Since we are deep within the throes of a candidates’ job market, there are many things that employers can not afford to do. I’ve addressed some of these things within my newsletter articles and blog posts. They include the following:
- Not communicating enough during the hiring process
- Not letting candidates know where they stand during the process
- Not making a strong offer to their top candidate at the end of the process
- Dragging out the process indefinitely
There are more, to be sure, but these are among the top infractions. However, there’s one more that I would like to discuss in this article. That is repeatedly rescheduling face-to-face interviews.
A matter of perspective, urgency, and options
As with most of the mistakes listed above, this one can be traced back to a matter of perspective. Before I explain, though, let me make a distinction. I’m not talking about rescheduling a candidate’s interview one time. I’m talking about rescheduling multiple times—two, three, or even four—with the same candidate. As you’ll see, rescheduling even one time is risky enough. It’s when it happens over and over again that the danger of losing the candidate increases dramatically.
Okay, now back to the matter of perspective.
That perspective is tied to urgency, and urgency is tied to what and how many options a person has. In a candidates’ market (i.e., a recovering economy), candidates have options. Specifically, the very best candidates typically enjoy a LOT of options. Conversely, employers that need candidates with a specialized skill set do not enjoy as many options. So with that in mind, who should be acting with the most urgency? If you said “employers,” then you are correct!
Unfortunately, some hiring managers do not see it this way. Or at the very least, they’re not cognizant of the dynamics of the marketplace. Below are several points that help to illustrate the urgency and options that are tied to the perspective of the best candidates:
- These candidates are not actively looking for a new employment opportunity. That’s because their current employer is keeping them engaged and largely satisfied.
- These candidates were convinced (probably by a recruiter) that the opportunity was worth considering, to the point that they joined the hiring process to discover whether it’s better than the job they have now.
- Since that’s the case, the onus of keeping these candidates engaged in the hiring process is on the organization seeking to hire. That’s because the candidate has options, not the least of which is to stay at their current employer.
- The organization seeking to hire must convince top candidates to stay in the process. Just because these candidates entered the process, there is NO guarantee that they’re going to stay in it.
How your company is branding itself
So now that we’ve outlined the candidates’ perspective, what do you think happens when their interviews are rescheduled over and over again? Well, I can tell you because I’ve seen what happens. They become frustrated, annoyed, and irritated. Then they lose interest in the position and they drop out of the hiring process. They no longer consider the position worth their time, energy, and effort. In short, they no longer believe that the position is better than the one they already have.
Now, you might be tempted to think that these candidates are being too dramatic or that they’re overreacting to a “small inconvenience.” However, that is not what is happening at all. Branding is a two-way street. Candidates brand themselves to companies during the interviewing and hiring process, and companies brand themselves to candidates at the same time. That’s a reality of the marketplace, not a figment of somebody’s imagination.
When you reschedule a candidate’s interview, especially multiple times, here are some of the ways in which your organization is branding itself to that candidate:
#1—Your company is unorganized.
Rescheduling over and over can be interpreted as a lack of foresight. If top candidates are going to leave a good employment situation, they want to feel as though they’re going to a great situation. In fact, that’s the only reason they would leave. Top candidates rarely make a lateral move, much less take a step down.
#2—Your company is inconsiderate of other people’s time.
Candidates believe how they’re treated during the hiring process is how they’ll be treated once they become an employee. If they think that your company is inconsiderate of their time when they’re a candidate, then how do they think you’ll treat them once they’re hired?
#3—Your company culture is suspect.
Company culture is a huge consideration for the best candidates. They know they can command top dollar just about anywhere they go. That’s why they want to work for an organization that can deliver on the intangibles, including a culture that makes them feel at ease. If they believe that your company is unorganized and/or inconsiderate, then they won’t think too highly of your culture. Strike three.
An unfortunate waste of everyone’s time
If an organization hires a recruiter, that organization is seeking to hire the best candidates in the marketplace. After all, that’s what a search consultant does. Let’s say that recruiter does their job. They find the best candidates, convince those candidates to consider their client’s opportunity, and then convince them to enter the hiring process.
Then the recruiter schedules an interview for the candidate. Only to reschedule it. And then reschedule it again. And quite possibly again. What kind of message does that send? It makes the recruiter look bad, and it makes the employer look bad. Ultimately, it is an unfortunate waste of everybody’s time.
However, that’s the least of the problems caused by this situation. That’s because organizations are losing out on talent that could dramatically help their business and their bottom line.
When it comes to hiring the best candidates, an organization must make hiring those candidates a priority. Because true to form, when you don’t make something a priority, then that something simply does NOT happen.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.