Why Your Candidates are Standing You Up

Why Your Candidates are Standing You Up

We’ve all been there. It’s 3:05 and your 3pm interview hasn’t arrived yet. You’re likely getting caught up on some things while you wait but the same thoughts cross your mind: “Maybe they’re stuck in traffic,” “maybe they had an emergency,” or “maybe they’ll just be a no show.” Often this doesn’t make sense, especially when the candidate seemed so enthusiastic on the phone or over email. Then the email comes, and it usually begins with an “Unfortunately.” Or maybe it doesn’t come at all and you’re left wondering what you might have missed or where things went wrong.

While hopefully this isn’t a common occurrence, it is an inevitable one in the world of recruiting. You always hope it doesn’t happen with your star candidate, but with competition in the job market increasing, it just might.

While we tend to think our jobs and open positions are pretty great, sometimes it isn’t enough for candidates. Below are some major reasons why your candidates may not be making it to their interview and what you can do about it.

Lapses in Communication

Things get busy, and this often generates a communication gap between your candidate and company. If you are working with an active candidate who is proactively seeking employment, chances are you aren’t the only company on their calendar, so the key is keeping up excitement and momentum. Be sure to check in at least once per week during this lapse in time.

Takeaway: Keep candidate excitement up by checking in and confirming interviews. Make it even more personal by providing links to your website, the latest company news or other ways your company showcases its culture.

Outside Information

The difficult truth is that we live in a review and referral culture. In fact, according to recent research, Millennials trust user-generated content (reviews, blogs and social posts) 50 percent more than branded content (ads, corporate sponsored content). While you don’t have control over things like review sites or message boards, you do have control over your relationship with that individual candidate. Be sure that your career site is indicative of your company’s culture, ensure that your interactions with candidates are positive and engaging and if possible utilize tools like employment video to give them a real-life view into what it’s like to work at your company.

Takeaway: Make interactions positive and memorable, and showcase your culture firsthand through tools like your career site and employment video.

A Better Offer

The job market is competitive, and unfortunately you may lose some candidates to “better offers.” This can be difficult, especially if you’re losing talent to a competitor in the market. To best position yourself, sit down with your team and highlight the top benefits you offer to candidates, including your employment brand. Try and take this outside health benefits and vacation time and jot down some the increasingly important intangibles too, like a casual office environment or flat organization structure.

Takeaway: Identify the company’s employee value proposition and be sure those are present in things like your job postings, career site and other resources your candidates are looking at.

Unengaging Experience

When dealing with high hire volume or during a hectic time of the year, communications with candidates can slide. This can mean brief emails, divided attention and shorter interviews. When undergoing the hiring process during a busy time, always remember that every touch point with a candidate is an impression. A few-word email could be signaling to your candidates that you aren’t interested, don’t see them as a serious contender or that the culture is disengaged.

Takeaway: Make sure that all interactions signal the right message to candidates. If they feel you value their time, they’re much more likely to value yours.

No one likes being stood up, especially when it means wasted time and the loss of a potentially valuable candidate for your company. Many times, it’s easy to blame the interviewee for being irresponsible or rationalize that you weren’t that interested in them in the first place. The reality is that a ‘no show’ presents the perfect opportunity to assess your recruiting process and identify what might have gone wrong to hopefully prevent or minimize it happening again in the future. While these takeaways can’t bring back the ones that got away, it may help you lock down your next great hire.

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