People don’t hear back from half of the jobs for which they apply

British job seekers don’t hear back from almost half (45 percent) of the jobs they apply for, according to a new poll from Indeed. According to ONS data, there are 916,000 job vacancies in the UK, but with frustrations around the hiring process, these aren’t set to be filled quickly or effectively. The survey of 1,000 working people and 1,000 hiring professionals in the UK shows that the hiring process is inefficient for both job seekers and businesses, delaying the right candidate being matched with the right role.

Silence is harder than rejection for job seekers, as 86 percent would rather hear back and get a no, rather than not hear anything at all. In fact, 41 percent saying not hearing back from employers significantly impacts confidence in their job search. Half (52 percent) also say when they don’t hear back from a job it makes them wonder if they should be searching for new work at all, meaning staff are sticking in roles they are unhappy and less productive in.

This may be because waiting to hear back from employers takes up significant mental energy, with 3 in 4 (74 percent) workers saying if they got a response, even to receive a no, they would waste less time thinking about it, while 71 percent said it would reduce their stress.

Not hearing back from employees is only one grievance job seekers have with the hiring process, with 79 percent saying it’s a job in itself to find roles they want to apply for. In fact, 63 percent of workers lament that the hiring process in the UK is inefficient and slow.

As a result, almost half (49 percent) of Brits have given up on finding a job that’s right for them as the process has been too difficult, demoralising or time-consuming. The top three emotions job seekers feel when job hunting is frustrated (45 percent), demoralised (29 percent) and burned out (25 percent), while only 9 percent feel empowered to find new work.

Almost a quarter (23 percent) of job seekers say their last job search took 6 months or longer. Given the length of time, it’s no surprise that job hunters start to lower their standards, with 27 percent caring less about the jobs they applied for, and almost a quarter (23 percent) applying for jobs they knew they weren’t suited for. Meanwhile, 63 percent apply for multiple jobs because they don’t expect to hear back from employers.

Job seekers lowering their criteria for a new job is having an impact on businesses, as hiring professionals say that almost a quarter (22 percent) of candidates who apply for a role are a poor match.

The hiring process is no easier for businesses than it is for job hunters, as 61 percent of hiring professionals say they’ve wasted time with inefficient or lengthy hiring processes. A contributing factor is that almost a third (32 percent) of candidates they’ve reached out to are unsuitable due to avoidable reasons such as location, qualifications, or lack of interest in new opportunities.