5 reasons job seekers abandon the hiring process

When candidates drop out of the hiring process with no explanation whatsoever, it can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. You invested time in their resume and interviews, and now it feels like you’re starting from scratch. Here’s why this might be happening to you, plus five tips for preventing candidates from dropping out of the hiring process moving forward.

1. Your application is too long and complicated

“This is still going on?!” If job seekers are having that reaction in the middle of your application process, you’re in trouble. Most job seekers prefer a one-click apply and aren’t interested in spending more than 10 minutes on one job application. Candidates also have little patience for an application process that’s repetitive (“I just uploaded my resume, and I still need to enter my complete work history?”) or isn’t working properly (broken links, takes too long to load, etc.).

If candidates are abandoning applications, start by ensuring you have a smooth process, then try to simplify as much as possible. Save the long, detailed questions for the job interview, and invest in technology that pre-populates or autofills information to save candidates the frustration of manually entering information over and over again.

2. They aren’t ready to commit

Sometimes you can do everything right with your application process and candidates will still leave before saying “I do” to applying. What’s an employer supposed to do? Start by remembering that, just because candidates aren’t ready to apply doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. This is why it helps to have a talent network as part of your career site. A talent network is a pipeline of candidates who have shown an interest in your company. Having a talent network enables you to keep candidates up-to-date on new opportunities and engaged with your organization. It can also save you time recruiting for new positions down the road, as you already have a pool of qualified, interested candidates from which to pull.

3. The mobile experience is painful

Mobile continues to surpass desktop experiences, and job seekers increasingly expect to be able to search for and apply to jobs from their smartphones or tablets. If your career site isn’t optimized for mobile screens, you can say goodbye to the 8 in 10 people who stop engaging with websites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, or 53 percent of people who abandon mobile sites that take more than three seconds to load. Investing in a mobile-user friendly application process is the first step to an increasingly important mobile recruiting strategy.

4. Candidates feel like they’ve been ghosted

You wouldn’t (hopefully) wait two weeks or more to respond to a customer or client. So why are you doing that to candidates when they could be just as vital to your business? While it’s by no means easy to stay on top of all your candidates, going MIA on them is not an option - at least if you want to keep them. Sixty-six percent of job seekers don’t even wait two weeks to hear back from a company before they move on to another opportunity, according to CareerBuilder.

If you don’t have the time or resources to personally email every candidate, use automated emails to keep candidates in the loop. Make sure they receive an email letting them know their application has been received and what the next steps will be. Most importantly, keep them updated with any changes to their status - even if they’ve been removed from consideration. You don’t want to burn bridges in case another, better-fitting opportunity opens up for that candidate. This is a crucial step in building a talent pipeline of qualified candidates.

5. The background check is taking forever

Think you’re in the clear just because you’ve reached the background check phase of your relationship? Not so fast. According to another CareerBuilder survey, 31 percent of employers have lost out on candidates because the background screening process took too long. Make sure you’re not only working with a trusted, accredited employment screening vendor that can deliver accurate results in 24 to 72 hours on average, but that you’re communicating with your candidates throughout.


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