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Why Companies Are Losing Top Candidates


It’s 2023, and there’s no shortage of talented and well-qualified job seekers looking for work. And yet over the last few years, 72% of all employers have struggled to find suitable candidates to fill their open positions. With more than 5.72 million eligible job seekers scouring the market, there’s a disconnect somewhere.

We’ve always been firm believers in the idea that knowledge is power. It’s our mission to bring to light the key reasons that recruiters, business owners, and HR professionals are losing out on hiring top talent. In the article below, we’ve compiled the top five reasons for the disparity between job seekers and hiring managers, as well as a discussion of critical tools -such as pre-employment testing– that can help level the playing field. Join us as we take a deep dive into the current state of talent sourcing and the ways in which we as professionals can make that process more equitable.

Table of contents:

The Hiring Process Is Long and Obtuse

We’ve become pampered by the immediacy of the digital age. We say that tongue in cheek because technology equals progress, and progress is generally a positive thing regardless of your industry, but there’s an important point to be made here: the modern-day application process is quick, easy, and expedient. So why haven’t we updated the hiring process to match that?

According to a recent survey featured in Tech Series, 60% of job applicants find long intervals between applying, interviewing, and receiving a formal job offer to be supremely frustrating! From their perspective, submitting an application is an easy process that can be done from the comfort of their own couch. It’s disheartening, however, when they have to wait a disproportionately long time to hear back regarding an interview, and even worse if they have to wait any length of time to find out if they’ve got the job.

As professionals, we can do a lot to set our applicants at ease. We can use tools such as pre-employment testing to help pinpoint an applicant’s true skill set, and by developing a quick, accurate, and systematic screening process, and setting appropriate expectations within our prospective talent pools. Which brings us to our next point.


There’s a Lack of Communication Between Key Stakeholders

Long intervals between application, interviewing, and hiring can be soul crushing to the average job applicant. Long intervals with zero communication are even worse!

The screening processes should take care of the company’s needs AND empower your talent pool.  The only way to do that, however, is by keeping the lines of communication between applicant and hiring manager open and honest. During the application process, employers should set a time frame for when potential applicants can expect to hear back. The same courtesy should be extended following any interview that your team conducts. When used in conjunction with powerful tools such as pre-employment testing, setting applicant expectations goes a long way toward erasing tensions and eliminating frustration.


Interview Questions Are Too Generic

“Tell me what you think your greatest strength is.”

“Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation at work. How did you respond?”

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

The entries above are just a simple cross section of the boilerplate questions hiring managers have been asking since, well, the dawn of time. But what do they really tell us about an applicant other than their ability to answer a trite question with a scripted answer?

Hiring managers should instead pivot towards more meaningful questions that demonstrate the true substance of each applicant. That’s where pre-employment testing comes into play.

Pre-employment testing can help you find the cream of the crop by identifying each applicant’s core competencies, outstanding abilities, and surprising skills. In turn, you’ll be positioned to better respect the time, energy, and toll that the application and hiring process takes on the applicant while simultaneously optimizing your talent pool in the process.


The Applicant Isn’t Sold on Your Company’s Culture

There are (arguably) three driving factors when solidifying a working relationship with a particular candidate:

  1. Are the job duties the right fit for the applicant’s skill set?
  2. Is the pay what they were expecting?
  3. Is the company culture the right fit for their personal values?

The first two are easily addressed because they are explicit and easily quantifiable. The job duties are listed on the job posting. The salary will be stated in the job offer. But what about company culture? You can tell the prospective new hire how great it is to work there, that the office is like a family, etc., but ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. It should come as no surprise that many new hires will be reluctant to take your word on company culture without first seeing it in action. You should strive to make their welcome warm and give them ample opportunity to see employee morale up close and personal.


There’s a Lack of Post-Interview Follow Up

To finish up our discussion, let’s circle back to communication. Professional relationships are built on the give and take of open, honest discourse. That’s why it’s never ok to leave a promising job candidate in the lurch. When an interview appears to go well, the prospective new hire will expect a quick turnaround time regarding your decision. Afterall, they’re excited to get started!

One of the best ways to build a figurative bridge between you and the applicant is to keep them apprised of where they stand in the hiring process.


Put the Applicant at Ease with Pre-Employment Testing

Despite a rocky economy headed into 2023, qualified applicants are plentiful. The more pressing question is are they well-qualified candidates whose skill set can effectively integrate with your company and its values?

Simplifying and better managing the hiring process is one way that your HR team can draw exceptional talent from the talent pool. The easiest, most efficient way to get there is through pre-employment testing. Want to stop losing out on top candidates? Try a free sample test today to get started on the road to better talent acquisition.