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It can be a challenge to attract qualified candidates for the job openings you need to fill and it is even more frustrating to lose those potential candidates somewhere in the early steps of the recruitment process.

While it’s normal to lose a few ideal candidates and chalk it up to a natural part of the hiring process, your company should also reflect on where you can improve to keep those candidates interested in the position. Top talent is in demand and if your company’s recruiting efforts aren’t organized and thought-out, you may miss out on the perfect job candidate for your open position.

So why are you losing strong candidates? Here are five common recruitment mistakes that cost you qualified candidates with actionable steps to improve your hiring process.

1. Your job descriptions aren’t complete

Each job description needs to have the most important information: job title, job purpose, job responsibilities and duties, required and preferred qualifications, candidate experience, as well as working conditions. You’ll also be more likely to attract ideal candidates if you include a salary range and your most competitive perks and benefits. It is a best practice to use bulleted text so that job seekers can easily scan the job description.

Be as clear as possible without writing a novel. If your job descriptions are vague or confusing, candidates will look elsewhere. By being upfront about the role, you will develop trust with your job candidates and increase their interest in the role.

Read more: Job Descriptions That Attract Top Talent

2. A Slow Hiring Process

Taking too long in the recruiting process can leave candidates frustrated. While unemployed job seekers have time for a phone screening and three in-person interviews, the passive job seekers–which are often the top talent–don’t. If you’re scheduling a second or third interview, it’s very possible that another company or recruiter could be offering them a position based on one interview.

One way around this is to have all the necessary interviews happen in one day or at least in one week. Allowing the interview process to drag on for a month with long periods of time in-between follow-up emails or calls with candidates leaves them too much time for them to decide that you aren’t interested. You want to make sure that each step in the recruiting process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible while valuing your candidates’ time.

2. Poor Communication

Your candidates will be anxious to hear from you. You don’t need to give daily status updates, but it’s nice of you to answer or return calls or emails. If they don’t hear back from you within a week, it’s smart to assume the candidate is seeking a position elsewhere. It’s also possible that they will start to doubt your commitment. Even if you are busy, it doesn’t take long to send a simple email check-in to reiterate your interest.

When you write emails or make calls to candidates, it is also important to be kind and friendly. Strong candidates will be easily turned off by a disinterested hiring manager or recruiter that shows no enthusiasm. As much as you are judging whether or not this candidate is a good fit for the position, they are also trying to anticipate if you are the right employer for them, so always keep this in mind in your communications with candidates.

4. You Don’t Give Candidates Enough of a Preview of the Job

Be honest with your candidates about the role responsibilities and internal processes in the interviewing process. Outline their day-to-day tasks along with expectations for 90 days into the job. If you didn’t add the salary range to the job description, ask the candidate about their salary expectations. 

Many strong candidates have their goals set on career growth so this is an important aspect to cover. If the role offers growth opportunities, tell the candidate what they would need to do to succeed in the role and be promoted. Similarly, many candidates today value flexible schedules and remote opportunities, so be sure to cover the working conditions and location of the role. 

Lastly, give the candidate pool a good preview of the company culture to see if it is a good fit. Allow candidates to take a tour of the office if applicable and introduce them to their potential coworkers. By giving them a clear representation of the role and your company, candidate enthusiasm will increase as they begin to picture themselves working in the position.

You want to get to the core of the job to help keep the candidate’s expectations realistic. Never lie or falsely represent the role because this will leave the candidate vulnerable to turnover when they are hired.

Read more: Hiring For Retention During The Great Resignation  

5. You Didn’t Ask Them If They Are Still Interested

After each round of interviews, the hiring manager or interviewer should wrap up the conversation by asking the candidate if they are still interested in the role. During actual interview questions, a candidate may realize that your company is not the right fit for them, but you wouldn’t know that until you ask. If you don’t ask the candidate, your team can make a decision to move that candidate on to the next step in the hiring process without realizing that they have already written you off. This will set your interview process back and waste time.

If a candidate says that they are no longer interested in the role, ask them why. This is the perfect time to gain insight into a potential broken interview process or hiring procedures that your company can improve. Maybe the recruiter ran an unexciting interview or the job description didn’t align with the responsibilities or salary outlined in the next steps. Sometimes candidates will lose interest in the role due to other opportunities, but it is always good practice to ask to determine how you measure up to the competition in your company offerings and recruitment efforts.

Read more: How To Avoid Common Job Offer Mistakes

As a recruiter, the last thing you want to worry about is losing candidates. It’s true that there will always be candidates who aren’t a good fit, and you will always have a certain percentage that you will lose. However, if you follow the tips above, you can minimize your losses and maximize your chances of success.

firstPRO takes a professional and experienced approach to recruiting that will place top talent in your company’s open roles quickly and efficiently. If your team is struggling to recruit and place top talent, we are here to help. Check out our Recruitment Service to learn more.

Contact Us to start recruiting today.