How to Prevent Losing a Candidate in the Hiring Process

How to Prevent Losing a Candidate in the Hiring Process
black man shaking hands to man after accepting job offered during the hiring process

Finding the perfect candidate in the hiring process is hard. You have to sift through dozens if not hundreds of applications and spends countless hours vetting and interviewing before making a decision. Then there are those magical moments where you just know you’ve found the right person, but you’re obligated to conduct those ten other interviews you set up before making an offer.

If a candidate is appealing to you, odds are they’re getting attention from other companies too. How can you prevent the loss of a top candidate while the rest of the hiring process plays out?

Move Quickly in the Hiring Process

This is easier said than done, but that’s all the more reason it needs to be said. To paraphrase the famous idiom, “He who hesitates has lost all the best candidates to other companies.” 

The first way to speed up your hiring process is to post a very clear and detailed job description that specifies the qualifications required. If you do, odds are you’ll attract a higher percentage of qualified candidates, as people who aren’t qualified won’t waste their time. 

That means less time wasted reading resumes that don’t match what you’re looking for, and fewer dud interviews. It also means that applicants are more likely to genuinely want the job since they know what it entails. If and when you lock in on a dream candidate, you can always edit the job description to appeal to them directly.

Beyond that, work to eliminate inefficiencies in your hiring process. Find reliable and easy-to-use scheduling software instead of endless back and forth emails to set interview times. Analyze how much time each step of your hiring process has taken in the past and look for ways to speed up the most time-consuming parts. The sooner you get your dream candidate an offer, the sooner they use their skills and experience to benefit you.  

Treat Candidates Like Customers

No one enjoys looking for a job. It’s all the hassle of buying a car, combined with the stress of potentially making or breaking your whole career. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that when you’re the one hiring, you hold all the cards. That is only true to a point. You want to attract top talent to your company. Hopefully, whatever product or service you provide is already highly regarded (or if not, that may be why you’re hiring new people). Either way, company culture matters, and it’s something you have the power to demonstrate.

Communicate your timeline clearly with potential hires. Let them know when they can expect to hear from you next at every step. Be respectful and, within the bounds of professionalism, friendly. Give your candidates the courtesy of being transparent about what salary you can offer. 

A candidate might not be right for you now, but in five years could have all the skill you need. Making a good impression on potential hires, whether or not you ultimately give them an offer, will only help your company.

Highlight Employee Benefits

While a competitive salary and positive company culture will help you attract top candidates, employee benefits will keep them eager to work for you. Customizable health care plans and amenities like free snacks or meals and gym memberships are appealing. Flexible hours are another huge perk. If you can demonstrate to candidates that they will also have meaningful room for growth at your company, you’re golden.

Growth means promotions, but not just that. Show candidates how you will help them develop new skills and give them new opportunities. Of course, if you promise it, you have to deliver.  

Need help finding and keeping the perfect candidate?  Contact Victoria James Executive Search, Inc. today, we are here to help!


Victoria is an accomplished direct and digital marketer with more than 20 years of industry experience. The Founder and President of Victoria James Executive Search, Inc. direct and digital marketing search firm, she has had a successful and accomplished career, holding senior level sales and marketing management positions in companies such as Citicorp Diner’s Club, Donnelley Marketing. Victoria understands the need for premium talent in the Direct and Digital Marketing industries, is an active member of the Direct Marketing Association, NEMOA and other associations, and holds an Executive MBA from Bernard M. Baruch College. Contact Victoria today to learn how her team of recruitment experts can accelerate your efforts and help you quickly accomplish your goals.


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