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"Strategies for Retaining Top Candidates Through the Interview Process"

How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days

(And How to Change It)

Every hiring manager has been here: you have an opening and are interviewing applicant after applicant for an open position.

All of a sudden you find them: the perfect candidate.

They have the skills! They’re within budget! Your team loves them! 

And just like that… they’re gone. You’ve lost the candidate.

Maybe they took a counteroffer. Maybe they ghosted mid-way through the interview process. Maybe you just don’t know what happened. 

The bad news is that this happens more and more in today’s hyper-competitive hiring economy.

The good news — there are things within your control to change it. 

Top reasons you’re missing out on the best candidates for a job

1. Your job descriptions are unclear

Bad news: you’re losing candidates you never even met. This is partially because so many companies are hiring for the same roles right now.

And if you’re a candidate? Linkedin’s easy application means candidates apply for 5-10 roles between Zoom calls. Every job blurs together and candidates forget who you are.

If your description doesn’t pop, is overcomplicated, or unclear, you’ll get overlooked.

2. You only use HR to find candidates

Why put all your eggs in one basket? Your HR or Talent team can field organic applicants, but what happens when the first wave of unqualified resumes ends?

HR throws up their hands and says, “We’re doing everything we can!” and 99% of the time all that means is they took the role off your careers page and then reposted it.

Diversify your options.

3. Your interviews are too drawn out

The longer the interview process, the more likely it is for your candidates to lose interest, get frustrated, or accept another offer. To keep your interview process more streamlined, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Does every single stakeholder need to talk to that entry-level hire? 

  • Do you have to wait to move someone forward until your boss’s boss is back from their 2 week Europe vacation? (must be nice…)

  • Do 10 people really need to be on that panel interview?

  • Does it need to take 3 business days to collect every single person’s feedback? 

Time is money! And while you’re waiting around to schedule every step, your competitors have shortened their interview process to 1-2 steps with key stakeholders, and hired the hot-shot candidate who’s in demand and knows it.

4. You give applicants take-home assignments

Call it a case study, call it a skills assessment, call it whatever you want.

But candidates will call it homework or worse — free work.

Remember that college essay you loathed and put off until the due date? The candidates we all want to hire are BUSY (and should be, because they’re talented!) and can’t or won’t prioritize extra work over their already busy schedules.

This is why take-home assignments are the biggest mistake for hiring managers.

5. You waited to long to hire

After what seems like hundreds of interviews, you’ve finally found them! But…

They’re $5k over your budget. Or they don’t live near your HQ. Or they’re missing one technology but are using something similar. 

If they’re a culture fit and can learn the ropes, why wait?

Soft skills are the #1 trait needed in any hire and most tech/tools can be trained.

While you’re waiting for the unicorn who’s within budget and will drive to your office every day, you’re losing revenue from the open headcount, and your team members who are shouldering the extra work are getting LinkedIn messages every day about shiny new roles.

6. Window-shopping candidates (passive candidates)

The WORST. The role is mission-critical, it has been open for months, and the perfect resume hits your inbox. 

Then… they aren’t ready to make a move. And since most candidates are 100% remote now, it’s never been easier to take a 30-minute interview without a boss knowing.

Passive candidates will take your offer and use it to secure that raise they’ve been asking for, leaving you back at square one.

How to avoid missing out on top talent when hiring

1. Keep your job description it clear and simple

Clear is kind!

Clarity will pay off in the long run. Have a clear job description in advance, map out your full hiring plan, and agree internally in advance on what the hard requirements are and where you can flex.

Your team will thank you, and candidates will apply.

2. Find a trusted recruitment & staffing partner

Staffing partners cut through the white noise in a competitive market.

A worthwhile recruitment partner like Mondo will execute targeted recruitment plans to outcompete hundreds of similar job descriptions and cast a wider net to show you the talent you need when HR would just throw in the towel.

Staffing partners will also thoroughly vet any candidate to match your budget, skillset, and urgency.

The end result? You only interview the best.

3. Time is money – spend it wisely

Time is money — both for candidates and for you!

  • Keep the hiring process simple

  • Don’t drag out the next steps

  • Don’t invite too many cooks to the kitchen to make a decision

By keeping the process streamlined and efficient, you’ll be much more likely to land your top candidate.

4. Ensure you offer remote work as an option

Let’s face it — remote is here to stay.

For most candidates, working remote isn’t a perk, it’s a requirement. By offering this option, not only will you keep up with your competition, but you’ll gain access to a massive national talent pool.

Trying a remote hire for the first time or scared of the risk? Hire a remote contractor!

You’ll get the best of both worlds: talent on your team and a trial period before long-term commitment.

5. Don’t wait for a unicorn candidate to apply for the job

Is someone 80% of the way there, and wants to get the rest of the 20% there? Hire them.

Coachability and soft skills can’t be taught, but 99% of tech and marketing skills can be.

