Don’t let your candidate application experience deter new developers

When it comes to recruitment, the process can be a delight or a disaster. You know that the right person...

Andy Bristow
Andy Bristow
4 min read Reading Time
21 November 2019 Date Created

When it comes to recruitment, the process can be a delight or a disaster. You know that the right person for the job is out there, but how do you connect with them? And supposing you do, how do you ensure they complete the application?

Brutal honesty here – standard recruitment processes can come across as stale, dull and long-winded. If you’re looking for someone bright, sparky and creative, that puts up a barrier immediately. The step-by-step method of advertising a job vacancy, receiving completed application forms – in a standardised format, for easier comparison – sorting and long-listing, interviewing and short-listing might be familiar, but also might have had its day. A lot of it, in an attempt to make the selection process easier for HR professionals, actually puts off applicants.

Nowadays, the world moves faster and quick results are required. Your perfect candidate might take one look at your ad and roll their eyes, find the application process difficult to navigate due to website issues or – worse – get partway through a long application and decide the time required is too big an investment at this stage of the process or for the job involved.

Using the traditional recruitment process, the old one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t necessarily change much whether you’re looking for a manager or an entry-level worker, despite both the job requirements, and the applicants’ expectations, being different. So, how can you connect with potential applicants and get the information that’s important to you quickly, reliably and in a way that keeps applicants engaged?

Social media platforms

Many businesses have taken to not looking at CVs but paying more attention to the candidates social media and LinkedIn profiles as a means to understand their education and experience, minimising that need for CVs to change hands.

Fast food giant McDonald’s took an innovative approach to recruiting staff in Australia, based on two pieces of knowledge; people are more likely to complete an application that takes five minutes or less, and the people they are looking for are generally fans of Snapchat.

Their new application process is fast and fun. First, people use the Snapchat app to scan a Snapcode, which takes them to a careers page. Next, they can try on a virtual uniform, so they can see themselves in the role. That done, and in uniform, they record a ten-second “snaplication”, which they forward to recruitment.

Action was driven by necessity – the company is the biggest employer of young people in Australia but was struggling to fill the posts available. However, they knew the majority of applicants had little or no work experience – their main selling point was their personality – and the 16–26 age demographic expect things instantly. Snaplications combine all those elements and allow an applicant’s personality to shine through.

McDonald’s aren’t the only company shaking up recruitment practice. Alongside a traditional approach to online recruitment, IBM offers Watson, an AI platform that engages with jobseekers and directs them towards a job match.


When Uber was looking for staff to fill engineering roles in 2016 they created what they called “hacker challenges”, using in-app coding and debugging exercises. Each was timed to take 60 seconds to complete. They were devised to both keep people engaged and offer a quick pay-off, and people who did well were invited to apply for a job. Similarly, Google has hidden tasks on its website.

A word to the wise – even the giants of the corporate world can get it wrong. In 2017, Apple aimed at innovation in recruitment when it hid a job ad for a technical engineer on its website. The idea was that anyone who could find it had already demonstrated proficiency. Unfortunately for Apple, it was stumbled upon by a journalist analysing advertising information, who said: “Trust me, there was little proficiency needed to find the page …”

If you are looking to recruit an IT specialist to your team or business and want to utilise pioneering new methods while avoiding potential pitfalls, please get in touch. Our expert knowledge of IT recruitment and innovative approach can help you to find the perfect match.