In recruiting, there is no worse feeling than finding a great candidate who has the skill set, job experience, and attitude you are looking for in a role — only to have them drop out of the hiring process after the first interview.
The fact is, in today’s job seekers’ market, candidates have options and are not keen to waste their time on opportunities that aren’t immediately available or attractive. Tightening up your hiring process is crucial if you want to ensure that top candidates are not being dissuaded by a drawn-out, arduous, or unnecessary recruitment phrase.
Still not sure where you’re going wrong? Here are four reasons why candidates may be fleeing after the initial interview.
1. Your hiring manager is in interrogation mode.
We’ve all sat through really tough interviews — the ones with questions that still keep us up at night (and that after months of review, we now have the perfect answer for). However, there is a clear line between asking tough but relevant questions and interrogating your candidates.
In an interview, avoid aggressive or accusatory tactics. It’s also important not to make a habit of poking holes in a candidate’s answer on the spot. Simply ask the question, listen to their response, and note any inconsistencies or red flags to follow up on later. Even if an answer seems too good to be true, you can always check with their references later to confirm.
2. What you think is a friendly inquiry is actually coming off as inappropriate.
One of the best parts of hosting in-person (or video) interviews is that it gives your team an opportunity to get to know a candidate more thoroughly and determine if they will be a good culture fit. However, no matter the intentions, asking too personal or intimate questions can make a potential new hire feel uncomfortable and is a surefire way to push them to leave the interview process early.
Keep to general questions about hobbies or interests, especially if they note them on their resume. However, do not bring up questions about family, marital status, children (or their plans for children). These are all inappropriate questions and should be avoided.
3. You tell a candidate specifics about decision timelines or follow ups, but do not keep to your own schedule.
There’s nothing quite as anxiety-inducing as waiting for a call to hear whether you landed a new job. Which is why it is even more frustrating when hiring managers do not keep to their own timelines and promises.
When decision makers do not adhere to their own timelines and deliverables, it’s likely that candidates who are already entertaining multiple offers are going to drop out of consideration.
After all, you must respect every applicant’s time. While things may inevitably get pushed or delayed, do not take the easy way out and ghost your applicants. Even a simple two sentence email saying that the hiring committee needs more time is enough to keep candidates interested and halt the mass exodus.
4. It’s overwhelmingly obvious that your hiring manager is unprepared for the interview.
While you may think you’re doing a good job ‘winging’ an interview, candidates can almost always tell when you are disorganized or frazzled. From not reading their resume ahead of time to being unclear which role a candidate is applying for, hiring managers must do their homework and come to the interview prepared.
At the end of the day, a disorganized interview makes the company look unorganized and, frankly, unattractive. With talent shortages on the rise across multiple industries, this is one mistake your team cannot afford to make.