Leaving an open seat risks losing your headcount, losing revenue, and burning out your other team members who have to shoulder the additional work.

Don’t miss out on hiring the best candidates

Let’s face it, hiring is one of the hardest jobs out there.

It’s a guessing game, one where you close your eyes and cross your fingers.

But if you can take control of your hiring, you’ll save your company revenue, help your team get the support they need, and find the best talent faster.

Instead of unfilled roles open for months, hire a candidate in 10 days (or even less).


5 Strategies to Keep Candidates warm Between Rounds of Interviews

Have you heard the idiom ‘many a slip between the cup and the lip’? 

Recruitment isn’t a straightforward process. There are many bends and curves that recruiters and candidates must navigate in their journey before they reach an outcome.

The extended duration of the recruitment process, a job-ripe market favouring candidates, changing hiring priorities, and more can often derail even the most definite and certain hires.

So, what can recruiters do to keep their candidates interested and engaged between interviews? 

According to research by Resource Solutions, 

94% of candidates felt that the recruitment experience affected their decision to accept or reject an offer. Furthermore, 58% of candidates believed that a positive experience would have increased their likelihood of accepting a position. The candidate experience matters. A ton. And recruiters have a significant role to play in creating enjoyable and engaging candidate experiences. 

Here are five sure-shot strategies that you can use to keep your candidates involved and fired up during the interview process:

Speed is the Key

When it comes to hiring quality employees, you need to be quick. Your top candidates will undoubtedly be on somebody else’s radar, so you must act fast if you want them to join your company.

Responding to applications quickly, sharing interview feedback as each round progresses, and most importantly, the final hiring decision are all different touchpoints in the recruitment journey where you should communicate with candidates as quickly as possible.

Often these timelines are beyond your control as a recruiter. You need department heads to review resumes, functional leaders to create space for interviews in their busy schedules… When a candidate doesn’t hear from a company within a few days of applying for a job or attending an interview, they tend to lose interest in the job.

In that event, the recruiter must keep all the cogs turning properly with frequent communication that keeps everyone informed on the expected turnaround times (TATs) and delays as they happen. This goes a long way in reducing blank spaces and keeping candidates involved in the process. 

Make your Culture and Ideals Known

Offer your candidates access to everything from the workplace atmosphere to what makes your people tick to help them establish an emotional connection with your company.

This can either happen in between different rounds of interviews or even before the interviews begin if you want to impress upon the candidate the company’s culture and values. 

Creating a handbook of the company culture and ideals is a great way to share them with prospective hires to help them reach a decision regarding joining the company. A fantastic showcase of how the culture and values of a company are shared with employees is through Netflix’s employee handbook.

Communicate, Enough

Communication is key when it comes to creating engaging candidate experiences. All of the how’s, when’s, who’s, and where’s are crucial. Being overly communicative is preferable to being under communicative when it comes to hiring.

But it’s not enough to communicate often. It is important that you also stick to your communication plans, even if there is nothing to communicate. For instance, if you are supposed to communicate with a candidate whether they’ve moved to the next round of interviews by a certain time, make sure you do that even if you don’t have any news for them.

This will help build trust. Candidates like to be aware of their status every step of the way, and as a recruiter, it’s your job to communicate often and enough with them.

Treat Candidates Like Clients

Most customers associate brands with experiences—the way a brand makes us feel is the basis of our relationship with it and how brand loyalty is forged. A great example in the Indian market is Netflix, which despite being the most expensive OTT platform, is the most popular in the country.

Now consider creating the same experiences for your candidates so that you become the preferred choice amongst employers.  

Just like you would do for a customer, take the time and effort to craft unique experiences for applicants. This will go a long way in ensuring that candidates remain plugged in and loyal. Some ways to pamper and delight your potential employees are immersive programs, live chats, peer-to-peer forums, gamification, and event invites.

Meaningful Interactions 

Let every interaction with your candidate be meaningful, particularly if they haven’t gotten the job. Don’t let your candidates be in the dark, be sure to let them know that they didn’t make the cut and why they lost out on the job. This will ensure greater transparency and honesty with the candidate in the future. 

Keep in mind that looking for a job can be a long and frustrating process. Anything you can do to assist these prospects in obtaining employment is beneficial and keeps them warm for future positions at your organization.

By providing helpful, honest feedback, you can help candidates improve their skills and land the next job they apply for. However, providing constructive input is only half of the equation. It’s also crucial to deliver the feedback on schedule, typically within a few days of their interview. When it comes to rejecting a candidate, strike a balance between facts, compassion, and suggestions.

Follow these five foolproof strategies to keep candidates warm during the hiring process, thereby reducing the risk of losing them through the process. It is a candidate’s job market out there, and as a recruiter, you should do the best you can to deliver memorable candidate experiences that are sure to result in a hire. We’ve got more tips on how to make memorable candidate experiences.  




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