Frictionless hiring in public and not-for-profit sectors

Frictionless hiring in public and not-for-profit sectors

When hiring in a tight candidate market and up against the need to lower recruitment costs, not for profit and public sector organisations need to reduce the friction on both sides to attract the talent they need. In these sectors in particular, there can be a clash over attitudes towards recruitment processes. Employers need to glean the information they need to make an informed choice about a candidate, especially as the cost of a bad hire can amount to up to £132,015, which can lead to lengthy applications with bespoke questions. However, candidates expect a fast and easy application experience and are not willing to fill out extensive application forms that are poorly formatted or configured for multiple devices. According to SHRM, 60% of candidates will abandon a job application if it is too lengthy or complicated.

Not-for-profit and public sector employers need to find a middle ground between getting the exact information they need to hire the right person and streamlining the application process.

Problems caused by complicated or slow application processes for organisations

There are several pressing reasons why not-for profit and public sector organisations should be making an effort to reduce the candidate-felt friction in their hiring processes:

  • Inefficiency

Lengthy hiring processes are a self-fulfilling prophecy. If candidates are made to jump through unnecessary hoops or made to wait for hiring decisions to be made, then they tend to be snapped up or drop out of the process. Ultimately, delaying your search for the best person.

  • Increased costs

There is an impression that streamlining hiring processes will cost too much money or cause a drop in the standard of new hires. Slower decisions do not improve quality and can cost your organisation more money in the long run.

The extra time spent on information gathering is cancelled out by the top candidates being snapped up by more agile employers. This can mean organisations bidding against each other for the best talent and pushing up final salaries.

In addition to this, your organisation will be unable to fulfil its obligations or provide services to customer or clients to the best of its ability whilst roles remain vacant.

  • Pressure on existing workforce

Delays in hiring can put pressure on your existing employees. This can have a significant negative impact on morale which could lead to further vacancies or a drop in standards, leading to problems when fulfilling contracts or providing services.

  • Impact on employer brand

Providing unsatisfactory services because of knowledge gaps or overworked staff, the appearance of long empty ‘stale’ vacancies listed on jobsites, and overall poor candidate experiences can all serve to damage your organisation’s overall reputation. Review sites and ratings offered by Glassdoor or LinkedIn mean candidates are very keen to research an employer before making an application, a bad reputation here could be very damaging to your ability to attract future talent.

Three ways to create a frictionless hiring experience


The best candidates know that their time is valuable and won’t waste it on long winded or complicated applications. Similarly, candidates will drop out if they are required to set up multiple accounts to apply or re-enter information into a form that is already in their CV.

Conversion rates, that is the number of candidates that go on to complete an application, can increase by 365% if it takes five minutes or less to complete.

A robust review of your application and interview process can help you remember what the process is for – attracting potential candidates and deciding if you would like to pursue them!

Ask yourself:

  • What key information do you need at the beginning of the process?
  • Can more detailed questions wait until the interview?
  • Are the questions you are asking relevant to the position?

Think mobile-first

According to Telemedia Online, just over ten years ago 97% of internet access came from desktop computers and this is often the image recruiters have when they imagine how candidates approach their job search. However, in 2020 over 50% of internet access came from mobile devices. This means organisations need to move away from the idea that candidates engage with the recruitment process solely through desktop or laptop computers.

Additionally, Glassdoor’s research suggests that candidates using mobiles complete applications 53% less often and each application takes 80% longer than for desktop users. Work towards ensuring that your website or application portal is optimised for use on mobile devices.

This can mean ensuring:

  • Text is neither too small nor too large
  • Buttons and hyperlinks are easy to press using a touchscreen
  • Forms and content are sized correctly and don’t run off the page
  • There are no intrusive pop-ups or ads

Utilise technology

There are an increasing number of technological solutions that can rapidly speed up the recruitment process and help create a frictionless experience for both candidates and employers.

Data driven recruitment such as Applicant Tracking Systems, Google Analytics or recruitment software can help you make more informed decisions, but you can end up bogged down in irrelevant information. Decide on a few metrics relevant to your organisation and track those.

Automated emails can help you manage large numbers of applicants, give feedback and even reach out to passive candidates. Software can help you add levels of customisation and personalisation to improve candidate experience and your response rate.

Pre-employment assessments and tests can help you measure a candidate’s soft and technical skills quickly and objectively and identify potential top performers. As with all technology there are limitations, and it is important to define the metrics you wish to measure to choose the right test and ensure you are measuring relevant skill sets.

How can Morgan Law help you improve your recruitment processes?

With such a complicated recruitment climate for public and non-profit organisations, leaders need to find the right recruiting partner to navigate a potential high-level skills shortage.

At Morgan Law we take the time to develop a full understanding of your requirements, meeting with you to discuss challenges and offer advice on the availability of talent in the market and how to improve your existing practices.

Our established database of over 30,000 senior-level, highly-skilled professionals with significant experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors available on a permanent and contract basis enable us to deliver the highest quality recruitment solutions. Bespoke headhunting, targeted social media and online advertising, and networking events are used to attract further candidates.