Four tips to reduce candidate drop off during the recruitment process
Updated: Jul 12
All of us in recruitment have experienced candidates dropping out of the recruitment process at one point or another. Drop-offs can be frustrating and difficult to explain to a client, especially if they were among the stand-out applicants. There are many reasons why a candidate may withdraw their job application. Although removing a job application is often due to a candidate’s unique circumstances, there are ways to minimise candidates pulling their application during the recruitment process.
#1 Be clear and concise in the job description
Being too open and broad in your job description, roles, and responsibilities can lead to candidates applying without truly understanding what the role entails. Make sure you are clear about the job title, expectations, and responsibilities in your advert. If applicants know exactly what they are applying for from the outset, they won’t waste their time, and yours, applying for a role they aren’t interested in taking.
#2 Communicate throughout the recruitment process
Regular communication during the process is critical to keep candidates engaged. In fact, in a large-scale survey of candidates, 81% said more communication and regular status updates would greatly improve their experience. The good news is that your ATS can do most of this work for you. By automating status updates, you can ensure you keep candidates informed at every stage. The key is to look for small ways to personalise them, with the candidate’s first name and including your email signature, for example, so it feels less like a broadcast email.
#3 Shorten your recruitment process
Lengthy recruitment processes are one of the most common reasons candidates lose interest in a role. If you take too long, the odds of a good candidate taking another role are much higher.
Making your recruitment process faster doesn’t necessarily mean you need to cut essential elements out. It’s more about using technology to automate processes, such as utilising video technology for interviews. Video interviewing can help you get a feel for how a candidate will present without spending all your time meeting your longlist. For some roles and clients, sending pre-recorded video interviews can be a helpful step to maximise the time spent in in-person interviews.
Automating time-consuming processes, such as reference checks, can also help to speed up the recruitment process. Reference checks can often take time to secure, as referees can be hard to reach. By automating the task, you are more likely to reduce turnaround time, allowing you to make the job offer faster.
#4 Provide clear expectations throughout the application process
How candidates are treated at each stage of the job application process will impact their overall candidate experience and whether they remain interested in the role. Ensure you have a clear process and time frame for every stage of progression and keep applicants informed at each of these stages.
Being transparent about the recruitment process helps to build trust between yourself and the candidate. If you have your application process built into your ATS, you are able to automate the communication to each candidate, so they know their next steps and exactly where they stand.
By making sure you are clear about the job role and its responsibilities, regularly communicating with candidates and streamlining the process you should be able to minimise the number of candidates that drop out of the recruitment process.