Fear of Unemployment & How It Impacts Candidates and Recruiting

Fear of Unemployment & How It Impacts Candidates and Recruiting

Nearly 80% of U.S. employees worry that they’ll lose their job during a recession, according to Insight Global. Yet, 57% of the workforce reports still looking for better pay and benefits – something fewer employers offer during financial uncertainty. In times of economic turbulence, unemployment becomes a widespread concern among job seekers, affecting their decision-making processes and performance during job searches. This anxiety can arise from several factors such as economic instability, high interest rates, inflation and rising living costs, all of which influence job security perceptions.

A tight labor market further exacerbates this fear for potential employees, while employers may struggle to secure top talent amid increased competition and a rapidly changing work landscape. As the number of remote and flexible job opportunities continues to grow, job seekers may find it more challenging to secure stable, long-term employment. Understanding the causes and consequences of unemployment anxiety is crucial for both job seekers and recruiters to navigate these challenging times successfully and for the latter to create tailored recruitment strategies that address job seekers’ concerns.

Job Insecurity: Causes and Effects

Fear of unemployment is a multifaceted issue that stems from various sources. Some of the most common factors contributing to this anxiety include:

  • Job insecurity: The volatile nature of specific industries and the ever-changing job market landscape can make employees feel uncertain about their long-term prospects in their current positions.
  • Economic instability: Fluctuations in the economy, coupled with recessions or downturns, can lead to increased concerns about job security, as companies may downsize or implement hiring freezes. 
  • Lack of job opportunities: In competitive job markets, job seekers may feel overwhelmed by the scarcity of available positions that match their skills and experience, further fueling their fears of unemployment.
  • Personal experiences: Individuals who have faced job loss (or know someone who has) can become more apprehensive about their job security and the future of demand for their job.
  • Media influence: News reports and social media discussions highlighting high unemployment rates, layoffs and struggling industries can heighten job seekers’ concerns about their own job security.

These worries can take a toll on job searchers’ mental well-being, leading to a range of adverse consequences such as:

  • Anxiety and stress: The uncertainty surrounding job protection can cause job seekers to experience heightened anxiety and stress, which can negatively impact their employment search efforts and overall quality of life. According to the American Institute of Stress, job insecurity is one of the top reasons people experience workplace anxiety
  • Loss of confidence: Prolonged periods of job-seeking or experiencing multiple rejections can diminish self-esteem, causing previously hopeful individuals to doubt the worth of their abilities and qualifications.
  • Depression: The emotional strain of unemployment anxiety can sometimes lead to depression, further hindering job seekers’ motivation and ability to engage in productive job searches.
  • Performance issues during recruitment: The fear of unemployment can cause employment candidates to underperform during interviews or assessments due to nervousness or a decline in confidence in their capabilities.

By acknowledging and managing the fear of unemployment, job seekers and recruiters can work together to create a more positive and successful recruitment experience that benefits all parties involved.

The Employer’s Role in Addressing the Fear of Unemployment

To effectively address the fear of unemployment, employers should adopt a more empathetic and compassionate approach in their hiring processes. These efforts can include offering support and resources to job candidates and implementing initiatives to create a more secure and comfortable environment during recruitment.

Here are some measures hiring managers can take to ease any fears among job candidates and make the hiring process less anxiety-inducing:

  • Communication and support: Regularly communicating with candidates throughout the hiring journey can help alleviate their fears and provide reassurance. Offer resources such as resume critiques and interview coaching to demonstrate commitment to a candidate’s success. It’s also useful to stay in contact with applicants rather than leaving them wondering if (or when) they’ll hear from you.
  • Job stability: Highlighting the company’s resilience and long-term growth plans can give candidates confidence in the potential employee’s job security. Sharing success stories and the company’s employee retention statistics can also be reassuring.
  • Holistic recruitment strategies: Leveraging social media platforms for advertising and recruiting efforts can help companies connect with a wider pool of prospects. By showcasing the company culture and values on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, managers can create a sense of transparency and trust.
  • Skills development and career growth: Promoting potential opportunities for professional development, training and career growth can help candidates to feel more secure about their long-term prospects with the company. Outlining clear career paths and advancement opportunities can help show applicants that there’s a future for them within the organization.
  • Inclusive benefits and perks: Companies should consider offering a comprehensive benefits package that appeals to a diverse range of candidates. Such a package may include child care support, mental health resources and wellness programs, in addition to more traditional benefits like health insurance and retirement plans.

