It can be extremely frustrating to have top talent "vanish" in the middle of the hiring cycle, especially when you assumed they were locked down for a particular position. Yes, there will always be a certain number of top candidates that leave the process because they got a better offer elsewhere, and solutions for that are simple: offer more compensation. However, applicants drop out for many other reasons, and looking at those potential reasons is an efficient way to set improvement goals for your hiring cycle – and find external solutions that can take more troublesome steps off of your to-do list. Here's what you can do:
Facilitate An Easy User Experience
Implementing an online application has been a high priority for many HR departments in the last few years. However, there is a significant difference between having an online application form, and having one that works: Without the right input from IT, marketing, and web developers, applications can go live with confusing instructions, unclear navigation options, or too many questions for the rapid-fire online environment.
We are seeing a lot of improvement here thanks to automation, auto-populated fields, and a move away from extensive questionnaires and toward uploading portfolios and resumes. Part of the application process should always be used to filter out unqualified applicants, but it's important to avoid crossing the line into an application process that is unfriendly to everyone.
Remove Selling From Recruiting
Recruits need to be adequately trained to learn the details about the positions they are representing and avoid "selling" to talent. Remember, for many candidates a meeting with a recruiter is their first experience with the company and their first source of information about a job. If the impression they receive is favorable, it may be some time before they ask more detailed questions or study the position description to find out what it involves. If reality doesn't match expectations, candidates will not only drop out but walk away disappointed with the company as a whole. Recruiters should be honest and informed. It's fine to represent the company in a good light, but job information must always be accurate.
The best candidates often ask the most questions. That can pose a challenge to hiring teams and managers that may not have all the answers – but it doesn't mean that questions can be ignored or overlooked with a, "We'll get back to you."
As a general rule, if a candidate feels ignored in the hiring process, they will assume that they'll be ignored at the job too. The old saying about treating recruits like customers holds true here: Their questions are important, and deserve attention even when an answer isn't easy to find. This applies to the digital world too, where it's even easier to ignore an email or content that a candidate is in fact relying on to make a decision.
Analyze Your Process and Improve Efficiency
How long has it been since you examined your hiring cycle and compared it to drop-out rates? Is there a particular stage that good candidates tend to vanish? It could be that you are taking too long to complete that phase, and the candidates start to feel ignored. A staffing agency can help speed up the process and skip more time-consuming steps so that no one is wasting time.
Represent Your Company Well in an Interview
Around 88% of candidates say that a negative interview experience will cause them to change their minds. Don't get caught in the trap of thinking an interview is all about hiring managers judging the performance of candidates: Candidates are also busy judging the interviewer. A poor impression can rapidly reverse a recruit's decision about the company, even after they have made it through past rounds of interviews.
Monitor Your Reviews Online
If a candidate suddenly disappears, they may have found something online that made them rethink the company. It's a good idea to scour social media and job review boards to see if anyone has made a significant post about a poor company or interview experience. Today's top talent will almost certainly do some online research of their own when they start seriously considering a company, and it's important to know what they will find.
Remember, you can speed up your hiring cycle and deal with weak points by partnering with a staffing agency like ICS. We offer a variety of placement options to help you quickly find the right candidates – with a reliable process that includes pre-screening.