How to Honour Candidates in the Application Stage

Submitted by Joe Santry on Tue, 20/06/2023
How to Honour candidates in the Application Process

1 Peter 2:17 ESV

Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. 

Themes of honour and love are constant throughout the Bible. Jesus commands that we are to love one another as he loved us. He goes further, stating to the disciples that the way that non-believers will recognise them as disciples is through how they love one another. 

Whilst this has implications for every aspect of life, I wanted to particularly focus on how this plays out in recruitment. Throughout the next few weeks, I’m going to be looking at different aspects of the recruitment process and exploring how hiring organisations can best honour candidates.

Report Results

Christian Jobs is in the process of producing our 2023 Christian Recruitment Report (email to sign up to receive a free copy). As part of the report, we produced a candidate survey and had 279 responses from Christians who have, at some point in their life, at least considered applying for a role in the Christian sector. One of the questions on the survey asked how Christian hiring organisations could better serve candidates and I explore some of the most common responses below:

Application Documentation

The days of applying for jobs with a generic CV and a 500-word cover letter are long gone. Application forms are becoming more specific and lengthier every year and, more often than not, it’s impossible to speak to a member of staff from the hiring organisation until you’ve satisfactorily completed the form. Often, lots of the required information a candidate needs to provide would be in their CV, but organisations increasingly need the information in a particular format, hence the shift to online application portals or lengthy forms.

Naturally, this saves the hiring team time and can often mean that ATS (Applicant Tracking System) software can do a lot of candidate filtration on their behalf. However, it does feel that in a society fixated on saving time and simplifying processes, we have made it much harder for jobseekers to apply for roles. 

Indeed suggests that candidates will be applying for 10-15 positions each week ( and, on average, it takes jobseekers 122 days to new work ( These statistics are incredibly general and depend on so many factors, but they roughly suggest that it takes the average candidate 175-260 applications before landing a position. If your application form takes 3 hours to complete, that will likely end in either very low numbers of applications or very poor quality applications due to the time constraints on people.

In our experience as recruiters in the Christian sector, calling candidates as early on in the process as possible is much more benficial. Candidates are more likely to complete forms after an initial 10 minute conversation with a member of staff from the hiring organisation or someone who has good knowledge of the role and can answer their questions.


When, on the Candidate Survey, we asked people what the one thing they would change about recruitment processes within Christian organisations is, the most common answer was ‘providing better feedback, more quickly.’

Speed of Communication

When hiring, most organisations either respond to applications as they come in or wait for the closing date before responding to all applicants. Either way can work very well. Sometimes, waiting for the closing date before responding to applications can result in candidates dropping out of the process if their situation has changed in the intervening time; they may have found alternative employment, moved locations or lost interest in the position. Leaving applications until the closing date can be beneficial though as it allows the recruiter to see all the applications before making any decisions. Communication is the key denominator here though. We’d encourage organisations to write on the advert when applicants can expect communication from them regarding their application and to commit to that.

Clarity of Communication

The application process usually begins with the candidate seeing an advert. It is important then that the advert makes all the key information as clear as possible and that the information on the advert is consistent with the reality of the position. Whilst there are occasionally good reasons not to provide information such as salary or precise location on the public job advert, we do know from the Recruitment Report we have produced that the clearer the salary and location are communicated, the more views that the advert receives.

In addition to the advert, clarity of communication is key when giving feedback to candidates. We believe that it is imperative that every unsuccessful applicant is clear in their mind as to why they haven’t been taken forward in a recruitment process. We see, from the first section regarding application forms, that the time required to apply for jobs has increased dramatically and, therefore, every candidate deserves a response explaining the decision of the hiring organisation at the very least. 


Every organisation is under pressure and we fully understand that. Recruitment is changing and lots of that change is for good reasons. However, it feels like candidates are the big losers and we believe that Christians should be the market-leaders in ensuring every applicant is shown love and honour. One thing that we see Christian organisations are exceptional at is offering additional support to candidates who would benefit from it - e.g receiving interview questions in advance, getting help with the application form, offering video application as an application method etc. We want to see organisations replicate this approach throughout the whole application process.

We’d love to hear from you regarding the application process that you follow and what works for your organisation. If we share best practices, we will all improve and ultimately candidates will be shown love, honour and grace.

Time seems to be the main constraint that limits what organisations can do and the feedback that they can give. For this reason, Christian Jobs offers an Outsourced Application Management service where we manage the applications on your behalf, ensuring that everyone receives feedback and unsuccessful candidates are offered a 30-minute video call offering CV advice, and prayer and are signposted to other opportunities they could apply for. Get in touch for my information by calling 07563131792 or emailing