By implementing these measures, employers can create an environment in which job candidates feel more secure and less anxious during the recruiting process. Focusing on transparency, communication and holistic recruitment strategies allows recruitment managers to effectively address the fear of unemployment and create a more positive experience for job candidates navigating the job market.

Enhancing Your Recruitment Strategy With Software and Technology

A well-planned recruitment method is essential for finding, attracting and retaining top talent. With rapid advancements in technology, hiring managers have the opportunity to improve their recruiting efforts by utilizing software and tools designed to optimize various aspects of talent acquisition. Here’s a deeper look into how technology can improve strategic recruitment:

Automation and efficiency

Technology can help automate repetitive tasks such as screening resumes, scheduling interviews and sending follow-up emails. By automating these functions, recruiters can save time and focus on more strategic aspects of evaluating whether a candidate is a good fit with the company’s culture and their potential for growth within the organization.

Enhanced candidate experience

A smooth and user-friendly application method can significantly improve a candidate’s experience and perception of the company. By using technology to make it easier for a job seeker to apply, you reduce the likelihood of losing top talent due to cumbersome application procedures. Make sure to assess whether applicants can use their mobile devices, as mobile applications have skyrocketed in the recent past.

Data-driven decision making

Advanced software and tools can provide valuable insights and data analytics that help companies make more informed decisions throughout the recruiting process. By analyzing key metrics such as time to fill, cost per hire and candidate source effectiveness, you can refine strategies and focus on the most successful channels for sourcing top talent.

Social media and online presence

Given the growing importance of social media and online platforms in recruitment, companies need technology that can help them effectively manage their online presence and engage with the passive candidate. Tools like LinkedIn Recruiter and Facebook Jobs enable a proactive hiring manager to target and connect with a potential employee who may not be actively seeking new opportunities.

Improved collaboration and communication

Recruitment software often includes features that facilitate better communication and collaboration among team members involved in the hiring process. With the ability to share notes, track progress and centralize candidate information, hiring teams can work more cohesively and make better informed decisions.

Diversity and inclusion

Technology can play a significant role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process. Advanced algorithms and AI-powered tools can help identify and eliminate potential biases in job descriptions, resume screenings and interview assessments. By promoting a more equitable recruitment strategy, companies can attract a diverse range of candidates and foster a more inclusive workplace culture.

Remote and global recruitment

The rise of remote work has created new opportunities for companies to dip into the global talent pool and access skilled professionals located around the world. Recruiters can connect with candidates across geographical boundaries using video conferencing tools and virtual hiring events to conduct interviews and assessments, allowing them to tap into a broader range of skills.

ApplicantStack: A Powerful Tool for Your Recruitment Strategy

ApplicantStack is a comprehensive recruitment solution designed to streamline the hiring process and improve the efficiency of recruiting efforts. Through its wide range of features and integrations, ApplicantStack can help you optimize your recruitment strategy in several ways:

  • Customizable job application forms and questionnaires ensure that you collect necessary candidate information.
  • Integration with popular job boards and social media platforms broaden your reach and attract more applicants.
  • Advanced search and filtering capabilities help you quickly identify the most qualified candidates.
  • Mobile-friendly applications allow potential hires to submit their information from their devices.
  • Automated workflows streamline communication and following up with candidates, keeping them engaged throughout the process.
  • Analytics and reporting tools help you track key performance metrics and optimize your recruitment strategy based on data-driven insights.

ApplicantStack offers powerful and comprehensive tools for optimizing your recruitment efforts, allowing you to attract and retain top talent in a competitive job market. By embracing these technological advancements, companies can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a strong employee brand, ultimately leading to long-term success and growth. Additionally, providing support to potential new hires throughout the process can ease fears and keep everyone feeling positive about the future.

Sign up for your free trial of ApplicantStack today.

