Candidates not showing up to interviews? Here are 5 tips

As the Irish economy continues to be strong, unemployment rates are at the lowest it’s been in years. The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) final year figures for 2018 show that in 2018 employment increased by 2.9%, and 2019 is shaping up to be even stronger.

This poses a new challenge for businesses and recruiters. There are less candidates on the market but more jobs that need to be filled. Candidates also have more choice, so when a good candidate expresses interest, there’s an added pressure to move them through the hiring process quickly.

But what if you’re going to the trouble of attracting candidates and they’re not showing up to the interview? Unfortunately, it happens all the time. In a market where acquiring talent is getting more competitive, candidates failing to show up means you’re losing out on hard to find potential hires.

If you have a surplus of candidates agreeing to come onsite and not showing up to interview for the position, this could be down to flaws in your recruitment process.

Want to get more candidates to show up for their interviews? Here are five tips.

1. Are they really the right fit for the role?

While it’s tempting to interview as many candidates as possible and hope one of them works out, this will almost always result in no-shows.

It’s important to take adequate time to assess if the candidate is a genuine fit for the role. Have a detailed discussion about the responsibilities of the role, skill-sets required, their career aspirations and how that aligns to the position.

Do the candidate’s answers align to the company culture and values it holds? Use this as an opportunity to sell the culture of the business and how that benefits its employees.

2. A personal touch is key

The pre-screening stage is the first impression a candidate will get of the role they’re applying for and business. It’s important that you make the best impression from the outset.

Good communication here is essential. Keep all correspondents one-to-one and keep the line of communication open. Often companies depend on automated responses at this stage of the hiring process. While this can be convenient, you lose the chance to really connect with your new potential employee on a personal level.

If the candidate has potential to be a good fit for the role, try to ensure they have everything they need to prepare for their interview.

If the role seems like it’s a good progression from their current position, make sure to outline that. If they seem anxious highlight how their skills would lend well to the role.

Lastly, if you think they’ll be a no-show, there’s no harm telling the candidate that if they can’t show up to the interview to let you and the team know. This will save both you and your team a lot of time.

3. Provide flexibility

If the candidate can’t make the interview onsite, offer to work around their schedule.

A video interview is a good alternative or suggest a location that is convenient for them – for example a coffee shop. Offering to have the interview outside of office hours streamlines the process and shows them that you’re willing to go the extra mile to move them forward.

4. Don’t reschedule an interview

The time of any candidate should be considered valuable, and if you reschedule their interview, you’re potentially giving the candidate the impression that you don’t value their time.

Given the current employment market, rescheduling an interview can also put the interest of the candidate at risk as it’s likely they are working with other recruiters. Nail down an interview within at most two weeks within the first point of contact with the candidate to avoid your candidate getting cold feet.

5. Get feedback from no-shows

If candidates aren’t showing up to the interviews ask them why.

Provide a follow-up survey or give them a call. You’ll gain invaluable insights that you can use to improve your recruitment process. Query how their exploratory call with the recruiter went or how prepared they felt before not showing up to the interview. Did the scheduling just not work out or was there more that meets the eye?

There could be a perfectly valid reason why a candidate didn’t show up for the interview, but it’s important not to rule out the candidate from possible future positions. They recommend other people to the company, so always end your correspondence on a positive note.

Overall, in today’s candidate market quality talent might be hard to find, but if you’re working with the right recruiter and have a good business the candidates are out there.

Give your candidates the best impression of the role and business and align their strengths to the role so they show up for the interview. Scheduling the interview at their convenience will give them a sense of importance and extracting feedback from candidates will inform your process for the better.

Looking to improve your recruitment process?

Cpl is a global provider to all types of companies, from start-ups to multinationals in every sector. If you’d like to discuss how we can help your business get in touch to book a free consultation.