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Why candidates abandon the recruitment process

Published: 24 August 2022

Author: Julie Robinson

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A new report lists some of the reasons why candidates abandon the recruitment process. Fortunately, most of them are things that recruiters and recruiting firms can do something about.

The Candiate Experience Report by Criteria, a talent success company, notes that 2022 is seeing one of the most competitive talent markets in recent memory, with unemployment at lower than pre-pandemic levels, meaning job candidates have more choice and are less willing to put up with a negative candidate experience.

A survey of nearly 2,000 people found that more than half (54%) have abandoned a recruitment process because the salary didn’t meet expectations or because of poor communication from the employer or recruiter (53%). More than a third of candidates have given up because the job lacked career advancement opportunities, the company culture got negative reviews, or they received a better offer.

A breakdown of why candidates have abandoned a recruitment process in the past.

Why candidates abandon the recruitment process

  • Salary didn’t meet expectations - 54%
  • Poor communication from the employer / recruiter - 53%
  • Lack of career advancement opportunities - 38%
  • Read or heard negative reviews about the company’s culture - 36%
  • Received a better job offer - 36%
  • Didn’t offer remote or flexible work options - 33%
  • The recruiting process was taking too long - 32%
  • Lack of diversity at company - 17%

Employers should take note and address these pain points where possible. Here are some strategies for overcoming these challenges and improving the talent acquisition process.

Salary didn’t meet expectations

The top two reasons why candidates abandon the recruitment process, the report notes, are also the easiest to fix. A disconnect between salary expectations and reality can be avoided by presenting accurate salary ranges in the job description. Employers are resistant to doing this, one reason being that they believe it gives them more negotiating room, but listing the salary saves time and avoids wasting effort for both sides and will make the process easier and attract more qualified talent. 

Poor communication from the employer / recruiter

Poor communication can be resolved by identifying gaps in your process and outlining communications goals and strategies. It will benefit everyone for you to find these gaps and address them.

Lack of career advancement opportunities

This isn’t always an easy one to handle, particularly at smaller organisations. After all there are only so many senior roles at any company. Regardless, even when there’s no room to move up, you can support growth and continued learning, Yes, they might leave, but when they do they will be more inclined to be an advocate for your workplace and, until they do, you’ll benefit from their growth. 

Read or heard negative reviews about the company’s culture

The easiest way to avoid a reputation as a bad workplace is to be a good one. How can you improve your employee experience? Positive work environments have open communication and create a shared sense of purpose. They have empathetic leaders who listen and care about their employees’ wellbeing. Is this your workplace? If not, figure out how to make it so.

Received a better job offer

Now is not the time to make half-baked offers and try to get something for less than what it’s worth. It’s not the time to low ball or mess around. If you want someone, make the best offer that you can. In a candidate’s market, counter offers are rife and your best offer reduces the chance of a counter offer beating yours. Also note that a best offer can be about money, but always alongside other elements, which include holidays, pension, remote work, and more. It’s important to show the candidate that you are trying to meet their needs. You won’t win every time but your best offer will improve your chances. 

Didn’t offer remote or flexible work options

Simply put: times have changed and so should your attitude towards remote and flexible work, if it hasn’t already. You won’t get the best candidates if you’re demanding about 9-5, 7-days-a-week scheduling. Consider remote and hybrid work options. 

The recruiting process was taking too long

Nobody wants to wait around forever through seven interviews and endless vetting processes and periods of silence. Speed up your recruitment by streamlining processes and identifying and removing blocks and slow downs.

Lack of diversity at company 

You might want to take a good look at your team and ask yourself if the world’s diverse groups are truly represented, and if not, why. You can’t necessarily force diversity, particularly (again) at smaller companies, but you can ask yourself whether there is room for you to expand representation and how you could go about doing that. 

These are all changes you can make to improve your chances of winning the war for talent. Need help? Get in touch to find out what we can do for you!

 

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