Nightmare on Hiring Street

Posted by Adam Hoffarber on 10/31/22 10:15 AM
Adam Hoffarber
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What if the scariest thing spooking your candidates is you?

Halloween Blog

Welcome to every job candidate’s nightmare.

For most hiring managers, filling an open role has become a frightening proposition. Finding, vetting, and interviewing candidates can feel like you’re trapped in a house of mirrors, filled with illusions, distortions, and endless dead ends. Why do the best candidates keep disappearing, just when you thought you were closing in on them?   

You’re right to feel frustrated and very, very afraid. But before you blame it all on today’s horrifying market or flighty talent, consider this:

It might be you.

According to a recent Greenhouse study, 84% of respondents are open to looking at new job opportunities. Yet, 60% of them say that employers must improve their candidate experience. This Halloween, let me tell you 3 employer mistakes that send most job seekers running away in fear.

The Slow, Zombie-like Advance: Look Alive or Lose

If your process isn’t swift, nimble, engaging, and intuitive, you have very little chance of maintaining a viable pipeline of talent. By the time a candidate (even a passive one) is interested in your open position, they’re definitely aware that you’re not the only employer who might compete for them. Their needs for information, answers, and offers are suddenly urgent. So even though your job description might be perfect and you might even be the world’s greatest boss, a slow process or system delays will likely cost you the candidate. They won’t tolerate it because they don’t need to. This is one of the most frequent and passionate complaints I hear from candidates. When their time and needs are neglected, they feel disrespected. And they walk away.

The Mummy: Poor Communication Kills

58% of today’s candidates expect to receive an initial response to their application with one week or less of applying. In other words, that’s the standard being applied to you and your organization. Only 13% expect to wait four weeks or more for an employer response. Consistent, transparent communication is critical to keeping a candidate interested. But it’s not enough to only treat the rare few to that level of care. In fact, fully 75% of candidates say they have been ghosted by an employer after an interview. You can’t stay mum with any applicants. Aside from the obvious breach of manners and expectations, there are large, looming, frightful reasons you can’t ghost anyone. According to a recent survey by, 37% of candidates who have a negative candidate experience will leave a negative online review of you and your.  How much does that matter?

This much: half of the candidates will cease communication with an employer after reading negative reviews. Yet, when a candidate experiences consistent, timely, transparent communication from everyone involved in filling the job (including the recruiter, hiring manager, and interviewers), the opposite occurs. 61% will take the time to write a positive online review.

Chained in the Dungeon: 100% on-site is a deal-breaker  

Today, 51% of candidates won’t even explore an opportunity that can’t promise a remote or hybrid option. Yes, remote or hybrid makes life easier for busy people with multiple priorities. But their reasons are more complex than it might appear at first glance. Employers have been grappling (often unsuccessfully) with how to lead physically de-centralized teams. As their failures and fears of lost collaboration and lost productivity drag on, many have fallen into a dangerous pit of what I’ll call messaging doom. Leading, engaging and motivating a hybrid team may be different than pre-2020. That doesn’t mean it’s inferior or impossible. As more employers embrace this new reality, they’re setting a different standard. While many of us will never go 100% remote, most of us will have to embrace the benefits and opportunities (and challenges) that come with a hybrid option.

At SkyWater Search Partners, we help employers throughout the Twin Cities and Chicago metros attract and retain the best talent for their organizations. If you would like to know more about how we can make your hiring process a lot less scary, please reach out. We would love to talk!

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