Companies compete for the best talent, which means they need to cultivate candidate relationships and understand how potential employees view the organization and the recruitment process. So, what do candidates really want? The 2017 Yello Recruiting Study* surveyed 1,400 first-time job seekers to find out. When it comes to recruitment, some facts are clear.

They Want to Apply From Their Phones

Nielsen reports that a huge majority — 98 percent — of Millennials own smartphones, so it’s no surprise that candidates reach for their phones not only to text their friends, but to search for jobs. The 2017 Yello Recruiting Study found that 26 percent of respondents have applied for a position using a mobile device, a six percent increase over 2016.

When a candidate is interested in your company, make sure they can apply via their phones during their commute or while waiting for an appointment. If you haven’t tested your company’s mobile application, try applying for a job from your phone. Check for requests for repetitive information, make sure it’s easy to upload a resume and ensure the application process is quick.

They Want to Stay Informed

For top employers who market to job seekers and build their talent communities, the work is paying off. Yello’s research found that nine out of 10 candidates who participated in a talent community felt it positively impacted their decision about a company.

In-demand candidates, especially in technical fields such as engineering, can be over-recruited; phone calls and LinkedIn messages may go ignored. Instead of trying to recruit these highly sought after candidates, focus on making them part of your talent community, so they can learn about your company, and connect with your organization before a position opens. Maintaining a talent community isn’t only about selling your company; it’s about building your employer brand and nurturing relationships.

They Want Video Interviews

Nearly 60 percent of all Millennial smartphone owners use video calling to connect with family and friends and half of millennials say they don’t need a physical classroom, opting for video lectures and virtual learning. Similarly, Yello’s study found that three out of every four candidates appreciate the use of video technology in the hiring process.

As video becomes more commonplace at school and at home, recruiting organizations can tap into this technology to connect with potential hires. Recruiting teams can replace phone screens with pre-recorded video interviews, and forego the costs of candidate travel by conducting live video interviews.

They Want to Text During the Hiring Process

Banks text payment reminders, restaurants text when a table is ready and stores send coupons through text message. Should recruiters text candidates during the interview process?

The answer is yes: 86 percent of candidates feel positively about texting during the interview process, Yello’s survey found. Recruiters can leverage these insights to quickly connect with potential employees. Instead of confirming interviews through email, send candidates a text to ensure they have the information at their fingertips. HR expert Dr. John Sullivan even suggests text-interviewing, where the candidate and hiring manager exchange interview questions and answers via text messaging.

They Want Scheduling Tools

Candidates and recruiters share a nightmare: showing up for an interview on the wrong day. With interview scheduling software, especially software that allows candidates to self-schedule and provides recruiters real-time updates, the appointment becomes a dream scenario, instead of a nightmare.

The 2017 Yello Recruiting Study found that candidates appreciate the opportunity to book their own interview slot, instead of emailing back and forth with a recruiter to schedule a time. Nine out of 10 candidates surveyed felt that using scheduling software improved their interview experience. If your talent acquisition team still plays phone tag or emails for days to confirm a meeting time, consider using scheduling technology to improve the experience, both for candidates and recruiters.

They Want to Explore Your Website

Even with the rise of third-party review sites like Glassdoor and Comparably, your website is still the go-to for job seekers. 46 percent of respondents surveyed said a company’s website was the best place to find information about the organization.

Make your careers site more than a list of open positions. Communicate company mission and values. Use employee testimonials to show candidates why current employees joined the company, and why they stay. Take your site a step further by incorporating a contact form to reach the recruiting team. Potential applicants may have specific questions about job opportunities, but have no way to ask them. Providing candidates the ability to ask questions — and quickly receive a response — may increase the candidate to applicant conversion rate.


The facts are clear — candidates seek new technologies during the recruitment process. They want to learn about your company through your talent community, text directly with recruiters, and when it comes time to apply for a job, they want to complete the application from their phone. Incorporate learnings from The 2017 Yello Recruiting Study to engage with candidates, give them the opportunity to connect with your brand, and ultimately, hire the best employees.

*In February 2017, Yello surveyed 1,461 collegiate or recently post-collegiate students on their interviewing and hiring experiences. All individuals were either currently employed or had accepted full-time or internship offers.