The hiring process has changed through the years. Employers used to collect resumes or have candidates fill out applications, then they’d only call the individual back if they were selected to move on to the next round of the hiring process. But most companies no longer follow this antiquated method.

Companies have realized the importance of adopting better practices that keep the candidate experience in mind. However, some organizations have noticed that applicants will “bail out” or drop out of the hiring process (Ghosting), never actually reaching the final steps of applying. There are a few things that hiring managers can do to keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process to prevent them from bailing out.

    • 1. Be transparent about the process. Communicate with applicants to let them understand your company’s distinct hiring process. Be specific about what will be expected of them during the online application process. Will they need a resume? Will they have to perform sample exercises to test job performance? Will they need to fill out an application? If candidates have a clear understanding of the entire process and know what to expect when starting an application, they are much more likely to proceed through to completion.
    • 2. Be available. Offer candidates an email address, phone number, or similar method of reaching out with questions or comments. Allowing candidates direct contact with the recruiter or hiring manager alleviates concerns and means that they can have a way to reach out if they have not heard back within a particular time frame, which you have set up.
    • 3. Maintain regular communication. Never leave candidates in the dark regarding where they stand in the hiring process. Contact them to let them know what to expect for the next steps. A candidate is offering you their time, talent, and interest in your company. It’s important to keep them engaged while you review all potential candidates. The right AI system can help you maintain consistent communication with all individuals who’ve applied.
    • 4. Make it possible to apply on a mobile device. Many applicants come to your job postings while on their smartphone or other mobile device, which means that they may not have access to their resume. But do you really need a resume? If you’d like to see one, you can go through the initial application process and request a resume at a later stage. A professional resume contains important information about a candidate, but it’s possible to retrieve that information without it. Many candidates, such as passive talent, do not have an updated resume anyway.
    • 5. Put candidates in control of the process. Conventional talent acquisition processes have many delays, stops and restarts, and repetitive busy work for both the candidates and the hiring manager. Candidates are often required to submit a resume that is specific to the role, but then are asked to fill out an online application which asks the same questions that the resume answers: job history, skills, experience, and so forth. Hiring managers work with a system where 20% of the total activity (the follow-up final interview selection and making the offer) yields 80% of the value. Allowing candidates to interview via online automation not only puts the process in control of the candidate, it relieves the hiring manager and recruiters of repetitive work. Equally important, don’t put candidates through unnecessary activity. The deeper into your process you take a candidate, the more the candidate anticipates a positive outcome, and when that disposition is negative, you have a very upset applicant, and possibly upset customer. Set up your process so that the process ends as soon as a negative conclusion is apparent, and communicate a “soft landing” at that point. Don’t take the candidate through the rest of your process when it is apparent that they won’t be hired; save time for the candidate and yourself.
    • 6. Providing information while requesting information. Companies understandably are focused on getting the information from candidates that they need to make judgements about the suitability of the applicants to the position and environment. But candidates also crave information about the job, compensation, the culture, the hiring manager, and so on. By offering this information as the process continues, companies can not only answer their questions and sustain their interest, but can actually help “sell” the opportunity to the applicant to help insure acceptance of any forthcoming offer.

Reducing bail outs and ghosting, or applicants who drop out of the application process, can help you reach top talent that you might otherwise lose out on. Taking the proper steps and using the right AI talent acquisition software can help you maintain applicants throughout the entire hiring process.

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Ron Selewach

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