Recruitment Survey Reveals Significant Disconnect Between Job Seeker Expectations and Reality

Jibe survey shows a poor application experience deters one quarter of candidates


NEW YORK — September 8, 2014 — Jibe, Inc., a leading recruitment technology company, today announced the results of a new study exposing the challenges faced by job seekers, and the impact that can have on a company’s ability to attract and hire top talent. The 2014 Jibe Talent Acquisition Survey, conducted by independent research firm Kelton Global, polled more than 1,000 job seekers and more than 300 HR professionals and highlights the disconnect between expectations and reality when searching and applying for jobs. The full report can be downloaded at

Overall, the survey reveals that job seekers are often frustrated by outdated technology and inefficient processes involved in the online application experience. The survey also shows that HR professionals understand the importance of improving the candidate experience to secure top talent, but face their own internal and technological challenges to meet the needs of today’s job seeker.

Key survey findings include:

Job Seekers are More Frustrated than Ever

  • A majority of job seekers describe their search as time-consuming (80 percent), stressful (78 percent), discouraging (71 percent), and even painful (60 percent).
  • Three in five job seekers feel that job applications are more challenging to fill out than other common types of applications, including those required to apply for a mortgage (48 percent), get health insurance (46 percent), or a student loan (32 percent).
  • Nineteen percent of respondents said they would rather spend a day in line at the DMV than go through the pain of applying for a job online, while 12 percent would rather get a root canal or go skydiving without training.
  • A majority of job seekers (51 percent) expect to be informed about the status of their application, but only 14 percent report actually receiving that information during their job search.
  • Six in ten (60 percent) job seekers generally expect companies to reply to applicants in a timely manner, yet just 20 percent believe that most companies actually act this way.

Failing the Mobile Generation

  • One in five (20 percent) job seekers would give up on an online job application if they couldn’t complete it on a mobile device.
  • And although seven in ten (70 percent) job seekers would be willing to apply for a job with a smartphone, more than a quarter (27 percent) of larger companies admit that not a single portion of their hiring process has been optimized for mobile.
  • Forty-three percent of HR professionals surveyed report that IT issues are the most common roadblocks for mobile hiring optimization, with budget constraints (35 percent) and internal resistance (32 percent) following closely behind.

Poor Experience Drives Candidates Away

  • Additionally, 37 percent of recruitment professionals are concerned that their company’s application process is deterring quality hires.
  • And with good reason: Almost a quarter (23 percent) of job seekers agree that if they had issues filling out an online application, they’d never apply for a job at that company again.
  • One quarter (25 percent) of talent acquisition practitioners think that this limitation might even prevent consumers from buying products or services from that company.
  • Job seekers would most likely be deterred from completing online applications if they encountered tech hurdles (60 percent), couldn’t upload their resumes (55 percent), or couldn’t follow up on their application’s status (44 percent).

Upon review of the survey results, Kyle Lagunas, talent acquisition analyst at Brandon Hall Group, said: “These findings further support a trend we’re seeing at Brandon Hall Group, where hiring organizations aspire to be more than moderately effective but are still relying on the same best practices and technology they had in place ten and fifteen years ago. This poses serious problems for companies struggling to attract and retain top talent, as high-performing organizations are several steps ahead of them. Those that have eschewed reactionary recruiting practices and are prioritizing candidate experience are seeing major gains in overall talent acquisition performance as a result.”

“The fact that one in five job seekers would rather go to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license over applying for a job is a wake up call to every company that the current process is broken,” said Jibe Founder and CEO, Joe Essenfeld. “The good news, and one of the main takeaways of this data, is that HR professionals are acknowledging the problem and looking for solutions to improve their processes to bring in and secure better quality hires. The results of this survey underscore our mission here at Jibe — to transform the hiring process through better, more intuitive technology. As more tech-savvy candidates enter the workforce, the old way is no longer good enough, and that’s a problem that has an impact not only on the hiring pool, but potentially on a company’s bottom line.”

About Jibe, Inc.

Founded in 2009, Jibe provides corporate talent acquisition teams a cloud-based recruitment marketing platform to transform hiring and improve the candidate experience. Adopted by many of the world’s top companies – including Accenture, Macy’s and Walmart – the platform features an analytics engine at its core that pulls recruiting metrics from disparate back-end systems and turns them into actionable intelligence to guide hiring decisions. The Jibe platform also enables optimized mobile and desktop apply, simplifies job distribution, and streamlines employee referrals. Full integration with applicant tracking systems, combined with a SaaS delivery model, provides a seamless solution without disrupting processes or impacting IT resources. Jibe is headquartered in New York City and is backed by top investors, including SAP Ventures, Longworth Venture Partners, Polaris Partners, DFJ, Gotham Ventures and Thrive Capital. For more information, please visit and follow us @Jibe.