6 Tips To Prevent Candidate 'No-Shows'

With the growth in permanent placements at a two and a half year low, partly due to the lack of qualified, available candidates, the last thing a recruiter needs is a candidate no-show. That assignment you’ve worked so hard to secure from a wary employer can vanish in an instant if your candidate fails to turn up for an interview with no explanation.

In a skills-starved employment market, the candidate no-show is a growing phenomenon. Avoid it with the following tips:-

Set expectations with hiring managers: Time kills deals in recruitment. Set a number of agreed interview dates with the hiring manager in advance to ensure a minimal delay in scheduling. Make it as convenient as possible for sought after candidates. Offer Skype or out-of-hours interviews to fit around their existing commitments. Make it clear that they are valued candidates with actions as well as words.  

Don’t skip the vital questions : Don’t stick your head in the sand. Qualified candidates are in demand. Ask those vital questions. What is the most important thing they want from their next position, ie, career development opportunities, better salary, flexible working? Does your vacancy meet their aspirations? Is the daily commute a problem? What other jobs have they applied for? How do they compare to this one? The more positive their answers, the less likely they are to go AWOL on the day.

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Be honest : Don’t be tempted to oversell the attractions and benefits of a job when you’re under pressure to hit your targets. Candidates carry out their own company research prior to an interview and will appreciate your honesty about a difficult hiring manager or internal company challenges. No job is perfect. Counter every potential negative with a bigger positive.

Invest time in interview prep : Provide as much background information into the company and the hiring manager as possible. Anticipate and cover difficult interview questions, ask your candidate if they have any concerns about the vacancy or the company. Remind them why this job fulfils their career aspirations by quoting their own words back at them from your discussions. Your clear interest and investment in your candidate will build rapport and reduce the chances of a ‘no-show’.

Stay in regular contact : Use your applicant tracking software to update candidates via personalised messages and send reminders prior to their interview but most importantly of all, call them! Confirm the appointment, remind them who they are meeting, review the most important aspects of the job and why their background makes them an ideal fit. Get their agreement to confirm they’ve arrived in time for their interview and more importantly, to notify you immediately any problems arise.

Was it something you said? If possible, discover the reason for your no-show especially if it’s becoming a regular occurrence.Did your candidate receive a better offer from another recruiter? Were they treated more respectfully by another agency? Did you fully explain the job description and expectations associated with the vacancy? As a recruiter, it’s tempting to rush through candidate prep when you are dealing with multiple assignments. Identifying the problem will prevent future no-shows as talent remains in short supply.


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