How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days


I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the market for talent is fierce out there, for both the companies that are hiring and the people who are looking. In a market like that, it’s not always the highest offer that gets accepted; it often comes down to how you made your candidate feel during the recruiting process. I’ve written before about the candidate experience and given some tips to facilitate a good experience for your candidate. Today, I thought I’d share three things to avoid what could create a negative candidate experience.


1. Your Job Posting

The candidate experience begins the moment your candidate lays eyes on the job posting, but you have a lot of competition: LinkedIn and Indeed are packed with job postings, all vying for attention. If your posting is long and tedious, or poorly formatted, it’s easy for the candidate to click away. At the same time, be careful of going too far: most job seekers aren’t buying tinned, cliché verbiage such as “feels like one big family!” Keep it simple and avoid posting the full job description (save that for later in the process).


2. Your Website

I recently had a candidate pull out of the running for a position before they even interviewed. It’s very common – and advisable – for a job seeker to scope out the website of a potential employer to familiarize themselves with the messaging and vision of a company. When this candidate navigated to the “Meet the Team” page, she was met with the pictures of several white men, without a woman and/or person of color in sight. If you’re going to advertise that your company values diversity and equity, make sure your whole brand reflects that.


3. Your Response Time

This is a tip you may have heard before, but that's because it's important: never, ever drag your feet on a good candidate. If your response times are too long, you will lose that candidate. In fact I saw this happen first-hand not too long ago when I was doing some head-hunting for a client (before you get any ideas, this isn't something I do often). The candidate applied, and it was 45 days later that he got an offer. Unsurprisingly, he rejected that offer. If you know you want that candidate, get that candidate! Don't let them wither away waiting for your offer.


A candidate forms impressions at every step of the recruiting process, not just when they apply and when they’re on the phone with you. In fact, some of the most powerful impressions are created when the recruiter is absent.


Keep this in mind as you’re recruiting:

the candidate experience is the first step in the total employee experience.