5 Reasons Top Candidates Don’t Want Your Jobs

As a recruiter, I spend the majority of my day communicating with candidates. That includes not just reaching out and initially talking with them about open opportunities, but engaging with them at every point during their entire candidate experience — from phone screens to interviews and offers. Throughout it all, I receive an incredible amount of feedback, and over time, it’s developed into a fairly detailed picture of what makes a candidate experience great and — just as important — what makes it bad.

If you have candidates who are walking away from your jobs, chances are a bad candidate experience could be the reason. With the competition for top talent set to increase this year, it’s critical for you to step back and evaluate the experience your hiring process is providing from the candidate’s perspective. To help you get into that mindset, here are five common reasons candidates lose interest in roles and get fed up with your hiring process.

5 Signs You’re Providing a Bad Candidate Experience

1) You’re acting like they won’t find something better

This might sound harsh, but it’s true. There are a lot of companies that are scaling, especially in 2015, and it’s safe to say you’re not the only one looking to fill an integral role (sales or engineering, anyone?). The best candidates are bound to have options. If you’re not moving a candidate through your hiring process quickly and efficiently, he or she will find another company that will. Unless you go out of your way to make them expressly feel that way, no candidate in a competitive market is going to come away from an interview thinking your company is their corporate soul mate. They’ll move on and find another fish in the sea.

2) You’re not valuing their time

I get it, we’re all busy. When it comes to managing your hiring process, you’re often not just juggling your own schedule but the schedules and needs of many other people within your organization (who are all equally busy). But while you’re bending over backwards to accommodate team members and stakeholders, keep in mind what you’re asking of your candidates. Unless they’re between positions they have their own job to do, remember?

Having to take time to step out for a phone screen and a couple of interviews is to be expected, and most candidates are typically eager to be flexible to your scheduling needs. However, at some point, they are going to get fed up with the amount of time you’re demanding of them. They value their time as much as you value yours, and when candidates feel like you’re wasting it, they will absolutely walk away.

3) You’re not selling them on the role and your company

We talk a lot about the need for candidates to be sold on opportunities, but it really can’t be said enough. It’s not just about a candidate selling you on why you should hire them! It’s also about you selling them on why they should be engaged, continue through the process, and ultimately work for you.

Keep in mind you’re asking candidates to consider making a significant change — they want reassurance from someone already there. If you make them do all the talking you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to share your experience and your passion to make them more invested and more excited about the role and your company.

Drilling them with questions, demanding their time, asking for more and more without offering anything up on your end is a pretty one-sided relationship that no candidate wants to be in.

4) You’re not being transparent

So the candidate came in three weeks ago and you’re still mulling over the offer? Or maybe they interviewed with everyone imaginable, but you just can’t get them booked with the CEO for the final head-nod? Or you know they’d be a great fit but there are a couple of candidates still in process that you need to close the loop with?

These are all reasonable explanations for a delay in the process from your end, but has anyone explained that to the candidate? Transparency isn’t just important at the final stages, but at every step along the way. If a candidate stops hearing from you she is going to assume you’re no longer interested, and she will move on.

5) You’re acting like you’re the only one recruiting them

I can’t tell you how many sales execs, engineers, and other candidates our team speaks to that mentions how many messages they’re getting from recruiters and hiring managers. If you think a candidate is fantastic, there is no doubt someone else does, too. Another great recruiter will find them, if they haven’t already. Another hiring manager will see the potential and move things along more quickly than you. It is a candidate’s market right now, and they absolutely know it.

Remember that your company needs to fill the role, but most top candidates don’t need your company — they’re getting phone calls and emails with new opportunities almost every day.

Bonus: Free Guide to Building a Better Hiring Process

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Photo by: Nana B Agyei



Katelyn LaGarde
Katelyn LaGarde
Recruiter, Sales & Marketing

Katelyn Lagarde is a recruiter at CloudHealth. She was previously a Talent Specialist at OpenView.
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