The job market is so good, candidates are not showing up for interviews, or not showing up for their first day on the job. We have been seeing a steady increase in this behavior in the last 18 months. Nationally, it is just now getting reported (CNN report link).
Seven things you can do:
1) Understand and accept the current job market.
The job market is really different right now. It takes a different approach and attitude toward hiring. It is important to understand that candidate choices are fewer and when a good one comes along, they should be hired. In the past, we have been able to get 3 to 4 good candidates that fit the position for our clients to choose from. Now that number may be 1 to 2.
2) Speed! Without sacrificing quality.
We still want our clients hiring people for the right reasons (see number 3). But doing it quickly is imperative. We have to understand that we are not the only choice. If a candidate has applied to our job, they have applied to several others as well. Many times, they are accepting the first one that offers.
3) Remember to think beyond the resume.
When there are 100 candidates for an opening, it is easy to narrow down based on skills and experience. We should always resist this methodology, but especially when the job market is tight.
4) Really pay attention to our candidate bio’s / submissions.
Remember, you are looking for TALENT! Sometimes that may be in the form of translatable skills, or experience not found on a resume. We have clients that don’t even look at resumes anymore. They only pay attention to our recommendations and assessments.
5) Be available.
Nothing will turn a candidate off or get them to accept another job quicker than not being available to interview. If you have an opening, make sure you have the time to interview. We recommend reserving blocks of time throughout the week and getting candidates in at the first available spot.
6) Now is the time to get known as a great place to work.
Treat candidates with respect and communicate early and often. If a candidate is not a good fit, giving them feedback or at least letting them know is not only common courtesy, but leaves the door open for years down the road when they may now be a good fit.
7) Work on retention.
This is something you should always do, but even more so when the job market is tight. The best way to keep candidates from not showing up to an interview, is to not have the need to hire in the first place. Know your turnover rate, do exit interviews when you can, and invest in training and coaching.
Way we are staying on top of the trend.
Getting candidates contacted and fast-tracked into the interview process has a huge effect on ‘show’ percentage. Our Talent Acquisition Specialists are trained to evaluate talent quickly and not wait to take the next step.
2) Communication-contacting candidates as they apply as opposed to a set schedule.
Most of our clients are not full-time recruiters, so if they are handling the job opening themselves, they likely must block out time to contact applicants that have applied in the previous week. We have the advantage of contacting applicants on a more consistent basis. In some cases, immediately after applying.
3) Proactive scheduling.
Before contacting a candidate for a phone screen or interview, we are first getting interview availability from our clients. This allows us to either schedule the in-person interview at the end of the phone call or notify the candidate to plan on getting an interview invite (this also depends on the client service level).
4) Reminders and confirmations.
Text messages, reminder phone calls, reminder e-mails, calendar invites; all of these are being used in some capacity to increase the odds of a candidate following through on the interview commitment. We have several systems in place to automate the reminders and in some cases manually reminding and confirming interviews.
Final thoughts: When the job market does turn around, remember these times. There is some very interesting ‘golden rule’ psychology going on right now. Candidates are not showing respect and/or the common courtesy to show up, or at least call to cancel an interview. Why? Well, if we look at some of the common complaints of candidates, and the way they feel they have been treated when the job market is reversed we can begin to see why.
a. “Finding a job is a full-time job”
b. “Applications take a long time and once submitted, there is no response.”
c. “After the interview, I get no feedback or reason I did not make it to the final round.”
d. “My e-mails and phone calls are being ignored.”
Too often, when there are more available candidates than jobs, hiring managers don’t feel the need to communicate with candidates. While this works when the job market is good for employers, it can have a long term negative effect on your employer brand and candidate attitudes in general when the job market is like it is today.
Click the link to view the recent INFINITI HR blog: Overcoming Learned Helplessness in the Workplace or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance and benefits.