8 Reasons Why Candidates Are Dropping Out of Your Hiring Process


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Hiring is a lengthy process. From first posting a job on various platforms to finally onboarding candidates, it could take several weeks or even months. It requires a considerable amount of time and effort. Therefore, when candidates drop out of the hiring process, it can be quite frustrating.

Candidate Dropouts

When you are recruiting for an open position, few things are as worse as investing a substantial amount of time and effort in interviewing candidates, only to have them drop out of the hiring process. It can be very demoralizing for the hiring team.

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To minimize the possibility of candidate dropouts, it will help if you reflect on where you are going wrong in your recruitment process. There can be multiple reasons for candidate dropouts. In this article, we will list the primary reasons why most candidates drop out of the hiring process.

Top 8 Reasons for Candidate Dropouts

1. A Complicated and Long Application Process

In most cases, candidates first interact with your company through your application form. It is vital to keep it as short and simple as possible. If filling out an application form takes too long, more often than not, applicants lose interest and leave it incomplete.

You may wonder how long is too long for an application form. Well, studies indicate that any application form that requires more than 5-10 minutes to fill can be called too long.

The application form must also be simple and self-explanatory. Many companies add complicated and lengthy questions to their forms. If candidates find the application form too complicated, there are high chances of them not filling it out at all.

Remember, you can always ask candidates more questions during the further rounds of the screening and interview process. You should make every attempt to make the job application process quick and easy.

2. Your Process Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

You may doubt the significance of this point. However, it is a genuine issue. We live in the age of the smartphone. More and more people rely on their phones every day to do various things, including searching for jobs and applying for them.

If your recruitment process isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably missing out on a substantial pool of candidates. If they cannot take certain tests, attend interviews, or fill out forms on their phones, there is a genuine possibility that candidates might lose interest and drop out of the hiring process.

Resume parsing can be especially helpful here. If you use a resume parsing solution, it may save candidates the trouble of entering the same information again and again, at various points during the hiring process.

3. Your Recruitment Process Is Not ‘Candidate-Centric’

In an extremely competitive job market, you must prioritize making your hiring process as candidate-centric as possible. Think of your candidate as your customer. If you treat them well, they are more likely to stick with you till the end of the hiring process.

The most common mistake that companies make in their recruitment process is that they don’t respond to candidates on time, or in most cases, they don’t respond to the candidates at all.

Candidates who don’t get timely or proper responses will eventually move on to other prospects. Therefore, you must train your hiring team to be more responsive.

Many applicant tracking systems and other such HR software solutions automatically send responses and status updates to candidates to keep them engaged in the hiring process. Positive candidate experience can go a long way in preventing candidate dropouts.

4. Your Hiring Process Is Too Lengthy

A lengthy and prolonged hiring process is one of the primary reasons why candidates choose to drop out. If you’re going after the best candidates for the job, there are high chances that multiple companies are already courting them. Therefore, keep the hiring process as short as you can.

Research by SHRM reveals that the average time it takes to fill a position is 42 days. Hiring experts suggest that an interview process should take less than a week. Otherwise, you may risk losing your applicants to other employers.

How can you make your hiring process faster? Well, there are various ways. The easiest way to do that is to make your recruitment process as automated as possible by implementing recruitment software. 

Avoid conducting multiple rounds of interviews, if possible. You can form a panel of interviewers who can interview the candidate at the same time. However, if you must conduct multiple rounds of interviews, try to conduct them all on the same day.

5. You Do Not Collect Candidate Feedback

Organizations vet hundreds of applicants during the hiring process. So, why not ask them directly about their experience? Consider having applicants fill out a short feedback form at the end of the interview. 

This will leave a positive impact on the candidate. It will also help you get to know what’s working in your hiring process and what’s not, straight from the horse’s mouth. You can analyze their feedback and take corrective measures and improve your hiring process over time. 

6. You Are Not Honest and Transparent

Let’s keep all the complexities of the hiring process aside for a moment. As humans, the least we can do is to be considerate towards each other. No one likes to be kept hanging or feel like they’re not getting a clear picture, especially when the matter concerns their career and their livelihood.

If candidates do not feel like they can trust your company, it will harm your credibility as an employer significantly. Being honest and transparent can earn you much goodwill in the job market.

7. You Exaggerate About Your Company or the Vacancy

This is probably one of the worst errors when it comes to recruitment, and yet it is known to happen more often than it should. Many recruiters get carried away in a bid to close the position quickly and exaggerate facts about the job or the organization.

Suppose your hiring team brags about your company or oversells a job. Sooner or later, candidates are bound to realize that you have misrepresented facts. Naturally, they will feel betrayed and dissociate themselves from the hiring process.

Also, Read: 8 Mistakes to Avoid In Online Recruitment

8. Your Hiring Process Is Too Rigid

Your interview processes must be flexible and accommodating. For instance, if a candidate is already working in another company, he/she may not be readily available for an interview on a working day with short notice. 

Don’t be too strict about your interview dates and timings. Fix interview slots for each day of the week. Give candidates a couple of options so that they can pick a date and time that is most convenient for them. If not, few candidates are likely to risk their current job for the mere possibility of getting a new one.

Key Takeaway

You can’t stop candidates from walking away from the hiring process. It is bound to happen at some point. Some reasons may be beyond your control. They may get a better offer or may opt out due to personal reasons. In such scenarios, you have no choice but to accept it.

Having said that, it is imperative to evaluate your hiring process continuously because there will always be room for improvement. More importantly, if any of the reasons for candidate dropouts discussed in this article, apply to your existing hiring process, you must take corrective measures immediately.

Wrapping it Up

We hope this article will help you step up your recruitment game. Recruitment can be extremely challenging, and yet, for HR teams, few things are as fulfilling in their jobs as picking out a candidate from a pile of applicants and finally bringing them on board. By taking a few steps to avoid the issues mentioned above, you can contain cases of candidate dropouts and strengthen your recruitment process to a large extent.

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