Why Your Top Candidates Don’t Stick Around

If your company is like most in the market today, you are facing open roles in a shrinking workforce. What began as trouble finding roles for select specialties has grown into a workforce shortage across the board. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t candidates out there looking. There are! Since the remote work migration, many people have left long-held jobs in search for greener pastures. So why can’t you hire any of them?

If you have seen great resumes go by, but can’t seem to get any to the final hiring stages – the problem is likely not with the candidates, but with your hiring process. If your best candidates aren’t available by the time you’re ready to hire, it’s time to look inward.

Let’s take a closer look at the top reasons why many brands are missing out on top candidates, even after they apply for the job.

1) Your Hiring Process Takes Too Long

When a professional is looking for a new position, a timer starts. They only have the time and energy to send out applications and respond to recruiter emails for so long before it becomes clear that their current role is competitive or they take another job to pay the bills. If your hiring process takes longer than a few weeks, or longer than three interviews, you are missing out.

Candidates today have even less time and patience for being led on by employers because the demand for their talents is so great. Those who are job searching without a current role need to pay the bills, they don’t have time for your team to take months to make a decision. Those who have a current role are likely to phase through their job-searching time, getting wrapped up in new projects or taking on freelance work rather than waiting around.

Infinite interviews or, worse, long periods of time with no decision at all, and your candidates will move on without you.

The Solution:

Speed up! When you post a job listing, be ready to schedule interviews right away. Have a decision-making process ready. Identify your decision makers, prepare schedules to accommodate a rapid series of interviews with candidates, and put a timer on how long you will string along those who apply or respond to recruiter emails.

You can even save candidates and keep them listening with a polite heads-up when the decision-making process moves forward to each progressive stage.

2) Lack of Communication Between the Department and Candidate

Candidates also need to know that you are still considering them for a role. That stack of applications means nothing if you don’t respond within one, maybe two, weeks of receiving applications or scheduling the first interview. “Ghosting” is a common way for employers to reject candidates without rejecting them, and that’s what your best talent will assume happens if the department never reaches out.

It doesn’t matter if your team has been debating over candidates for weeks and months. If the candidate doesn’t hear about it, they will make other plans assuming that you have done the polite/impolite thing of simply not telling them that someone else was hired.

The Solution:

Improve your communication. Make sure your candidates know that they are still being considered. Tell them what you liked best in the interview, and what you might want to see more of in the next interview. If the process is delayed, apologize. If they are your top pick but the start date is extended, let them know. Otherwise, candidates will think you are no longer considering them and find other opportunities.

3) Interview Questions Don’t Give Candidates a Chance to Stand Out

Another common issue that makes it difficult for candidates to feel seen – and for departments to make the best choice – is generic interview questions. Asking a candidate where they see themselves in a year and how they feel they can contribute to a team they know almost nothing about does not give your best talent a chance to show their stuff.

Hiring managers don’t know when they have an engineering genius, a sales guru, or a design prodigy on in the resume stack – especially if interviewing is not their best skill.

The Solution:

Pre-employment testing. Give your candidates a chance to demonstrate the skills you really care about using pre-employment testing software. Not only is this a great way to assess the real talent in your resume stack, but you can also deploy a pre-employment test faster than most managers can schedule an interview. If your hiring team can look at scores or demo activities, they will also have an easier time making decisions in a convenient amount of time for your candidates.

4) Applicants Don’t Believe the Hype

You may think your position is great, but experienced professionals know that no workplace is quite as good as the initial offer makes it sound. The more you hype the benefits and company culture, the less realistic it seems. Many applicants need to see flexible schedules in writing before they believe it, and many want to hear actual accounts of the perks in use before they buy into the hype.

The Solution:

Transparency. Try a little human-to-human blunt honesty about what it’s really like to work in the company. Most people know better than to buy sales hype, but they will believe it if someone connects, makes eye-contact and says that the company actually sponsors their gym membership, lets them work night hours instead of day hours, or has a great family-friendly vibe. Even better if multiple examples are shared during a team interview.

Real human connection always sells better than hype, and has since the millennium rollover.