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

What is an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)?

When a business needs to hire, it’s important to have the right tools at its disposal. An applicant tracking system is a must, regardless of company size. Explore this type of system and how it can benefit your organization’s recruitment efforts.

What Does an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) Do?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a type of software designed to manage an organization’s recruiting and hiring efforts. As the name suggests, its process involves tracking candidates who may be good fits for open positions. Additionally, an ATS houses data and often includes automated workflows to simplify tasks like:

  • Scheduling interviews
  • Notifying candidates of status updates
  • Issuing alerts
  • Sending messages to applicants and those involved in the hiring process

Benefits of an Applicant Tracking System

Many benefits come with using an applicant tracking system to find and bring on top talent. Review a few of these advantages and how they can benefit a small-to-midsized business.

Searches for keywords

While the description of an ATS may make such a system sound like a data organization tool, it can do much more. When seeking top candidates, recruiters, hiring managers, and others involved in the hiring process may struggle to locate talent. Sifting through countless resumés and applications takes a lot of time, and some may not be relevant to the open position.

An ATS can sift through data and make recommendations based on keyword searches, algorithms, and other tools that analyze applications and resumés. With an ATS in place, it becomes easier to review applicant data and select the right candidates to interview.

Posts jobs more efficiently

Another advantage of an ATS is integration with external job boards, which tend to be the most common tools for job seekers. Posting an open position individually on multiple boards can take a lot of time. Some organizations stick to just a few boards, which limits visibility. The ideal hire for a role may not even see a job ad if it’s not posted on the board they use regularly.

Using an ATS makes it easier to push a listing to many boards with a single click. By getting a job in front of additional people, a company will likely receive more applications. Hiring managers can choose from a wider selection of candidates to get the right fit, rather than choosing from a handful of semi-qualified individuals.

Maximizes productivity

Hiring managers and recruiters can easily spend hours looking for candidates manually. But this isn’t a good use of their time. Those involved in hiring can spend less time on these tasks without sacrificing candidate quality. Open roles get in front of the right people, but the automation side of the software saves time and effort.

Boosts company morale

A positive hiring and onboarding experience can make a big difference in the eyes of a candidate considering a new role. And when a business can get good people hired faster, there’s less of a burden on the existing employees to take on additional work. The result is improved company morale all the way around.

How Does an Applicant Tracking System Work?

With various systems available to organizations, it’s important to note that each will have its own list of features and functionality. However, programs within this category tend to share a few key steps to ensure a consistent and straightforward process.

Creating a job requisition

In most recruiting systems, the process begins with the creation of a job requisition. When a company needs to hire, the person responsible for recruiting requests approval for the creation of a new position or the filling of a vacated position. Upon approval, the requestor can create a job listing.

Creating a job listing

The next step is creating a job listing, or the description of the open position. A listing should include several key components:

  • Position title
  • Position location
  • Department
  • Salary range (if applicable)
  • Responsibilities/duties
  • Candidate requirements or qualifications
  • Description of work environment

Of course, a job description should be more than just a bulleted list of details about a role. In fact, it’s more important than ever to appeal to potential applicants and draw them in, encouraging them to apply.

The writing style for job descriptions differs from other business writing styles. Using engaging language can help a posting stand out in a sea of similar content.

It’s also important to consider the legal requirements of a job listing. Make sure to avoid language that could indicate discrimination or hiring preferences. Examples include gendered language (“The individual in this role will use his strength to lift heavy packages, 50+ pounds”) or phrases that may rule out members of a protected class.

Posting the job description

After creating an engaging description, the next step in the process of hiring with an ATS is posting it to various boards. There are hundreds of online job boards, each with its own niche and target audience. It’s helpful to consider which boards might yield the best results. For example, an entry-level tech job might get more responses if posted on a board that caters to recent graduates in the technology sector.

Explore different options, including industry-specific boards and those designed for members of a particular demographic. By posting a listing in the right places, an organization can improve its chances of attracting qualified applicants.

Receiving applications

The next phase in the applicant-tracking system is receiving applications from those with an interest in the role. Some systems can issue rankings to applicants based on specific data, including keywords on the resumés and in the answers to questions on the application.

