how to keep candidates hooked and prevent dropouts

07/09/2023

Recruiting the best talent is a competitive challenge, and when candidates drop out during the hiring process, it’s a costly set-back. The good news is that many of these dropouts are avoidable. Here, we’ll explore the top reasons candidates drop out, and offer actionable insights to help prevent these unnecessary losses.

Slow Process & Poor Communication

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS – except in recruitment! Candidates will become discouraged by lengthy gaps in the hiring process. Too much waiting and not enough communication creates uncertainty and doubt, which can be a negative spiral. A great way to avoid this is to manage expectations through the process, and keep candidates informed at pre-agreed stages. Regular feedback shows candidates that their time is respected, creating a positive experience and increasing the chances of successful hires.

Unclear Job Descriptions

When candidates apply for a role, they are looking to clarify the expectations, overall remit and general purpose of the role – in short, their WHY within the company. The job description is the formal outline of this WHY. Too often we see job descriptions that are a list of tasks, or worse, a very generic outline of cut pasted cliches around exceeding expectations and meeting deadlines.  This is such a lost opportunity to describe the value someone can bring to the organisation.

No Sense of Achievement

Any job offer should be accompanied by a sense of achievement that you beat a competitive field through outperforming them at an interview. You should know why you were selected, your relative strengths but also where you may need development and how your future employer plans to invest in your development. None of this is possible if you weren’t tested during the interview process. Getting a new job is supposed to be a challenge, as potential employers should be looking to understand your weaknesses (with you), not just your strengths. It can be tough and counterintuitive to test people in a candidate-driven market, but really good applicants appreciate your investment in them and want to join high-performance cultures.

Building Connections and Engagement

Never underestimate a charm offensive. You can test someone in a process while still showing a human side and this personal connection can often be what makes a difference. There is an outdated concept that interviewers must not show weakness or criticise their company, but this open approach shows honesty and an openness that can make the difference. In addition, we often see more senior roles being offered over a coffee or lunch where the employer, having thoroughly tested an applicant, outlines precisely why they chose that individual for the role and how they will invest in their career.

Summary

Avoiding candidate dropouts means improving communication, transparency, and engagement. Some key strategies are: simplifying the hiring process, offering clear job descriptions, relevant assessments, and building meaningful connections. By addressing these areas, organisations can create a better candidate experience, attract top talent, and increase the likelihood of successful hires.

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