The recruiter’s dilemma in talent acquisition: prospects not turning up?

by Urmi Jain | Oct 8, 2019
The recruiter’s dilemma in talent acquisition: prospects not turning up?

The recruiter’s dilemma in talent acquisition


If your shortlisted candidates are confirming about turning up for the interview and not doing so, then you are not alone. If you are wondering why they did not come for the final round despite saying yes, many times, then don’t. Recruiters all over the globe are battling the no-show candidate problem. Funny it may sound, but entry-level recruiters face this talent acquisition trouble day in, and day out. Sometimes, the recruiter ends up doubting self, don’t. It isn’t the fault of the recruiter that the candidate doesn’t turn up. However, there are certainly some loopholes in the way the recruiter is working. This problem can be solved if we understand why the person doesn’t show and what to do as a corrective measure of self.


Why is the candidate not showing up?

The candidate who is shortlisted might not be bunking the interview on purpose. Here are a few reasons why the prospect skips the interview:

  • He might be nervous or anxious and might get cold feet. He might feel it’s best not to show, rather than be uncomfortable about it.
  • The company might not properly intimate the candidate; he might have forgotten about the interview, or maybe he was told about it too far in advance that he couldn’t remember to make it to the venue.
  • The biggest reason for the person not appearing can be the cost of facing the interview he has to bear. Maybe, it is impossible for him to excuse himself from his current workplace or that the moment is not right due to some urgent duty.
  • Maybe he is just lazy or too negative a person to try to make it.

If it is something from points 1, 2, or 3 and he is not showing up, then you need to reach him! It doesn’t matter that the candidate didn’t turn up because of reason number 4 because you don’t need such people in any way. Thanks to technology these days, it is possible to interact with a person in real-time, remotely. One can work out a common, mutually convenient time for the interview and complete the talent acquisition process.


How to minimize no-show?

What can the employer do to reduce the number of no-show candidates and to stop wasting time? Well, one obvious thing is to encourage them to be excited about the interview by reminding them without irritating. If it is in advance, a second reminder will not hurt. You can break the ice and make them comfortable interacting with you to remove hesitation. Maybe give them some questions to prepare beforehand, so they are not nervous anymore. If you are more accommodating with a working person’s schedule, the likelihood of them turning up is much more. 


Handling a no-show

Taking the high road and being polite about the no-show to the candidate points out to your goodness. It is excellent for your employer brand, but the unpleasantness of being stood up can sting a bit. One must keep one’s cool, don’t rattle them on call or email for not coming to the interview. Give them a couple of days to explain themselves and then disqualify rather than telling them off or any other rude behaviour. 

Follow up smoothly, saying you missed them at the interview a couple of days ago, and you hope everything is ok. This email must also include that you are moving on with the hiring, but if the candidate wants, they can reply to the email, and the management might give them another chance. 

If it is still a no-response situation, send a polite rejection message saying since the candidate was absent at the interview, he won’t be considered for any further rounds, and the process continues without him. 


Are you clear about the job since the beginning?

It is of utmost importance to disclose all the details about the job from day one of interaction. It should ideally begin at the job posting level. Learn at screening what the candidate thinks regarding the job post and salary expectations. Get to the next base by discussing the role in a little more detail than a mere title or a one-liner. It will give them a better idea, and then they can think over if they want to really go ahead or refuse clearly. It can lower no-shows at an advanced level in the recruitment process.


Are you ready for technology-based talent acquisition?

If all these simple steps aren’t working, it would be a great idea to move to the digital solution. The technological advances have provided us with tools to carry out these processes. Still, the point remains – is the recruiter used to working with these tools?

The dilemma is how to find the right candidate? Talent cannot be found on, say, WhatsApp. For this reason, talent acquisition platforms are the rage in human resource management these days! They use technology to provide the recruiters with accurate resource information along with a platform to interact with the talent at convenience. It excludes the need for external agencies or professional recruiters. The employer gets the appropriate candidate. At the same time, the candidate does not feel the need to escape the interview because of other engagements.


Ask them the reason directly

Another right way to handle no-shows is to ask the candidates why they felt the need to escape the recruitment process. Even if one person reverts with a point about your procedure, you have feedback which can set so many things right!


Is your team in line?

Sometimes the behavior of the executives on your end is slightly out of line. It can happen at any point in the process. If the candidate gets an unpleasant feeling out of the interaction, he might not show up. Train your recruitment team in a way that they seem friendly and not intrusive or rude. 


Bringing technology to all levels of recruitment – future trends

Technology-based talent acquisition is already happening for higher-level jobs. It needs to trickle to other lower-level position recruitments too. Today is the age and time of internet-based everything. Nearly everyone knows how to work websites and appear in video calls. Why not connect with the most entry-level employees using this technique and save time and money on recruitment processes? Tech-based recruitment can be a blessing for the candidate as well. There can be ease of appearing for the interview and the candidate can go for multiple interviews in a day. It is logistically impossible if they want to appear in a face to face interview with all the employers. 



It is simple. If the future employee doesn’t show up, you reach out to them and interview in a way that makes the process non-intrusive for him. Moreover, to make it happen, current talent acquisition platforms give a favourable environment for the recruiters and the candidates.



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