Why Recruiters Experience Candidate Dropoff

July 25, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

bulbs_blog.jpgSourcing top talent and finding a hireable candidate isn’t easy, which can make it all the more difficult to stomach when talent rejects your offer.

Misaligned career and company goals. Bad timing. A better offer. No matter the reason, your hopes of onboarding a star candidate are crushed. The resume goes into filing and the team pockets another potential hire for future reference, whenever that time may come.

Any hitch in the company’s hiring process is a step back in onboarding a new employee, and if your team’s recruiting timeline isn’t clear with everyone involved, candidates are undoubtedly falling through the cracks. 

According to MRINetwork’s Recruiter Sentiment Study, 47% of job openings are attributed to new opportunities springing up across all industries. Translated: Candidates have options. If recruiters aren’t constantly engaging with prospective hires, candidates already in their funnel will lose interest, explore their options, and move on to the next best opportunity. 

The key to increasing the likelihood of a candidate accepting your offer is to reduce the time between the first interview and the offer. 

Forty percent of job offers are extended within four weeks after the first interview – only to have candidates reject the offer. 

Think you can bring down that number? Try these techniques to optimize your interviewing process and reduce your time-to-hire.

Lay out a salary budget range and estimated hiring date prior to sourcing candidates.

Plan accordingly for an expected push and pull on salary. Candidates will do what they can to avoid leaving money on the table, and if the company is prepared to either cushion their expectations or to continue their sourcing efforts, recruiters are able to reduce the amount of time between an opportunity opening up and the company making a hire. When extending an offer to a candidate, be sure to make clear a reasonable timeframe in which you’d like a response. Prepping a salary range and meeting smaller deadlines prior to the bigger deadline (the hire date) help keep the team on track to stay within their budget and to fill their open reqs.

Try scheduling multiple interviews in one day. 

Most candidates are likely to turn down a job offer after two interviews, the report states. If possible, keep the time between the phone screen and interview to one week apart. And as most companies conduct multiple rounds of interviews, consider blocking off a few hours in one day for team members to meet with candidates, rather than spacing out individual interviews across a span of days. Qualified candidates are probably on other companies’ radars, and any lag or unnecessary gap in your interviewing process is a chance for a competitor to snag your talented target. Counteroffers continue to rank as the number one reason why job offers are rejected.

Keep to a standardized, cyclical timeline for sourcing, interviewing, following up, and hiring talent.

Hiring season may call for a disorganized mess of applications, resumes, and back-and-forth emails. Get the recruiting and hiring team on track using applicant tracking systems like Greenhouse for building interviewing and hiring agendas, monitoring scorecards and candidate resumes, and driving candidates to the onboarding process. Recruiters often opt to recruit, interview, and follow-up with candidates as three separate wedges.

Like what you're reading? There's more where that came from.

Try this approach: Instead of meeting with candidates in one timeframe and then reaching out to them after the end of all interviews, set small goals in between, such as committing to replying to each candidate at least one week after their last interview. Recruiters can trickle and pace the timing of their candidate reachout and follow-up, which may seem tedious at first, but keeps each candidate engaged and informed of their progress through every stage of the process. Likewise, have interviewers keep a scorecard and plan to meet and discuss with the team at a specified time frame after the last interview. Be sure to leave the meeting with a clear agenda on when decisions need to be made about hiring the candidate.

Want to stand out from the noise of other recruiters vying for the candidate your company has its eyes set on hiring? Keep talent engaged through each stage of the hiring process to communicate your commitment and intentions to make a hire.

Learn more about funneling candidates through your pipeline in our webinar with Greenhouse, “How to Set Up Candidates for Success.” Download the recording here!

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