Your Interview Process is Losing Candidates

by Trish Ryan

Recently, I spent some time listening to hiring frustrations from various HR leaders. Hiring managers and HR recruiters indicated that they’ve lost good candidates to their competition. As I began to probe into why it might be happening, it became evident that their hiring process is playing a role in losing top talent. Each company has a process they follow. This process is taking on average 4 to 12 weeks, and that’s after identifying potential candidates.

This process can include:

  1. Receiving and reviewing resumes
  2. Performing an initial screening call
  3. Scheduling a face to face interview
  4. Scheduling subsequent interviews
  5. Reference Checks and Background Checks
  6. Negotiating offer and start date

What’s not listed in the process, and the usual reason why the interviewing process is slowed down, is:

  1. Recruiting the right people
  2. Scheduling interviews and working around everyone’s schedule

We are all preoccupied with meetings, appointments, and getting our job done, and for many, interviewing can be stressful.

In the beginning of 2017, Careerbuilder indicated that this would be one of the best years for job seekers. So if we know you have an interviewing process that can be elongated due to time and scheduling, what steps can you take in a candidate driven marketplace? It helps to have everyone’s schedule when you have a potential candidate, but it is really important for everyone in your company to realize that we are in a candidate driven market. Offers need to come quickly and be strong enough to land the desired candidate before they lose interest.

Technology can be a great tool to help your process. When you have the ability to work with a good recruiter, make sure you ask them if they have a online interviewing capabilities. Creating questions and defining skills sets imperative to the position and responsibilities to ask potential candidates can be a very effective tool in identifying the right talent.

It is absolutely critical to contact the candidate and/or recruiter within a 48 hour time frame of receiving the resume. Also, after interviews, make sure you reference next steps within 48 hours. When time goes by without communication, candidate’s tend to wonder what is going on and think you no longer have an interest in them.I would also recommend that your process be explained to candidates either by you or the recruiter when you confirm they are a viable candidate. When they have an accurate understanding of your interest, the process and the time commitment it does seem to help keep their interest level high.

I would also recommend that the compensation questions be asked of the recruiter. Make sure you can afford the candidate before you start the interviewing process. Make sure you have an understanding of what they feel the position should pay, and what compensation they would accept. Be also realistic as to what you feel you are willing to pay for this particular candidate.
In a candidate driven marketplace it is imperative to acknowledge that good candidates are being sought after by your competitors and current employers are giving counter offers so that they do not lose their talent. My recommendation is for you to do the following:

  1. Tighten up the process where you can
  2. Sell your company in the interviewing process
  3. Communicate clearly and concisely with the candidate and recruiter. It’s a good idea to have someone keep in touch with the candidate on a personal level. Consider having HR share information on benefits, 401K, etc.
  4. Make sure your recruiter is keeping you up to date on other companies potential offers
  5. Make the right decision for your company. It’s okay to turn down a candidate. If it is a ‘Yes’ or a ‘Maybe,’ do everything you can to keep the candidate engaged.

If you find yourself losing talent to the competition, try the above steps to help compete in the candidate driven market we are currently in.

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