Five ways to reduce stress for your applicants and candidates

In a recent survey conducted by, 81% of jobseekers told us that they find looking for a new job stressful*. Given the events of the past year, combined with the number of people still temporarily furloughed or unemployed as a result of the pandemic, you may not be surprised by that number. However, with over a third (36%) of UK adults currently looking for work, knowing how to cut stress and get the best from candidates could help your hiring success this year. Here’s how:


1. Keep your job adverts clear and concise


Compared to recent years, 2021 has seen an increase in the number of individuals who may be looking to make a career change or move sectors. So much so that seven out of 10 jobseekers would be willing to move industries to help improve their job prospects.


With this in mind, make sure your job adverts are easy to read and clear on what skills and experience level is required for the role – avoiding industry jargon. Keep job descriptions concise and consider utilising formatting options (e.g. font in bold, italics, the use of bullet points) where appropriate to aid readability. On average, adverts with job descriptions which include formatting receive 15% more applications than adverts without any formatting**.


2. Be inclusive


Two groups feeling the most stressed about job hunting right now are women (85%) and those aged between 18-24 years old (85%) – both groups that we’ve seen have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. 


Being an inclusive recruiter will widen your talent pool and may help those who are feeling particularly stressed or worried about their job search. 


Whether it’s gender-specific job titles, age-related terms (such as ‘highly experienced’ or ‘mature’), or any other potentially sensitive or protected characteristic, avoid using terms with potentially negative or discriminatory connotations. You can find more information as well as tips for avoiding discrimination in job adverts here. As for what you should highlight: state you are an equal opportunities employer, where possible, clarifying how this practice of inclusion benefits your potential applicants.


Other ways to appear inclusive include referencing your approach to flexible and remote working options, alongside highlighting elements such as your company’s maternity and paternity policy, job sharing, and any childcare benefits – these can all be reassuring features to family-orientated employees.


3. Set clear expectations around salary


Salary is something that is always high up the priority list for candidates; this is backed up by our recent survey which shows that 40% of active jobseekers are looking for work in order to earn a higher salary (ranking it as the biggest motivation). 


Therefore, always include a salary band when possible. And make sure to highlight any financial benefits too, such as your business’ pension contribution and any bonuses or commission schemes you offer..


The benefit of advertising a salary band is clear: job adverts that include a salary receive 43% more applications than those that don’t**.


4. Get your company culture across


A business with a company profile on receives over 230% more applications than a business without**. That’s because jobseekers want to understand your company culture before committing to an application to ensure that it would be the right fit for them. Highlight elements of your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) throughout your job adverts – and company profile on – to set yourself apart from the competition. And feature the unique benefits candidates can enjoy by working at your company instead of somewhere else.


With trends such as flexible hours, remote working and employee wellbeing becoming more common expectations among jobseekers, addressing your company values, initiatives and benefits will maximise your odds of attracting the ideal hire.


5.Demystify the process


More than half (51%) of jobseekers told us they expect to hear back from a recruiter within a week***, even if their application has been unsuccessful. This is a clear sign that more can be done to make the recruitment process more transparent – and consequently less stressful for jobseekers. Our tip: set automatic replies to applications, signposting time frames for when candidates should expect to hear back from you.


Interviews can be made less stressful, too. Almost half (46%) of jobseekers admit they have felt more nervous about interviewing over Zoom than they did about doing an interview in person. By helping to set expectations with detailed information and logistics about the interview process well ahead of time, you can keep candidates calm and ensure you see the very best of their skills and personality during the interview.



*Online survey of 2,001 UK adults, conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of, between 16th – 19th February 2021

**Job adverts posted on between January – December 2021

***Online survey of 4,461 UK adults, conducted by Atomik Research on behalf of, between January – February 2019