Stages of selection: how do job seekers and employers see them?

In June 2022 the recruitment company JoBoosters ("Talent Management") completed the study "Selection Stages: the View of the Applicant and the Employer". About 70 respondents - applicants and 70 experts - HR managers and Recruitment Lids of the largest Russian and international companies took part in the research.

Employers in any market strive to make the best choice out of the available applicants. Solving this task employers seek balance between demands to candidates and attractiveness of offered conditions: the higher demands (taking into account profession), the more selection stages.
The applicant seeks to choose the best offer among employers who have open positions that are relevant to him at the moment. And the selection procedure is the gateway to the company, the hanger, where the theater begins.
Over the past 2-3 years the qualifications of job seekers have grown seriously, and changed the attitude to this process: now job seekers are not so much worried about "selling" themselves (fears of "I do not fit", "I will not be selected" visit applicants less frequently), as the choice of the most promising option of work, deeper evaluation of the employer, more stringent and meaningful questions to him ("why my predecessor left," "how quickly I can learn", "how much money others earn in this position").

Selection procedures are perceived by candidates as one element of the employer's offer, and as an important tool for the candidate's own evaluation and selection of the Company.
We assumed that the higher the job seekers' salary expectations, the higher their willingness to make a difficult and lengthy selection process, but this turned out not to be the case. We tested this hypothesis with a battery of statistical methods, and none revealed a correlation. In other words, job seekers with low salary expectations might accept a difficult selection. And job seekers with high expectations may reject the selection if it seems unreasonably difficult.

91.2% of HR managers surveyed associate the number of steps with the level of the position. In some cases, this approach would not be flexible enough: candidates for low-level positions would be willing to undergo a more complex selection process, which would allow the company to select the best ones as well. Conversely, candidates for higher positions would find the selection process too difficult, and would not want to go through it. We need to monitor the selection systems of competing employers.

In companies with above-market salaries (for the company as a whole) the selection for start-up positions is longer and more complicated than in companies with "in-market" and below-market salaries. No correlation between the level of salaries and the number of stages for other positions was found.

From the business point of view, this means that for a company with a higher average salary, investing in the recruitment of young specialists with higher potential and their further cultivation in the company to managers is justified compared to hiring managers and experienced specialists from the market.

Contrary to our assumptions, "Company Prestige" (the value of the employer brand) was not the most important motive for candidates to pass the selection process to the end. The leading motives are salary level, the possibility of remote work and career development opportunities. The priority of "hygiene factors" over emotional comfort factors is clearly seen.

When asked about the purpose and impact of a large number of selection steps, HR managers showed high solidarity on two points: "A large number of selection steps allows candidates without experience to be evaluated" and "A large number of selection steps reduces candidate motivation." An unexpectedly large number of HR managers (about 30%) do not agree that a larger number of selection stages allows to evaluate candidates' motivation and personal qualities.

The majority of job seekers and HR managers consider 3 stages optimal for selection. Only 14% of job seekers are willing to go through 4 stages of selection or more. At the same time, HR managers insisting on 4 or more stages of selection are more than 25% for professional vacancies and more than 50% for managerial vacancies. In fact, most employers require 3 or 4 stages of screening. That is, job seekers would like to go through fewer stages than they have to.
Speaking of test composition, job seekers consider Testing, Test Assignment, Group Interview, and Video Interview to be more effective than HR professionals. That is, selection tools that either allow you to actually show off your skills or are relatively inexpensive in terms of time. HR managers rate the Resume, Motivation Letter and Interview more highly than candidates - classic tools that give candidates, in our opinion, more opportunities for manipulation. The situation is paradoxical: candidates want to show themselves in action, and employers give candidates more opportunities to "sell themselves.

Given the finding that job seekers would like to spend less time on the selection process, it would be logical for employers to make efforts to maintain the interest of candidates during the long selection process. However, more than half of employers do not make any special efforts to maintain the interest of candidates during the selection process.

More than half of those who do use the traditional tools of feedback and contact maintenance.

Among the non-traditional tools of motivation in the selection process are such as a tour of the office, payment for completed tasks, souvenir products of the company, coaching for students, meetings of candidates with company experts, events on holidays, bonuses (intangible) from the company.