Is Your Interview Process Costing You Top Talent?

Caitlin Weiser, aPHR
September 7, 2022

It can be discouraging when you have identified a candidate of choice after a long and grueling recruitment process, only to find out that they are no longer interested in the position. They may provide a reason as to why they are withdrawing their application or they may ghost you, which means the candidate disappears with no communication, which has become common in the current job market. When a candidate stops replying to your attempts to communicate, it can leave a lot of questions unanswered and leave you wondering what went wrong.

Why Candidates Are Dropping Out of Your Interview Process?

The current job market is unique and many job seekers are interviewing with multiple companies simultaneously. Due to this, losing a few candidates throughout the interview process can be normal, but it starts to become a problem when you begin to experience an excess of candidates dropping out. If this is something you have been experiencing, it might be due to one or more of these common interview mistakes.

1. You have too many interview rounds

You want to make sure a candidate is the right fit for a position, which is why only conducting a single interview isn’t standard practice in the professional world. Depending on the role, there can be a number of interviewers who want to meet with a candidate before making the final hiring decision. This can cause the hiring process to balloon into countless rounds of interviews with no end in sight.  Endless interview processes leave the candidate feeling burned out before they even step foot into the organization as an employee.

2. You are waiting too long between interviews

Everyone has busy schedules, including hiring managers. When decision makers don’t see interviewing as a top priority, it can cause a delay between interviews or in making a hiring decision, leading to candidate drop-out. Hesitation around making an offer to a candidate of choice in order to see what other types of candidates are in the market can also lead to losing top talent. If you have identified someone who is a great fit for an open position, chances are they are also a great fit for another company. Waiting to extend an offer could be the difference between making a hire or having to start over from square one.

3. You aren’t communicating enough with candidates

It may seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring you are providing timely and consistent communication to candidates throughout the interview process can keep them engaged and lessen the chance of them withdrawing their application. If a candidate doesn’t hear back from you after a few days, even if you are working on scheduling behind the scenes, they may see it as a red flag or assume that they did not get the position and focus their energy on other prospects. Following up to let them know that you will be in touch with next steps is something that can set you apart from other companies they may be interviewing with.

What is the Ideal Length of the Interview Process?

The length of an interview process depends on the requirements and seniority of the role. No more than two to three interview rounds is ideal for most positions, but there are always exceptions. Many technical positions require a demonstration of the specific skills needed to effectively do the job. Senior-level positions may require an additional interview with members of the executive team to determine if they are a good fit or not. Understanding who the person that steps into the position will interact with most, as well as what skills and abilities are required to successfully do the job, will help in avoiding a drawn out interview process.  Your company should work with HR in establishing metrics that help you identify timing goals for a recruitment process.  Red Clover has been successful in streamlining companies’ interview processes and establishing a job close rate of a month, as well as saving one client over 50% in recruiter fees.

Tips For Improving Your Interview Process

Before posting an open position,  make sure everyone involved in interviews understands their role in the hiring process and the expected time commitment and hiring timeline. Time should be set aside on calendars to make scheduling easier, guarantee it’s a priority and decrease wait time between interviews for candidates. Take a look at your interview stages and think of ways to condense them if there are more than three interview rounds. For example, panel interviews are a great way to get a candidate in front of more people in a shorter period of time rather than giving each person their own separate interview.

Identifying the top skills and competencies you’re looking for in a candidate before beginning the interview process can aid in the decision making process. When you understand what specific skills are non-negotiable in order to be successful in an open position, you ask targeted, behavioral, competency-based interview questions to make sure you are only moving qualified candidates through to the next round. This allows you to feel confident in extending an offer after the final interview rather than wanting to go back to market to explore other potential candidates.

Need Help Improving and Simplifying Your Interview Process?

If you’re feeling like your current interview process isn’t working but don’t know how to initiate a change, Red Clover can help. With our Recruitment Process Outsourcing services, we help businesses set up their recruitment process and manage the entire new employee lifecycle. We will work with you and your team to train hiring managers on behavioral interviewing, identify the core competencies of your open roles, and make your interview process more efficient. Contact us now to get started!

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