Prevent Candidate Dropout: Create a More Respectful and Structured Interviewing Process

We can’t always control the reasons candidates drop out of our recruiting process. Some have compensation expectations we can’t meet. Others don’t feel a connection to our company’s culture. Sometimes a better offer comes along.

However, the top two reasons candidates drop out of the recruiting process are definitely in our control: 1) candidates’ time is disrespected during interviews and appointments, and 2) the recruiting process takes too long.

Throughout eight years of Talent Board candidate experience benchmark research, these have remained the top causes of candidate dropout. They’re hallmarks of a poor candidate experience in any job market, but they’re the kiss of death in today’s market. That’s because there are currently more open jobs than job seekers in the U.S., which means interviewing is a two-way street: while you’re interviewing candidates, they’re interviewing you. Employers who deliver the best interviewing experiences (not to mention the best all around candidate experiences) have a distinct advantage in the competition for talent.

The question is … what can you do to ensure your candidate experience respects people’s time and doesn’t get bogged down at the crucial interviewing stage?


Enlist These 3 Best Practices


For starters, you can implement three interviewing best practices that are widely used by organizations that deliver CandE Award-winning candidate experiences:

  1. Give candidates more control.—Candidates have no control over most aspects of the interviewing and recruitment processes. This is partly why these processes can feel so unstructured and daunting to them. One way to alleviate these feelings is to allow candidates to self-schedule interviews at the times that are most convenient for them. You also might consider enabling candidates to complete their interviews at night or on the weekends by using on-demand video interviewing tools. Given today’s tight labor market and low unemployment, chances are many of your candidates are already working. Giving them the control they need to work around their busy schedules will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Help candidates prep for interviews.—Unfortunately, one-third of all candidates receive absolutely no help from employers in preparing for interviews, which makes an already stressful event even more nerve-wracking. By helping candidates prepare ahead of their interviews, you’re actually doing yourself a favor. By leveling the interview playing field, you’re ensuring you’ll find the right person for the job rather than merely someone who interviews well. Consider providing candidates with an agenda in advance of their interviews, along with the names and backgrounds of their interviewers. If you’re conducting a video-based interview, take the opportunity to provide a video message from the hiring manager so candidates can get understand more about the culture of the company and the culture of the department. This kind of assistance makes a great impression on candidates. They’ll not only rate your candidate experience highly, they’ll also be happy to remain in your talent pipeline even if they don’t get the job (a big plus in terms of retaining silver-medalist and future-fit talent).
  3. Give and ask for feedback after the interview.—The most universal expectation candidates have during the interview process is that they’ll receive feedback. They want to know as soon as possible how they did and what happens next. Believe it or not, very few organizations do a great job of delivering this kind of feedback. Only 37 percent of candidates say that HR/recruiting professionals clearly explain what will happen post-interview. But it’s important that you make an effort to do so, as clear communication and feedback help candidates understand and accept your decisions. If you really want to elevate your candidate experience, ask candidates for their honest feedback after their interviews. A stunning 56 percent of candidates are never asked to provide feedback on the screening or interview process. So listening to your candidates’ feedback will set you apart from a lot of your competitors and give you useful insights into how to improve your candidate experience.

These best practices will add the respect and structure that are the foundation of every great candidate experience.

As noted earlier, another way to raise the quality of your candidate experience is to consider implementing an interviewing platform—one that will enable you to engage, interview and hire better candidates faster.


The Benefits of an Interviewing Platform


A single interviewing technology platform gives companies the flexibility to select the interview type that best suits each job and each candidate’s expectations. Interviewing platforms, such as the one offered by Montage, are especially valuable to enterprise organizations with large, complex and varied hiring needs, as they enable employers to accelerate and improve the candidate experience.

They do this by offering both live and on-demand interview formats so companies have the flexibility to facilitate the interview type: text, voice, video best suited to make smarter hiring decisions and to give candidates the best opportunity to show how they’re qualified.

One of the main benefits of Montage’s platform is that it provides intelligent scheduling for live interviews—where recruiters and hiring managers can easily schedule candidates for interviews without the constant back-and-forth. Not only does this reduces the administrative burden for recruiters but gives candidates more control to select interview times that work best for them. This AI-driven assistant interacts with candidates, hiring managers and recruiters through text or email to quickly schedule the interview time that works best for everyone. According to Talent Board Research, automated scheduling continues to be a top technology priority among talent acquisition leaders.

Technology like Montage’s can benefit you in many ways, helping to drive greater control of the interviewing process, creating deeper transparency into your organization for interested candidates, and enabling them to prepare for their interviews more effectively. Plus, using a single platform that supports all types of interviews creates a better experience for you and your candidates.


The Impact to Your Brand Is Massive


In many ways, the centerpiece of your company’s candidate experience is a your interviewing process. It’s where your company’s representatives are interacting directly with potential employees and forming a positive or negative impression of your employment brand.

Rest assured, that impression will be a far-reaching one.

Talent Board’s current research shows that 77 percent of North American job candidates share their positive candidate experiences with their inner circles (colleagues, peers and friends) and 51 percent share their positive experiences publicly through social media and sites such as Glassdoor. On the other hand, 61 percent of North American candidates share their negative candidate experiences with their inner circles and 35 percent share their negative experiences publicly online.

By following the three best practices outlined above and implementing a video interviewing platform like Montage’s, your interviews will raise the quality of your overall candidate experience and make a positive impression on your candidates—one they’ll be eager to share far and wide.


–Kevin W. Grossman, President, Talent Board

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