Top 10 Things Jobseekers Find Frustrating

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 24 Jan 2023

10 Things Jobseekers Find FrustratingIn order to attract top talent in the life science industry, you need to ensure you’re providing the best possible experience for your candidates, from the minute you post a job advert to the moment they’re offered the job, and even beyond. 7 in 10 jobseekers who receive a poor candidate experience will never want to work for that organisation again, with 72% also saying that they’d be likely to tell friends, colleagues, and family members about the experience.

Using data from a 2022 survey by Job-Hunt and FlexJobs, this article looks at the top 10 things jobseekers find frustrating during a job search, providing advice on what you can do to deliver a more positive candidate experience.

Being Ghosted by Employers / Recruiters

50% of survey respondents said that their biggest job search frustration was not hearing back from employers. Ghosting jobseekers can make your organisation seem disorganised, disrespectful, and ungrateful, even if the reason for ghosting is down to busy schedules rather than unprofessionalism. If a jobseeker isn’t successful but is still a strong candidate, you’ll make them unlikely to come back to you in the future if you ghost them.

If you’re asking jobseekers to give you their time in filling out an application, you need to reciprocate, even if this just means setting up some automation for the early filtering stages to keep jobseekers in the loop.

Being Offered a Below Average Salary

42% of survey respondents said that a low salary was their biggest job search frustration. Salary transparency is a hot topic in the life science industry, with many recruiters and hiring managers still being hesitant to share salaries in their job adverts. As a jobseeker, it can be extremely frustrating to have applied for a role, only to later find out that the salary on offer is much lower than they can accept. Especially during the current cost-of-living crisis, not every jobseeker is in a position to accept a role with a below average salary – even if it’s their dream job – and nor should they have to.

Jobseekers will do their own research on the average salary ranges for the roles they apply for, so you need to do this research too, remembering to consider things such as location and levels of experience. If you can’t offer a salary that’s competitive, consider how else you can make your benefits package stand out.

Having to Follow a Lengthy and Tedious Application Process

A lengthy application process was the biggest frustration of 38% of respondents. Especially for the early filtering stages of an application, really think about how much you’re asking from jobseekers, and consider if this is necessary.

For example, if you know you’re going to reject candidates for not having one of your absolute essentials listed on their CV, do you really need a CV and a cover letter? Do they need to write a page on why they should be considered, if you’re going to reject them for not having a life science degree?

Use filtering questions to filter out jobseekers that don’t have your essential requirements before they’ve started an application, and consider using online interviewing platforms to streamline the early stages of the process.

Being Expected to Have Unnecessary Qualifications

37% of jobseekers said that their biggest frustration was being asked to have qualifications that were potentially unnecessary for the job role. If you want to compete for top talent, be flexible about your essential requirements where possible, seeing skills and experience as equally valuable as qualifications.

Looking beyond qualifications held is also one way to make your application process more accessible. Not everyone will be able to go out and get a degree, so don’t close yourself off to applicants who don’t have this privilege. Also remember that having a degree doesn’t automatically make someone perfect for the job, especially if the job is quite niche and requires lots of training regardless.

If a qualification is essential, think about how you could help people to work towards that, either through offering support with tuition fees or flexible working to accommodate study.

Trying to Avoid Job Scams

The 5th biggest jobseeker frustration is avoiding job scams, with 36% of respondents naming this as their biggest frustration, and an estimated 14 million people exposed to employment scams every year.

To help jobseekers avoid being scammed, do the following:

  • Let them know how they will be contacted and who by, with examples of email addresses used by the organisation.
  • Clarify what they will and won’t be asked to provide throughout the process.
  • Explain how their information will be used once submitted and ensure your staff are trained on GDPR.
  • Provide links to your team’s LinkedIn profiles, giving them an alternative way to contact you if they detect anything suspicious.
  • Share useful resources on topics such as how to upload your CV online safely.
  • Make your contact information clearly stand out on your website so jobseekers can easily check the legitimacy of email addresses and phone numbers.

Not taking these steps to protect jobseekers may lead to them having a negative experience with your organisation, even if you aren’t the villains.

Not Finding Jobs That They Are Qualified For

Not being able to find jobs that they are qualified for was cited the biggest frustration by 32% of jobseekers. Especially if you’re a small organisation, it’s pretty impossible to constantly have lots of different roles with different seniority levels. You can’t always be open to applications from everyone. However, you can re-evaluate the different career paths into your organisation and make it abundantly clear who each advertised role is aimed at.

For example, do you have an entry level / graduate scheme in place to help people get their foot in the door, and is this clearly advertised? Are you open to hiring people from different industries with transferable skills? Do you look at soft and hard skills as well as formal qualifications?

Formatting Application Materials for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

25% of jobseekers said that their biggest frustration was having to format their application materials for ATS. You can help by providing as much detail as possible on how you would like materials submitted (e.g., if you prefer CVs in a PDF format over a Word document). You could also use an online platform such as BeApplied to gather all applicant data in the same way, and to make the application process as seamless as possible for jobseekers.

Another thing jobseekers find frustrating is having to manually enter sections of their CV into an online application portal, even if they’ve already uploaded their CV. Don’t make the process any more tedious than it has to be!

Not Being Able to Find Jobs at Target Companies

25% of jobseekers also said that their biggest frustration was not being able to find roles at the right companies. Look at how you’re advertising your roles – are you consciously spreading the word about your opportunities, or are you relying on word-of-mouth and employee referrals?

The people who have already identified your organisation as an ideal place to work are exactly the types of people you want to attract, so make your roles visible to those on the outside. If you use a job board such as PharmiWeb.Jobs, jobseekers can create job alerts for your company to be notified about your latest opportunities as soon as they’re posted. This is just one way of proactively reaching your target audience of talent, without having to put in the extra work.

Not Being Able to Find Jobs in the Right Industry

This was the biggest frustration of 21% of survey respondents. Firstly, make it clear in your job adverts what industry you’re in, using specific job titles that stand out in search results (e.g., use ‘Pharmaceutical Sales Rep’ instead of ‘Sales Rep.’). You need to then make sure your roles are reaching the right people, and one way of doing this is by using a niche job board like PharmiWeb.Jobs.

PharmiWeb.Jobs has over 430,000 registered jobseekers from across the life science industry, meaning when your jobs are posted on the job board, they are reaching people actively seeking a career in your field. You can also break down your target audience even further through targeted email campaigns that send your latest vacancies to specific lists of candidates segmented by discipline or location.

Being Unable to Identify the Hiring Manager

15% of jobseekers said their biggest frustration was not being able to identify the hiring manager. Jobseekers like to do their research on a hiring manager to help inform their applications and to better prepare for job interviews. They also want to know who to contact for an update on their application, or for feedback after a rejection.

Although you might be hesitant to give out individual contact details through fears of being flooded by questions, it’s a good way of keeping strong candidates in your network. If they’re not successful in the first role they apply for, it’s always good to stay in touch if they came pretty close.