How to Combat No-Show Candidates in This Market

by Stacy Pursell, The VET Recruiter ®

I’ve been teaching the same message to employers for the last several years: just because you have a job opening doesn’t mean that qualified candidates are going to come running. In some cases, they don’t even come walking. In extreme cases, they don’t come at all.

However, in those instances where you are considering qualified candidates for your open positions, you’re still at risk. At risk for what, you ask? Well, there are three main things:

  • You conduct an initial phone screen and then invite a candidate onsite for a face-to-face interview. But the candidate cancels the interview at the last minute. OR they don’t show up at all.
  • You make an offer of employment to your top candidate . . . and then that candidate disappears, not responding to calls, emails, and even texts. This is called “ghosting on the offer.”
  • You make an offer of employment to your top candidate . . . and that candidate accepts it! You’re in the clear, right? Wrong. The candidate doesn’t show up for their first day of work.

All of these scenarios have occurred countless times in the employment marketplace, including within the Animal Health Industry and Veterinary Profession. So the question is this one: what can you as the employer do about it?

A 5-prong plan of attack

Well, the good news is that you CAN do something about it. And considering how important it is to hire top talent, you should do something about it. Below is a five-prong plan of attack for combatting candidate no-shows in your organization’s hiring process:

#1—Invest time and effort into the process.

You can’t treat the hiring process as though the only people who must invest in it are the candidates. In actuality, since it’s a candidates’ market, employers must invest just as much as candidates . . . and depending upon the position and the situation involved, they may have to invest more. When you do so, you’re engaging the candidate more effectively, and if the candidate is engaged, they’re less likely to be a no-show at any stage of the process.

#2—Communicate effectively.

Miscommunication has derailed far more than one job search. When communication is poor, information is lacking and assumptions are made. As an employer, you don’t want candidates basing their decisions and their actions on assumptions. You want them basing those things on stone-cold facts, and the only way to ensure that is proper communication.

#3—Clearly set expectations.

One part of effective communication is clearly setting expectations. Candidates need to know what to expect from you, and conversely, you need to know what to expect from candidates. This includes communicating about the next steps of the hiring process and when those steps are going to take place. Sure, there are always unknowns. However, by keeping those unknowns to a minimum, you increase the chances for candidate engagement and decrease the chances of experiencing a no-show.

#4—Respect candidates’ time and confidentiality.

Candidates’ lives do not revolve around your organization’s hiring process. In fact, some of them are involved in not just your hiring process, but the hiring process of other organizations, as well. And then, of course, they have their current job to worry about. So don’t schedule eight-hour interviews or ask them to come back three, four, and five times. When you don’t respect their time or confidentiality, you make it easier for them to make the decision to cancel or simply not show up. In other words don’t make them jump through too many hoops. They won’t in this candidate’s job market.

#5—Accurately assess the situation.

We’ve discussed the dangers of making assumptions before. (Heck, we just mentioned it earlier in this article.) There are dangers for candidates to make assumptions, and there are also dangers for hiring managers if they do the same. You can not assume that a candidate is engaged. You can not assume that a candidate is interested. You must know to the greatest degree possible, and if you’re not sure, then you need to take the steps necessary to find out. You must “inspect what you expect.”

And there is yet one more step that you can take to further reduce the risk of having a candidate not show up at a certain stage of the hiring process. It is to that step we shall now turn.

The role of a search consultant

The role of an experienced Animal Health or Veterinary search consultant or recruiter can’t be understated in situations like this. That’s because they’re familiar with the dangers and the risks involved. The reason they’re so familiar is that they talk with candidates on a daily basis. They talk with candidates all day long, and as a result, they have a good idea of what candidates are thinking.

The market doesn’t become a candidates’ job market overnight. There is a certain amount of time involved for the process to occur. However, because search consultants and recruiters are “in the trenches” every day, they usually are aware of these changes as they take place. Not only are they aware of these changes, but they’re also aware of the challenges that the changes present and the solutions that are available to overcome those challenges.

Successfully hiring top talent in this current  job market requires overcoming certain challenges. It requires a firm grasp of market conditions and the candidate psychology that exists due to those conditions. It requires a commitment on the part of the employer to do what is necessary during the hiring process to ensure that the best candidates are fully engaged, properly motivated, and highly interested in what the organization has to offer, both in an employment opportunity and a career.

A search consultant with a proven track record of success has experience identifying marketplace realities, overcoming the challenges associated with those realities, and consistently connecting with top candidates.

Don’t fall prey to candidate no-shows. Partner with an experienced search consultant, lock down your hiring process, and position yourself for long-term hiring success!

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1.By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2.By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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