With the challenges of 2020, we’ve all had to shift in ways that have been substantial: the move to remote work, the move to remote team collaboration, and – most notably – the move to remote recruiting.
Under “normal” circumstances, hiring managers have the opportunity to meet their candidates face to face, readily read body language during the interview, and share the day-to-day culture of their organizations via preliminary office tours. But companies have had to shift, and many organizations have utilized fantastic platforms to accommodate their need for video interviewing.
But there’s a problem. Recruiters are seeing more candidates turning down offers.
But why? The technology is there, and it makes it easy for hiring managers to interview despite environmental factors.
What we’re hearing from our network of internal and agency recruiters is that, although interviewing is going well and they’re seeing interest in their job posts, they are getting rejected by promising candidates. And it’s happening enough for them to notice.
With an unemployment rate at historic highs, why would candidates go through a lengthy interview process, only to turn down a job offer?
As the expert in helping clients hire and develop the best salespeople, we have some insight into why this may be happening.
1. Hiring Managers aren’t spending enough time with candidates during the interview process.
Candidates need to get to know YOU. And this means spending a lot of time with them during the interview process. With the current state of the world, even though virtual interviewing makes things convenient, it doesn’t replace a face-to-face connection. So hiring managers have to make sure that they spend extra time and energy to help candidates feel excited about the company, the role, and working for YOU.
It’s critical to give candidates a true sense of who you are as a company, what a typical day might look like, and the team members they’ll be working with, well before a job offer. And that means having more conversations with more people in various ways. Keeping things casual and lighthearted may also temper the stress of job hunting in a pandemic, while juggling a family, virtual schooling, barking dogs, etc.
2. Candidates are interested, but uncertain.
Candidates who are currently employed are tougher to pry away from their current jobs because leaving their job is riskier now. The fear of the unknown – leaving their company to begin at a new one – creates fear. They may be thinking, “Will I get laid off soon after starting this role if thing get bad again?” Last one in, first one out is a legitimate fear, because the pandemic poses uncertainty with a potential second wave on the horizon.
Many companies have had to right-size and restructure, so if you’re in a position where your company is seeing growth or recovery, make sure to communicate that to your candidates and especially when you make the job offer. Stability and safety are the biggest value-add interviewers can offer to their candidates. And be sure to make this an active part of the conversation, since some candidates might be hesitant to ask that question directly. The transparency will be appreciated and remembered.
3. Candidates fear possible FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
In addition to candidates who are currently employed, there is a huge unemployed population looking for work, so organizations might be overwhelmed by the volume of resumes coming through for open roles. The reality here is that candidates have options. Jobs are beginning to open up more steadily, so talented candidates know they have multiple avenues to grow their careers. Candidates are weighing what’s out there, perhaps to see if better opportunities will emerge in the short term, and they’re doing their research. In today’s job market, there is an influx of candidates looking for work, but there are also organizations recovering and pushing open roles out onto job boards.
Flexibility and company culture is at a premium, so candidates will be looking for that “purple squirrel” just as much as you are. The last thing they want to do is accept a job offer that they aren’t 100 percent committed to, only to happen upon a better opportunity shortly after. So the key here is to engage them, communicate with them, get to know them, and enthusiastically position your organization as a company of choice. Assure them of their fit, so they’ll feel like they’re missing out if they DON’T accept your offer.
The marketplace has shifted substantially. Everyone is collaborating and communicating via videoconferencing, and although it’s keeping organizations moving, it also presents challenges for hiring managers looking to bring on new talent. It’s absolutely critical for organizations to put in the extra time and effort to make up for what video interviewing misses. Communicate your mission, articulate your company culture, and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that your opportunity is one worth pursuing.
The companies that will win the competition for these top candidates are the companies with engaged hiring managers that took the time to get to know top candidates during the hiring process.