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How to minimise candidates not turning up

It's so irritating!  You’ve blocked time out of your busy diary, you’re excited (or relieved) about getting this vacancy filled and growing the business, and then the applicant doesn’t turn up.  No message, no consideration.  Just rude!

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence and it is frustrating on so many levels.  You have a to-do list you can’t see the end of, and it looks like you’ve been sitting around waiting for the interviewee for nothing.  You can hear the moans and groans of your colleagues who are desperate for some additional support and headcount.  You feel that there is a lack of common courtesy and even an email or text message would have been better than just not turning up.

While it may not be possible to prevent interview no-shows altogether there are a few things you can do to minimise the problem:

Written confirmation
Always send written confirmation of an interview with full details contained within.  Name who the interviewee will be meeting (including job titles) along with time, date, location and a website link so the individual can research and prepare.  This increases the perception of the interview as a serious commitment.  Usually, if an email has another person copied in it can subliminally increase the likelihood of somebody attending (or at least sending a message if they cannot).  This is because they would now be letting two people down instead of one.

Request a response
Ask for written confirmation that the applicant has received the interview details and will be attending.  It is useful to give a date to respond by.  You may wish to add something like, “to allow us to coordinate various diaries and delegate workload out to accommodate sufficient time to find out more about you and answer any questions you may have, please respond by……”  While it shouldn’t be necessary to point out that plans must be changed to fit in interviews and recruitment processes sometimes these things just do not enter the heads of people busy trying to conduct their own lives.

Follow-up & cut-off points
If you haven’t received a response by the deadline either call or text and simply ask, “did you receive the interview details?”  On rare occasions, the email has gone into junk files or hasn’t been received. If they have received it feel free to ask outright “Will you be attending, or should I offer the slot to another candidate?”

Another important thing that you can do to reduce interview no-shows is make sure that your process runs efficiently and is not long and drawn-out.  I have often experienced companies waiting weeks to get three or four good candidates to interview together so they can benchmark and compare only to lose every candidate to other job offers (often from their competitors).

If you want to run a recruitment advertising campaign that will help you to adhere to an effective and efficient process, and don’t want to use an agency, then take a look at our Recruit Direct packages:  www.recruitrecruit.co.uk/recruit-directThey start from just £189 and you can advertise your vacancies within a couple of hours of booking by calling 01902 763006 or emailing info@recruitrecruit.co.uk with “Recruit Direct” in the subject line.


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