How to Lose a Candidate in 10 Days (And How to Change It)

Illustration of a worker being pulled off his feet and away from a door marked exit by a hand holding a large u-shamed magnet

Every hiring manager has been here: you have an opening and are interviewing applicant after applicant for an open position.

All of a sudden you find them: the perfect candidate.

They have the skills! They’re within budget! Your team loves them! 

And just like that… they’re gone. You’ve lost the candidate.

Maybe they took a counteroffer. Maybe they ghosted mid-way through the interview process. Maybe you just don’t know what happened. 

The bad news is that this happens more and more in today’s hyper-competitive hiring economy.

The good news — there are things within your control to change it. 

Top reasons you’re missing out on the best candidates for a job

1. Your job descriptions are unclear

Bad news: you’re losing candidates you never even met. This is partially because so many companies are hiring for the same roles right now.

And if you’re a candidate? Linkedin’s easy application means candidates apply for 5-10 roles between Zoom calls. Every job blurs together and candidates forget who you are.

If your description doesn’t pop, is overcomplicated, or unclear, you’ll get overlooked.

2. You only use HR to find candidates

Why put all your eggs in one basket? Your HR or Talent team can field organic applicants, but what happens when the first wave of unqualified resumes ends?

HR throws up their hands and says, “We’re doing everything we can!” and 99% of the time all that means is they took the role off your careers page and then reposted it.

Diversify your options.

3. Your interviews are too drawn out

The longer the interview process, the more likely it is for your candidates to lose interest, get frustrated, or accept another offer. To keep your interview process more streamlined, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Does every single stakeholder need to talk to that entry-level hire? 
  • Do you have to wait to move someone forward until your boss’s boss is back from their 2 week Europe vacation? (must be nice…)
  • Do 10 people really need to be on that panel interview?
  • Does it need to take 3 business days to collect every single person’s feedback? 

Time is money! And while you’re waiting around to schedule every step, your competitors have shortened their interview process to 1-2 steps with key stakeholders, and hired the hot-shot candidate who’s in demand and knows it.

4. You give applicants take-home assignments

Call it a case study, call it a skills assessment, call it whatever you want.

But candidates will call it homework or worse — free work.

Remember that college essay you loathed and put off until the due date? The candidates we all want to hire are BUSY (and should be, because they’re talented!) and can’t or won’t prioritize extra work over their already busy schedules.

This is why take-home assignments are the biggest mistake for hiring managers.

5. You waited to long to hire

After what seems like hundreds of interviews, you’ve finally found them! But…

They’re $5k over your budget. Or they don’t live near your HQ. Or they’re missing one technology but are using something similar. 

If they’re a culture fit and can learn the ropes, why wait?

Soft skills are the #1 trait needed in any hire and most tech/tools can be trained.

While you’re waiting for the unicorn who’s within budget and will drive to your office every day, you’re losing revenue from the open headcount, and your team members who are shouldering the extra work are getting LinkedIn messages every day about shiny new roles.

6. Window-shopping candidates (passive candidates)

The WORST. The role is mission-critical, it has been open for months, and the perfect resume hits your inbox. 

Then… they aren’t ready to make a move. And since most candidates are 100% remote now, it’s never been easier to take a 30-minute interview without a boss knowing.

Passive candidates will take your offer and use it to secure that raise they’ve been asking for, leaving you back at square one.

Losing a candidate is far easier than hiring the right one. Learn what's wrong with your hiring process and tips to fix it to land top talent.

How to avoid missing out on top talent when hiring

1. Keep your job description it clear and simple

Clear is kind!

Clarity will pay off in the long run. Have a clear job description in advance, map out your full hiring plan, and agree internally in advance on what the hard requirements are and where you can flex.

Your team will thank you, and candidates will apply.

2. Find a trusted recruitment & staffing partner

Staffing partners cut through the white noise in a competitive market.

A worthwhile recruitment partner like Mondo will execute targeted recruitment plans to outcompete hundreds of similar job descriptions and cast a wider net to show you the talent you need when HR would just throw in the towel.

Staffing partners will also thoroughly vet any candidate to match your budget, skillset, and urgency.

The end result? You only interview the best.

3. Time is money – spend it wisely

Time is money — both for candidates and for you!

  • Keep the hiring process simple
  • Don’t drag out the next steps
  • Don’t invite too many cooks to the kitchen to make a decision

By keeping the process streamlined and efficient, you’ll be much more likely to land your top candidate.

4. Ensure you offer remote work as an option

Let’s face it — remote is here to stay.

For most candidates, working remote isn’t a perk, it’s a requirement. By offering this option, not only will you keep up with your competition, but you’ll gain access to a massive national talent pool.

Trying a remote hire for the first time or scared of the risk? Hire a remote contractor!

You’ll get the best of both worlds: talent on your team and a trial period before long-term commitment.

5. Don’t wait for a unicorn candidate to apply for the job

Is someone 80% of the way there, and wants to get the rest of the 20% there? Hire them.

Coachability and soft skills can’t be taught, but 99% of tech and marketing skills can be.

Leaving an open seat risks losing your headcount, losing revenue, and burning out your other team members who have to shoulder the additional work.

Don’t miss out on hiring the best candidates

Let’s face it, hiring is one of the hardest jobs out there.

It’s a guessing game, one where you close your eyes and cross your fingers.

But if you can take control of your hiring, you’ll save your company revenue, help your team get the support they need, and find the best talent faster.

Instead of unfilled roles open for months, hire a candidate in 10 days (or even less).

Find great talent when you partner with Mondo

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