The Six Biggest Sources of Friction in Your Hiring Process

Imagine this: you’ve spent your day perfecting your resume, and now it’s time to upload it to a carefully selected job application. Once you do so, you think you’re about to hit “submit” and move on with life, but then you see it – the manual form fields for virtually everything already included in your resume. You now have to look up the zip code for every school you’ve attended and trace your entire employment history before you’ve officially applied for the job.

We’ve all been there, and it’s time to name the problem. We can do it in just one word: friction. The more steps you add to a process, the less likely you are to keep a user’s attention. And in the digital era, it’s all too easy to bow out and move on to the next best thing.

For you, that could mean lost opportunities for great hires – and added stress for your teams.

There are a million possible points of friction in any recruiting and hiring process. Can you eliminate every single one? Probably not. But being aware of them is the first step to figuring out how to improve. We’ve developed a three-minute  stress test that you can take to understand how smooth or bumpy your recruiting process is. Take it here.

In addition to the quiz, here are the six biggest areas of friction you’ll want to consider when evaluating your organization’s hiring and recruiting process.

Jump Ahead:

#1 Job Advertising & Distribution
#2 Candidate Experience
#3 Applicant Processing & Evaluation
#4 Communication & Collaboration
#5 Reporting & Analytics
#6 Configuration
Take the Quiz

#1 Job Advertising & Distribution

When the proverbial ink has dried and everyone’s feedback has been incorporated on a job description, it’s time to see and be seen in all the right places. You make it easier for the best applicants to find you when you have a streamlined approach to distributing job openings.

What to consider:


As soon as you post a job, does it automatically show to your careers page or are there extra steps needed (involve marketing or IT or anyone else)?

Popular job sites

Are you taking advantage of the organic feeds to leading job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor as a default advertising source?

Insight tracking

If you want to post your job in more niche sites or places, can you do so using unique links so you know where your applicants are coming from?

New channels

If you wanted to attract applicants using text messaging, could you?


#2 Candidate Experience

The last thing you want is for a qualified candidate to throw in the towel on applying for your job because it’s too much of a hassle. How you hire shapes your brand as much as who you hire, so make sure you’re building a strong impression every step of the way.

What to consider:

Saving their time (and yours)

  • How long does it take an applicant to submit an application?
  • Are you asking for information upfront that you don’t need until much later in the evaluation process?
  • Do applicants need to re-enter data even after adding a resume?

Easy applications

  • Can your applicants apply using Indeed Apply natively?

Mobile access

  • Can applicants easily apply via mobile? Or are they pinching and zooming all over the screen?

Timely updates

  • Do your applicants get status updates upon submission and then throughout the process without the need to type each message out?


#3 Applicant Processing & Evaluation

How you collect and process information about applicants is perhaps the biggest source of friction in the hiring and recruiting process. Make sure you’re able to ask the right questions and efficiently assess the results.

What to consider:

Tailoring applications

  • Do you have to use one job application for all open positions or can you use job-specific applications?
  • Can you collect information from applicants using common input types like Yes/No, open ended text-based, multiple choice, and more?
  • Is your process iterative so that you can collect only the must-have information up front and then request more information from applicants if qualified?

Organizing information

  • Do you have one centralized place to view and evaluate all applicants?
  • Can everyone involved in the hiring process access and use your applicant evaluation center?

Evaluating candidates

  • Can you apply scores to applicant files?
  • Can you apply sentiment or scores to individual parts of an applicant file (for example, just the resume or just the employment history)?


#4 Communication & Collaboration

It’s often said that effective communication is a two-way street. In the hiring and recruiting process, it’s more like an ever-expanding traffic circle. Information needs to flow freely between employers and applicants, within the HR department and across the entire hiring team at varying frequencies. It’s crucial to eliminate bottlenecks and keep the conversation moving forward.

What to consider:

Applicant updates

  • Are applicants updated on status changes in the evaluation process?
  • Can you bulk message applicants? Bulk reject?
  • Do you have a library of approved messages so that all applicant communications are on brand and in a similar tone?
  • Can you schedule interviews directly through your ATS?
  • Can you offer several interview slots for applicants to choose from?

Inter- and intra-team communications

  • Can you communicate directly with your colleagues about an applicant in an applicant file or do you need to use external means (email, text, etc.)?
  • Can you share applicant files with anyone you choose to collect feedback on even if they aren’t a regular ATS user?
  • Can you easily add multiple interviewers to the same interview?


  • Can you decide which notifications you want to receive regarding your hiring process (new applicants; new @mentions, etc.)?
  • Can you see a chronological list of all events that transpired with any applicant so you know who did what, and when?


#5 Reporting & Analytics

It’s difficult to stick to a schedule if you don’t know where you are in the process. And gathering necessary information manually only slows progress. Quality reporting and analytics don’t just empower you to make the best decision. They can also make it easier to arrive at that decision – and make process improvements over time.

What to consider:


  • Do you know, in real-time, what stage of your process that each applicant is in?
  • Can you easily see the numbers and flow of all new incoming applicants by job and overall?


  • Do you know what sources are bringing in the most applicants?
  • Do you know what sources are bringing in the most hires?


  • Can you configure your data as needed to see trends, for example, by department?
  • Can you track your EEO or OFCCP data if needed?


#6 Configuration

This may not be the first word that springs to mind when you think about the hiring process, but it’s possibly the most crucial if you use an ATS. If your ATS has not been configured specifically to introduce flexibility, it will create roadblocks at every opportunity.

What to consider:


  • Can you add as many users as you want (so everyone can use the same system) without worrying about cost?


  • Can you create roles and permissions to control what each group or user can do within the system?
  • Can you control which jobs each user can access?


  • Can you customize the workflow on a job-by-job basis?
  • Can you model your real world organizational structure (locations, departments, region, etc.) in your virtual hiring system?

We’re on a mission to eliminate friction in the hiring process. Take the stress test now, and contact us to explore how our ATS can create a smoother hiring process for your organization.

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