There’s no sting quite like being stood up. After exchanging various messages, scheduling in a date, and rigorously readying yourself the day of, it can be disappointing to discover that the other person is not coming.
While this sounds a lot like the makings of a romantic date, this is in fact in reference to those potential job candidates who ultimately don’t show up to their arranged interview. According to USA Today, various businesses report anywhere between 20% to 50% of their candidates are no-shows for interviews. One business owner even found that only 10% of his total applicants actually replied when he tried to schedule an interview, and of those who he did set one up with, only 5-10% showed up.
This can be disheartening for employers and their recruiters. Having to go through the process of narrowing down potential candidates only for them to ‘ghost’ the interview (which is just a Gen Z way of saying not show up despite being present during the initial hiring process) can result in a lot of wasted time and effort on the employer’s side.
In light of this, I wanted to look at what employers can be doing to mitigate the risk of potential no-shows:
- Get a sense of the candidate – on the first point of contact with the candidate, the best thing for a leader/recruiter to do is try to gauge the level of seriousness from the potential hire. This could simply be asking what they are looking for right now, as from this it can usually be understood whether they are passively looking or more actively looking for a role.
- Ask their preferred method of communication – with a multi-generational workforce at play, different people will prefer to be contacted in different ways. Whereas older candidates may lean more towards phone and email correspondence, younger workers typically incline towards communicating through text. Establishing their preferred method will heighten the chances of consistent responses.
- Share what the company’s timeline is – sometimes a deterrent for candidates is the amount of time a hiring process actually takes. If employers are being upfront and open from the offset and able to give a sense of how long this process will take shape to be, this is more likely to set realistic expectations for the candidate. But ideally, scheduling next steps as promptly as possible can help to avoid those lulls in between these processes and reduce the risk of a potential hire losing interest.
- Make time to babysit – it may sound strange, but recruitment should be making time to do some handholding in the lead up to the interview. This would take the form of consistent check-ins (asking them if they feel ready, if they’re still interested, this sort of thing) through their preferred method of communication. This will help reinforce that as an employer you are keen to interview them, and reduce the likelihood of ghosting.
There is no guaranteed way of avoiding those potential no-shows. An employer can take all these precautions and it can still occur, but at least this way they will be doing everything in their power to mitigate that outcome. The key thing to remember is that hiring is a two-way street; the type of respect an organization shows a candidate will be the type they are more likely to receive in return, so being transparent, honest, and communicative is the best way forward.
To discuss these strategies in more detail and how we can help optimize your hiring process, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org