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graphicstock confident man in formalwear waiting for his turn for interview HJSZ 8Y0Qb SBI 305497074

New Research Reveals Europe’s Largest Companies are Ignoring Candidates

iCIMS’ second annual report shows the Global Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Europe have room to improve and modernise the candidate experience to compete in today’s labour market

PARIS (Oct, 2021) – Despite talent shortages in a labour market where the competition for talent has never been fiercer, companies are still lagging in innovation and failing to prioritise the candidate experience. Although there is AI-powered technology specifically designed to provide a seamless job search, 91% of European companies don’t offer a digital assistant on the career site for immediate assistance, according to research released today from iCIMS, the talent cloud company. Additionally, more than 50% of the largest European companies do not reply to a candidate within two weeks of receiving an application and the majority of responses are from a generic email address. This leaves candidates unsure of where they stand, while companies are missing out on opportunities to personalise the experience.

iCIMS’ new Candidate Experience Report explores the journey people go through as they search for and apply to jobs at the largest European companies. The findings confirm that many companies are not providing a 21st-century experience fit for virtual hiring needs, despite innovative technologies and process advancements that are available. The report will help employers to evaluate, compare, and improve application processes and talent experiences through the career site and other engagement technologies so they can effectively attract top talent in this competitive labour market.

“It is anything but ‘business as usual’ as talent shortages impact businesses worldwide and leaders are challenged to transform their approach and technologies to be successful in this new world of work,” said Mickael Cabrol, managing director, EMEA, iCIMS. “Our research shows companies may want to reconsider how their recruiting programmes and content represent their brand as a whole. Tomorrow, we will be hosting our first virtual INSPIRE European Summit to connect the European talent community, share talent strategies that work, and empower leaders to innovate and embrace future workforce needs.”

Key findings include:

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  • More than half of employers seemingly ignore candidates and fail to prioritise the candidate experience. The majority of employers in this research did not update candidates on the status of their application within two weeks, and 6% of employers do not even have an automatic reply to confirm the application was received. The companies that responded to candidates replied within just over six days, on average. By not responding or providing updates, companies risk losing quality candidates, many of whom may assume they’ve been rejected.
  • Modern engagement tools are underutilised. More than 90% of companies in this study are not using a digital assistant on their recruitment sites. Digital assistants can provide 24/7 support, nurture candidates, answer questions, collect information, automatically screen candidates, schedule interviews and convert online visitors to qualified candidates. The study also revealed the opportunity for employers to adopt text recruiting and engagement software to accelerate communication, improve the experience and reduce manual efforts.
  • Most European employers are using videos but aren’t using them as a strategic advantage. The study found that 74% of companies are featuring videos on career sites, but only a few use this technology to enhance job postings or feature user-generated video content of current employees. User-generated videos are a powerful way to share details on specific jobs and projects, by real employees, to create meaningful connections and help attract the right people for the right roles. In fact, separate data from the iCIMS platform revealed that job seekers spend up to 37% more time on career sites and applications increase up to 34% when video testimonials are present.
  • Overall candidate impression of the companies’ career sites is good, not great. The 133 largest European companies received an average score of 3.1 out of 5 for the design of their recruitment sites. Overall, candidates were satisfied with the design of the interface when they applied, but 54% of the companies scored between a 1 -3 on a five-point scale. Career sites for the companies in the consumer goods, insurance and retail sectors scored the highest.
  • The application process is getting faster and simpler. On average, it takes candidates 6 minutes and 11 seconds to apply to a job at the largest companies in Europe. Only three companies required lengthier applications of more than 15 minutes to apply. It took an average of 27 clicks to apply to a job, compared to 41 clicks in 2019, and 47% of companies offer an easy apply option through integrated social media platforms or job boards, compared to only 18% in 2019.

The research was conducted in partnership with HEC Junior Conseil, the Junior Enterprise of HEC, the number one business school in Europe, according to the Financial Times. This study evaluated the user design and experience on career sites, the number of clicks required to find a relevant job, application complexity, speed of response from the employer, the usage of modern engagement tools and more.

European-based leaders looking to build strong, diverse teams are also encouraged to register for the free, virtual INSPIRE European Summit on Oct. 21. The event will be hosted by iCIMS and UNLEASH and will feature talent transformation storeys from some of the most innovative companies in Europe.

About iCIMS, Inc.
iCIMS is the talent cloud company that empowers organisations to attract, engage, hire, and advance the right talent that builds a diverse, winning workforce. iCIMS accelerates transformation for a community of more than 4,000 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 100. For more information, visit

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