You may be able to set up an automatic rejection process based on answers. For example, if knowledge of a specific coding language is a requirement for a developer role, any candidate who indicates that they don’t know that particular language would be automatically rejected.

The application phase can remain open for as long as needed. The length of that period often depends on factors like the quantity of applications received and the need to fill the role within a specific timeframe.

Undergoing the review process

Anyone granted access can view applicant data and determine whether to move each candidate forward in the process. Moving someone to the next phase should be simple. A recruiter or hiring manager can select which candidates to interview and which to reject.

Upon interviewing each candidate, those involved in the process can take notes to reference when reviewing all candidates. Keeping those notes within the system makes it easier to recall what was discussed during the interview and whether to move forward.

Sending notifications and follow-up

It’s important to keep candidates in the loop throughout the process. But sending emails to everyone who applied isn’t a good use of your time. With an applicant tracking system, the hiring manager and recruiter don’t have to worry about notifications or follow-up messages. Automatic notifications keep candidates informed of their progress and whether they’re moving forward to the next phase.

For example, if you select a candidate to interview, the system can automatically send a notification requesting to schedule. If you decide not to move forward with a specific applicant, they can receive an email or even a text message informing them of the decision. Each company can establish the messaging for these notifications to adhere to its brand and voice.

Extending an offer

Upon selecting the best candidate, the final step in the recruiting process is extending an offer. Using an applicant tracking system even makes this step easier. You can tap into pre-built templates to ensure that offer letters are thorough and informative.

When your selected candidate accepts the job, their information remains in the system. You can flow it into your company’s HR system to minimize errors from manual data entry. Additionally, you can use this information to stay in contact with the applicant until their first day of work.

Managing candidate data

Of course, every individual who applies for a job with your company won’t get hired immediately. But if an applicant has skills or experience that make them a good fit for another role in the future, their data remains within the system. You can reach out if a job opens up that aligns with their skillset, rather than starting the entire process over again.

Creating an account/onboarding

Bringing a new hire on board is a key step in the hiring process. Doing so successfully could determine how the employee feels about their role and the organization overall.

According to a recent Gallup survey, approximately 12 percent of employees think their company did a good job onboarding them. With so much room for improvement, it makes sense for companies to invest in onboarding efforts. After all, a poor onboarding experience can be the difference between an engaged employee and one who bails out for another role.

Employee turnover can cost a company up to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and bring on a replacement. This is an expensive undertaking for any business. But for small companies, the cost could wreak serious havoc on the budget. Onboarding is something that no business can afford to ignore.

With an applicant tracking system, onboarding becomes more seamless and consistent. ApplicantStack Onboard makes it easy to:

  • Import hires from ApplicantStack Recruit
  • Upload new hire forms (W-4, I-9, etc.)
  • Create and assign tasks to track progress
  • Invite new hires to view documents, input their information, and complete paperwork
  • E-sign documentation
  • View and download reports to measure onboarding success

Not all applicant tracking systems include onboarding functionality. But given the importance of this process in employee retention and engagement, it’s essential to choose one that does.

FAQ about Applicant Tracking Software

Still have questions about applicant tracking? We answer a few of the frequently asked questions around these systems below.

What should you look for in an applicant tracking system?

Every business might have its own unique hiring and recruiting needs, but some of the best features to look for in an ATS include:

  • Pushing job descriptions to boards
  • Automated processes (notifications, applications, etc.)
  • User-friendly interface
  • Onboarding capabilities
  • Integration with other systems (HR, payroll, benefits, etc.)

When should a business use an applicant tracking system?

An ATS can benefit any business that plans to hire. This software is designed to organize candidates to simplify the process of hiring. It can also filter out applicants who don’t meet the qualifications for a role or highlight those who might be a better fit based on skills and experience. If your company has employees (or will hire employees in the future), an ATS is beneficial.

ApplicantStack is the applicant tracking system that’s built for small business needs. It doesn’t skimp on features or functionality, but it’s priced to fit into the budget of just about any company. Still on the fence? Try it free today and find your next hire faster and more efficiently.