How to lose a candidate in 5 steps

It’s up there in the top 10 of ultimate chick flicks, How to Lose a Guy in 10 days tells the story of how a professional magazine columnist does all the things that would sabotage a relationship in the first 10 days. Queue a sloppy rom-com for the hopeless romantics out there. But if you actually take a step back from the movie you realise that actually there are a number of things we do in life that can actually make us lose out on something we really want.

Ever had a new vacancy come up and thought I know the perfect candidate for that but couldn’t get through to them? Or have you ever had a candidate register to never hear from them again?

As a recruiter you may be quick to blame these candidates for lack of organisation or reason they simply didn’t want a job, but have you ever wondered if it’s something your doing?

Maybe the little habits you’ve got into are actually causing you to lose out on candidates. Here’s my list on ‘How to lose a candidate in 5 steps’:

  1. Timing
    Ignoring them – biggest sin of them all. One way to truly annoy a candidate is by not contacting them. Yes your busy and yes you can’t reply to every candidate in one day but waiting weeks to get back to someone isn’t the greatest. Remember a candidate has put all their faith into you to help them and all they want is an update or friendly hello, so instead of avoiding the call be the reassuring voice on the other end of the telephone.
  1. Registration 
    I’ve found the registration / application process can sometimes be unnecessarily drawn out. Lengthy and endless questionnaires are an immediate put off for potential candidates. Simplify the process: ask candidates to upload their CV and set up an automated response informing them a consultant / resource will be in touch shortly. Additional details can be gathered through the phone, adding a personal touch adding further value.
  1. Feedback
    Feedback – plain and simple. Give a candidate the feedback they need to better themselves and improve next time. Candidates hate the feeling of being rejected, ensure your feedback is constructive and delivered in the correct manner.
  1. Not defining a job role
    A big problem for candidates is recruiters not defining a job role. Not being clear on what the job entails, what the company are looking, what qualifications are required etc. Maximise (appropriate) relevant information given to candidates and minimise the potential of a candidate feeling unprepared and misinformed.
  1. Lack of professionalism
    Lack of professionalism. Posting through LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook accounts that are publicly accessible? Search yourself on the major social networks and see what comes up. Consider what you are posting, how you respond to emails and speak to candidates. Engage candidates in a professional manner and make sure your social profiles do not contain any potentially damaging content. A bad experience can spread quickly through online channels.

Let us know what you think or if you have anything to add to the list get involved using the links or comment form below. Happy recruiting 🙂

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