10 ways to lose a Candidate from your recruitment process

One of the most common challenges with recruitment is lack of candidates or not matching candidates. We all want to find our perfect hires and be able to choose from a wide talent pool. 

A way to broaden our talent pool is to attract and NOT lose candidates from our recruitment process.

Here are 10 ways that may be – unintentionally – turning off great candidates:


      1. The boring job ad

The average reader has an attention span of only eight seconds! Are you sure your job ad is presenting all the important info so that the candidate can catch them in those eight seconds? 

If the ads you’re posting aren’t compact enough, you will lose candidates right at the beginning. Make your job ad catchy i precisely, include some eye – catching elements or headlines. Here you can read more about improving job ads.

      2. Negative online reviews. 

Think of the last time you ordered a pizza? You probably spent some time scrolling through reviews before you decided where to order from. If you’ve succeeded with catching the candidates attention, don’t let them go because of no or poor online reviews of your company. 

55% of job seekers abandon applications after reading negative reviews online (The Future Recruiting Study, 2017)

      3. A poor first impression

Just as you are forming a first impression of your candidate based on how they act, how they look, if they are ‘’prepared’’ to the conversation about your company, candidates are judging you too.

Online reviews, showing interest in the candidate, asking the right questions – without monitoring this kind of aspects candidates can lose their interest in your company

      4. A neverending process

Your candidate is going through a process that might contain the first phone/ online screen , multiple meetings with HR, Managers and Team members, knowledge tests, personality tests  or even (unpaid) worksample. Struggling with finding  time to schedule all the meetings and preparing tests and presentations can extend the process up to one month. The candidates can feel pretty abandoned and annoyed after such a long time which can result in accepting another offer or resigning from the process. 

Make your process compact but essential, ask right questions instead of many, choose only important stages to include in your recruitment. Don’t wait 2 weeks to schedule the next meeting because somebody is on vacation or would like to ‘’see more candidates to compare’’ . 

      5. Your Career Site Isn’t Mobile Friendly. 

The majority of our society is living on their smartphones, you need a mobile-friendly career site and job ads to attract more candidates. Otherwise you are allowing them to apply to other companies. Make your ad mobile friendly and easy to apply – meaning candidates can easily connect via Linkedin or Facebook. 

      6. Ghosting 

Struggling with scheduling the next meeting ? Hard to prioritize all of your open positions or make a decision ? There can always come some unexpected delays or challenges – but don;t leave the candidate without update.

Keep in touch, inform, update, call, write – do something to keep your candidate in the loop.

      7. No flexibility

There are many different types of flexibility at a workplace (compressed hours, part-time, truly flexible hours, remote, etc.), but regardless of the type, 77 percent of employees consider flexible work arrangements as a major work consideration when evaluating future job opportunities.

A lot of work can be done outside of the traditional ‘9-17’ hours. Be flexible, focus on the result. You will gain a whole new group of candidates which may have a different schedule but can be competent  and effective employees.

      8. Having unreasonable requirements. 

Everyone wants to find the perfect employee and at the same time avoiding mishires. You might think that complicating the recruitment process or focusing too much on requirements is a solution. 

Good candidates will likely have other options so why go through a long and time consuming process when there are more convenient options?

      9. A long wait for a job offer

36 days is the average time to hire ( let’s simplify this metric by taking a very general statistic) Why extend this time by taking too long after going through the whole process?

Don’t compare candidates to each other, match them to the job description and your candidate persona. 

If you have the right candidate – make an offer even directly at the meeting, why not?                                                                                                Don’t confuse your candidates by letting them wait after a good conversation and a smooth process 

      10. No counter for the counteroffer

Companies decide to give counter offers when their employees give notice, because it’s easier than hiring and training new employees. 80% of people who are accepting counter offers will leave the company in the upcoming six months. 

Prepare for a conversation about the counteroffer. Include this topic in your process.

Ask the candidate what was the reason for leaving the company in the first place or why the employer did not come up with this offer earlier?


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