How to Not Lose Candidates During the Interview Process

Earlier this year I wrote about optimizing your hiring process by implementing four simple tips:

  • Hire with a Sense of Urgency
  • Keep your Hiring Process Consistent
  • Cut out Unnecessary Steps
  • Cut out Unnecessary People

I now want use those same four points but with more of a focus around the interview process, scheduling and timelines. Too many top candidates are lost throughout the interview process, which is something that can be easily avoided.

3 Tips to Optimize Your Interview Process

1) Interview with a Sense of Urgency

Did a candidate send you his or her availability? Get back right away with a day and time that works for you/the hiring manager. Confirming as soon as possible will help prevent the candidate from scheduling other meetings or deadlines.

2) Keep Your Interviewing Consistent and Avoid Unnecessary Steps

Explain the hiring process to the candidate right upfront on the first call. Then stick to it. If you tell him/her the next step will be a call with the hiring manager, then a full interview loop, then a decision that’s exactly the process you should follow. Schedule a call with the hiring manager, bring the candidate in for a full interview loop, and make a decision.

Adding additional steps at the last minute will make the candidate question your interest level, which in turn could lower his/her interest level. Dragging the process out also gives the candidate more time to get an offer elsewhere and drop out of the running.

3) Avoid Including Unnecessary People

In order to schedule an in-person interview, the candidate shouldn’t have to confirm with the recruiter, who then has to contact the EA’s assistant, who then has to get in touch with the EA who can confirm the time with the hiring manager, and then get back to their assistant to get back to the recruiter to confirm with the candidate. No… just no.

Do everyone a favor and make your communication lines clean cut. Ideally, there should be one middle man between the hiring manager and the candidate, whether that is the recruiter or the EA. This one contact will be responsible for coordinating schedules on both ends and confirming the interview. This will greatly reduce response time and allow for sense of urgency.

Bottom Line

Maintaining a consistent and streamlined interview process will prevent top candidates from backing out or taking other offers. It will also prevent candidates from slipping through the cracks, creating the best team possible at your company!

Senior Talent Manager, Engineering
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