Study: Most Job Seekers Abandon Online Job Applications

Dave Zielinski

The problem of job candidates abandoning online applications continues to plague the recruiting industry. According to CareerBuilder, 60 percent of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity.

Other industry sources say that abandonment rate may be conservative.

The fallout for organizations from this persistent issue is the loss of top talent, poor word-of-mouth from candidates frustrated with the process and the higher costs associated with abandonment in cost-per-click recruiting models.

Traditional thinking holds that lengthy applications will screen out apathetic candidates and good talent will be dedicated enough to fill out more information, said Sarah Gregory, director of research at Punchkick Interactive, a Chicago-based mobile application and Web development company. The CareerBuilder survey suggests this mindset still holds sway. About 50 percent of responding employers said the length of application processes is a positive because it "weeds out" applicants.

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