seekers have with the recruitment process can all be improved by any employer of any size. Recruiters that want to create an informative and organized process can use this feedback to make their interview process more effective and positive.”

What Job Candidates Want Most
When asked what would constitute a positive job application experience, nearly three in five (58%) of the workers and job seekers said they want a company to clearly and regularly communicate with them. More than half (53%) said they would want a company to set out clear expectations for them so that they could prepare well and 51% said getting feedback from the company, even if they were not hired, would be appreciated. Almost half (45%) said an explanation of how many interviews, and with whom, the job seeker could expect would make for a positive experience, followed by 43% who would welcome a simple and efficient online job application process.

How Do Men and Women Differ?
Just as it’s important for those in recruitment and HR to understand the frustrations of job seekers and what may cause them to pull out of the recruitment process, it is also essential to consider how different audiences are affected by various factors. For instance, 57% of women indicate that not receiving enough information about the total compensation package is among their biggest frustrations during the job interview process, compared to 44% of men.

In addition, this survey data shows that among the responding workers/job seekers, 43% of women would pull out of a recruitment process after reading a negative review from an employee, while 28% of men said that this would cause them to remove themselves from the recruitment process.

How Long Should the Interview Process Take?
More than four in five (82%) of the workers and job seekers said that they would want the entire interview process to take less than a month and two in five (40%) said less than a week. In a 2017 study, Glassdoor Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain found that the average length of the interview process in the United States is 23.8 days. However, even the jobs with the fastest interview processes globally are a minimum of eight days or more.

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