• Meghan Potter

Candidate Fatigue: Why Is Job Hunting So Stressful?


The future of work is already exhausted.

Job hunting is one of the most stressful tasks one can take on. Each person’s reasons may vary, but the sentiment remains the same; you are looking for a place to spend most of your time, as well as provide for yourself and your family. For some people this is their livelihood, for others it’s for a new challenge or to escape a toxic work environment. That’s a lot of stress. Going through job boards there are so many opportunities, and many candidates apply to multiple places to better their odds of finding a match.

When speaking with all different types of companies I often hear the same phrase over again, “We get a lot of views [clicks] and not a lot of applies.” This is often followed by, “So, we think non-interested candidates are being vetted out.”

I can’t help but disagree.

Last week I got a call from one of my closest friends from college. She has two degrees and a genius IQ. She hates her job and hit her breaking point, so she started job hunting and responding to LinkedIn recruiting messages (we all know how great those can be). She was at her breaking point and she was telling me something I know all too well, every job she was applying to required her to create an account on Workday.

“Frustrating to say the least,” she told me. iPhone’s also will give suggested passwords, which she was doing, and her phone was resaving the password over the old for every account [new employer = new account]. This resulted in two things:

  1. She wasn’t going to apply on sites that used Workday anymore.

  2. She had zero interest in checking on the status of her applications because remembering the passwords became a royal pain in the you know what.

This is Candidate Fatigue. This is ATS Fatigue.

And, it’s not just one ATS. Being redirected to a new website is frustrating especially on a mobile device. The anxiety-inducing requirement of having to create an account in a system where you already have login credentials is exhausting.

I’m 28 years old and like to consider myself relatively tech savvy. I see ‘create an account’ all over the internet when online shopping, though typically there is still an option to checkout as a guest, but that’s not possible when applying for jobs. Hearing from my close friend it made me curious. How many of my own friends have had a similar experience? So, I did what millennials do and I asked for feedback on my social media.

How do millennials view the job application process?

It was fascinating how many people couldn’t wait to complain about their experience job hunting. Redirect was the main point of contention: looking for jobs on their phone and eventually having to move to their computers because too many tabs were opening. Creating an account for each site was brought up as well.

In a SHRM article by Roy Maurer he writes, “The candidate drop-off rate for people who click ‘Apply’ but never complete an application is a whopping 92 percent.”

Later in the article Roy speaks with Chris Russell, managing director of RecTech Media. “Many have advocated for the elimination of upfront registration and account creation altogether, tactics companies use to collect applicants’ information for marketing purposes.” “Login pages are still prevalent, and that’s a simple thing to get rid of,” Russell said.

“People have dozens of logins for dozens of ATSs. That’s part of the reason why people feel job hunting is so frustrating.”

Hearing this firsthand from all different people in a plethora of fields is astounding. I spoke with a tech data analyst, a speech pathologist, a nurse – the list went on and on.

This brings me back to my original point. Putting your candidates through numerous steps to complete the application process is not vetting out uninterested candidates. It very well might be vetting out your most qualified. My friend mentioned above made the point that she was going to stop job searching and just focus on recruiters coming into her inbox, which is how she ultimately found her new position.

Some of the most highly qualified and highly motivated candidates will drop off your application process not due to lack of interest but due to fatigue of having to go through the same strenuous process over and over again.

How can we combat ATS fatigue?

So here I have to ask –

Have you completed your own company’s application process? Have you done it after doing it for 5-10 other companies? While it’s easy to move through the process once, most candidates aren’t only applying to your job, they are applying all over hoping to get in the door somewhere.

According to Indeed’s Editorial Team as of August 2021, “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in June 2021 was 19.8 weeks. This equals about five months.” That’s a lot of applications for candidates. But that isn’t the majority of candidates, most of your candidates are already employed.

Not so fun fact: the harder your application process is, the harder it is for candidates to apply. 92% is a mind-boggling number and hard to believe for a lot of people. This, however, goes to show that while you might be losing some candidates who aren’t interested, you’re also losing so many candidates who would have been a great fit for the role and for your business.

How can JobSync help?

A short plug on JobSync since you are on the Jobsync blog page – we eliminate the problem you are facing if your ATS is causing the headaches discussed above. You don’t need to change ATS’s, move data, or spend up to millions of dollars. Adding JobSync creates the integration from sites like Indeed to your ATS allowing the candidate to complete your full application (think about the information you can empower your recruiters with) without having to be redirected or create an account. This will drastically increase the amount of full applications you are getting (2-5X!). We hear all the time from current clients how much of an increase they see. Sometimes it’s hard to really know how much of an issue you have until there’s something fixing it and increasing the results. That is what JobSync will do for you. And for those of you on or moving to Workday (and SuccessFactors, and Oracle, and Taleo, and Kenexa and others) we can help you too.