Even though a company finds a candidate a match, 17.3% of the job offers are rejected by the candidates in the United States, according to Glassdoor data.

How often do you candidates decline an offer from your company?

The most common reason given by the candidate is the other company is offering better benefits or better opportunities.

Unfortunately, the truth is often not shared. Separately, candidates shared that they did not have a good job application experience with the company and that's reflective of the company, while the other company offered a better experience.

We should always be reminded that while you've invested time, candidates invested the same too. Applying for (multiple) jobs and preparing for interviews is a very tiring process for candidates. The least we can do is to offer a pleasant job application process.

Here are five recruitment mistakes you might be making and what to do about it:

  1. Lengthy and boring forms

    Candidate A: "First, I need to create an account. Next, I need to verify my account through my email. When I finally get to apply for the job properly after 5 minutes of trying to sign up, I'm asked to fill up information about my primary school, secondary school, university, my GPA and a bunch of non-related information. That's when I start my long, boring data entry. I always wonder if  getting to know all these information is necessary?"

    1. Implement a job application channel where it does not require candidates to log in to apply for a job.
    2. Form fatigue is real. Create an interactive and engaging candidate experience so candidates can get to know your company's story, while they share theirs.
    3. Ask for information at the right stage and only when necessary. Ask yourself, whether asking information about a candidates' school is necessary, especially when you're hiring a mid-level and above role?

    Here's a quick checklist to help you determine if the question is relevant:
    Have I ever need to use this information to help me assess during
    - Shortlisting stage
    - Interview stage
    - Background Check stage
    - Before giving an offer letter

    If your answer to the above is "NO". Remove this question.
    If your answer to any of the above is "YES", ask only during the stage when the information is necessary to help with candidate selection.

  2. Slow or no response rate
    Candidate B: "I only hear back from the company and they suddenly reach out to me 1 month later! It is either the work efficiency from the team is bad or I may not be a preferred candidate. A backup."

    Common reasons of slow response:
    While the above assumption from the candidate may not be entirely true, here are a few common reasons why candidates are receiving a slow response:

    a. HR can only focus on sourcing and screening candidates for 1-2 every week. "Sorry, you need to wait for your turn". Most HR has shared that the most time-consuming part is in candidate screening taking about 80% of their time.

    b. HR needs to prioritise urgent roles and therefore they are too busy and are unable to proceed with candidates for other roles.

    c. HR did not build "responding to a candidate" into the hiring process.

    Here are 2 quick tips on how you can fix this:
    i. Save time in screening by implementing a candidate screening platform which can help you auto-disqualify candidates
    ii. Use an applicants' tracking system where you can mark a candidates' status with the company so you can easily send out emails informing candidates based on their application status.

    Remember, top talents are often in high demand. Your quick response does not only give the candidate a good impression of the company, but it also helps you with closing a role with a top candidate quicker too.

  3. Asking for verification documents too early.
    Candidate C: "Why is the company asking for my school certificate! I've graduated more than 10 years ago and the certificate is not even related to the role I'm hired for!"

    a. Discuss with the team if it is necessary to collect these certifications for verification. Have you ever need to use these information?
    b. If it is absolutely necessary to get the documents, do not ask for documents for verification before you decide to hire the candidate.

  4. Inexperienced Interviewers
    Candidate D: "The interviewer was using a list of template questionnaires found online to interview me. Most questions are irrelevant to the job requirements."

    Candidate E: "I used technical terms during the interview and the interviewer is avoiding responding to my sharing."

    Candidate F: "The hiring manager asked if I'm skilled at managing office politics, hinting that there is office politics in the company."

    Make sure questions asked during the interview is relevant to the role, and are truly important selection criteria:

    a. Conduct pre-interview assessments specific to the job requirements, allowing interviewers to use the assessment results as relevant topics of discussions during the interview.

    b. Interviews do not need to just involve the hiring manager. Conduct a quick 15 minutes review session with the team on things they would like to find out through the assessment results. Gather the questions from the team. You may involve your teammates in the interview too.

  5. HR and Interviewers unable/delay answers to candidates' questions
    Candidate G: "I asked several questions right from the start but HR said that I should wait until the interview. During interview, my questions remained not answered, while I'm asked a lot of questions by the interviewer. I still do not understand the company and the role after I've had a few communications with the company."

    Candidates who have seriously thought of questions to ask a company shows that they are serious about applying to a company. However hard it may be, make an effort to get response back to them.  

    Send an official email asking for answers from the hiring manager and mention that these questions would help both the candidate and the company evaluate job match.

    Employment is an equal rights between candidates and the employer. While you're evaluating candidates, candidates are evaluating you too. This is especially true for top talent where they have vast of opportunities for selection.