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5 min read

Decoding the tech candidate experience

What do tech candidates expect from the application process? Discover how companies can provide a positive candidate experience and encourage more applications.

The CWJobs webinar on 11th June 2020 delved into insights from over 1,000 tech professionals, looking at the candidate journey and how recruiters and hiring managers can create job ads that convert quality candidates. During the session, Dom Harvey, CWJobs Commercial Director, Stephen Kalli, CWJobs Sales Manager, and Tina Akinmade, Senior UX Researcher at Stepstone, discussed:

  • What is the current state of the UK tech job market?
  • How do tech candidates search for jobs and what makes then apply to roles?
  • What is the impact of COVID-19 on tech candidates’ job search?
  • Actionable advice to help you amplify your tech recruitment efforts

Watch the webinar

Over the past few months, UK tech companies have been forced to change how they do business. They’ve had to adapt to new ways of working and how they engage with tech job candidates.

To gain a better understanding of how the candidate experience has changed during COVID-19, we reached out to over 1,000 of our tech candidates to learn more about their concerns and their job search experience.

Understanding the tech candidate journey is key to ensuring that recruiters make the most of their hiring budget. This is particularly important in the current landscape, where people might be more reluctant to make a move to a new job.

Let’s take a look at our research into the tech candidate experience in more detail:

What tech candidates want to see in a job advert

When it comes to job adverts, the most important information that candidates want to see is salary (82%) and location (82%), followed by a description of tasks (56%) and required skills (44%). Moreover, 23% would like to see development and training opportunities in a job advert.

In order to attract top talent post COVID-19, employers should consider these statistics and use them to shape their hiring strategy moving forward. Being transparent about salary on job adverts can gain candidates’ trust and encourage more people to apply for roles. It also empowers candidates to negotiate their salary based on skills and experience.

Likewise, providing information about daily tasks and required skills can help candidates decide if the role will be a good fit for them. Employers who are up front about the duties and skills involved in a role are more likely to be seen as trustworthy by candidates, which in turn, creates a more positive candidate experience.

A recent World Economic Forum report finds than 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling in just three years. If a role offers learning and development opportunities, companies should highlight this on their job adverts as it demonstrates their commitment to investing in their staff.

When candidates have the opportunity to learn new skills and develop into other areas, they’re more likely to remain loyal.

A preferred application process

Our research reveals that 46% of tech candidates say that a lack of, or absence of, quality feedback is a pain point in their candidate experience. Employers should make the point of providing candidates with detailed notes on their application, so they have a clear understanding of where they need to improve.

Detailed feedback provides job candidates with learning points and goals to aspire to in the future. There’s also a good chance that a candidate will apply for future roles with a company if they feel that their application was appreciated the first-time round.

When asked to select the most frustrating aspects of their job search, 36% of candidates said a ‘lack of transparency’ in the application process. Companies therefore should make a point of outlining the application process in full as part of their candidate pack.

Knowing what to expect at every stage of the process reassures candidates that their applications will be carefully considered, which creates a good impression of the company.

When applying for roles on job boards, the most common candidate pain points include unnecessary or redundant steps in the application process, having to register in the company’s application portal and no clear contact person named in the advert.

The more barriers there are to submitting an application, the lower the application rate. As much as automated application processes can benefit employers, it’s important to retain a ‘human’ element by providing candidate support with clear contact details.

How tech candidates search for jobs

When it comes to advertising job roles, companies need to target platforms that will yield the highest number of applications and highest quality candidates. Our tech candidate survey reveals that a high percentage of candidates search for roles via specialist recruitment agencies (57%), followed by specialist job boards (50%) and generalist recruitment agencies (41%).

Companies would do well to consider where there advertising budgets are currently being spent and whether they could be receiving more value for money elsewhere.

When searching for a job online, 64% of candidates say they have a specific job title they start their search with and 45% say they search for a number of job titles at the same time. What’s more, 48% of respondents search by location and filter for relevant roles.

Previous CWJobs research reveals that 95% of 16-24-year-olds would consider relocating for the right tech job. Employers should therefore consider that candidates may be searching for locations outside of their current cities. As such, job descriptions should highlight the benefits of working and living in specific locations to persuade candidates to consider making an application.

CWJobs’ recruitment platform provides employers with a range of tools to help streamline their recruitment process. When it comes to collecting applications, our Apply Lite function enables candidates to apply hassle-free. Employers can also benefit from premium job adverts and promotion of their company profile to reach as many candidates as possible. Our video interviewing software can also help streamline the selection and hiring process by conducting interviews remotely.