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Turn Downs – eight ways in which you can turn a candidate OFF your organisation at interview

  • Publish Date: Posted over 4 years ago
  • Author:by Rory Walsh

Why are candidates not choosing my organisation? What are other organisations doing at interview that we are not, to get these candidates engaged? How am I turning candidates off from joining my team?

It’s a candidate-driven market in 2019, and the skills shortage is set to continue through 2020 and beyond. The competition for quality candidates is developing further momentum year on year. For active candidates, we are in a situation now where the cream of the crop has three or four offers to choose from when making a decision. Therefore, it is crucial that you do not turn candidates off your organisation when you meet them.

Here are eight reasons why you have possibly lost out to other organisations in the war for talent or are turning candidates off joining your team. 

1. Having a negative interviewer at the table

Ensure ALL interviewers are going to give a positive representation of your company. If not, either train these people or ask someone else to interview because this will affect your reputation. Hiring managers are not interviewing as frequently as you, and sometimes they need a brief on what is needed to attract candidates in the current market. In 2019, it is not just about what the candidate can do for you, because it has become a 2-way street. A positive individual who has progressed in the organisation will naturally give a better representation of the organisation.

2. Not giving a site tour

Give a brief site tour before or after the interview. This makes the candidate feel like they could contribute to something bigger and gets them excited about the opportunity you are presenting to them. Even if unsuccessful, they will tell other candidates about the facility.

3. Omitting an overview of the role in detail before the interview starts

Taking the time to really explain in detail the role that they are interviewing for and how that role contributes to the organisation.

4. Employee focus and community contribution

Candidates prefer to work in a role that has meaning and to work for an organisation that makes a positive contribution to the community. Aligned with this, they seek organisations with a strong culture and working environment or employee wellbeing initiatives such as sports and social clubs. Give examples of these in action recently, because this is high on candidates’ list of priorities and you will need to prove with examples that you are an employee and community-focused organisation. Otherwise, you may turn candidates off from joining your team.

5. Not identifying your value proposition

Interviewers should discuss the long-term opportunities for potential candidates in the role and organisation. You will need to be sure to discuss this at the interview stage. Career progression opportunities, specific technologies or projects to get further experience in, are all high priorities for today’s ambitious candidates. Create a vision for the candidate of what success looks like long-term in your organisation.

6. Turning up more than 10 minutes late – without an apology

Delays can happen, but make sure to show the human side with a heartfelt apology. It gives a bad impression of both you and the organisation and consequently can turn candidates off.

7. Lack of preparation

Interviewers have not read the CV or have little to no information on the individual interviewing for the role. Interviewers who are unprepared or not on the same page as each other can have a negative impact on the candidate's experience.

8. Being too formal and not engaging with the candidate

Candidates remember how they felt first and what was said second. Interviewers need to show a human side by creating an atmosphere for an engaged discussion to make candidates FEEL comfortable.

Above all, the goal is to provide a positive candidate experience. Take the time to get to know the individual early to make them comfortable. The most common feedback from positive interviews that we get is “I did get a really good FEELING from the interviewers and site as a whole” which ultimately makes the candidates’ decision much easier.

If you are struggling with candidate attraction and turn downs, get in touch with your local Collins McNicholas office to learn more about interviews, candidate expectations and how we can help

Rory Walsh - Associate Director | Munster
Rory Walsh
​Associate Director | Munster