3 Reasons Why Job Seekers Exit the Hiring Process

Andrea Fricks
Posted by in Human Resources

When there’s an open position that needs to be filled, keeping every qualified candidate engaged counts. Does your company find itself losing promising candidates throughout the hiring process? If so, there may be issues within that process that can be improved upon, increasing your candidate retention moving forward.

Here are three reasons job seekers may be abandoning your hiring process and ways to make improvements:

1. The online application process is lengthy or confusing. When a candidate visits your job’s application page, it should be straightforward and easy to navigate. If the application process is confusing or too long, interested candidates might exit early and not complete their application. Pretend you’re a candidate and run through the entire online application process on your own. How many steps are involved, and how long did it take to complete the application? Are there elements that can be removed or streamlined to reduce the time from start to finish? If you feel you’re too close to the process to recognize any potential issues, ask a colleague, family member, or friend to go through the application process on their end. Sometimes new eyes can help pinpoint opportunities for improvement!

2. The interview left a negative impression. If a candidate’s interview experience goes poorly, they might decide to pursue other job openings. There can be many causes for a poor interview experience such as a cold or unprepared interviewer, unexpected attendees during the interview, a lack of consideration for the candidate’s time and schedule, or not enough clarity about the role itself. If you administer interviews for your company, ask a colleague to shadow your next one and provide you with constructive feedback. Always be well-prepared for your interviews and familiarize yourself with the candidate and available role before the interview starts. If other members of your company will be attending the interview, communicate that to the candidate so their expectations are accurate.

3. Communication is happening too slowly. Consider the length of time that’s passing between each of your company’s interactions with the candidate. After a screening call or interview, how many days go by before you update the candidate regarding next steps? If too much time lapses between stages of communication during the hiring process, the candidate might lose interest in the position and move in another direction. Maintain swift communication so the candidate is aware of where they stand and what comes next. This isn’t to say that everything needs to happen overnight - candidates know the hiring process takes some time to complete. However, it’s crucial to keep them in the loop and open the lines of communication so they know they’re still on your radar.

If you’re struggling with candidate retention, carefully examine these three elements as well as the rest of the hiring process at your company. You may be surprised by what you learn! People often get comfortable doing things a certain way, but that doesn’t always mean it’s the best way. The labor market is constantly changing, so your hiring process should also adapt and change as needed over time.


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