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Raina Writes: What turns candidates off a job opportunity?


The candidate journey is made up of many moments.

Each one, painting a picture in their mind about the company they're applying to.

These moments reveal a lot about the company's culture, the hiring manager, their choice of agency partner and what the future might hold if they get offered and accept the position.

In most cases, the candidate journey is a positive experience. So when a role is offered, the chosen candidate is typically ready and excited to accept.

But not always.

Sometimes, the candidate gets the ‘ick’. Something turns them off to the point they drop out of the process or reject the offer.

So what are the factors that kill their interest? Here are 10 turn-offs we’ve seen or heard about over the years:

1. Bad job ads

A lack of clarity or alignment with what they’ve read or heard elsewhere can bring their interest to an end before it’s begun. First impressions count.

2. Poor communication

Silence is deadly. Miscommunication is just as bad. Whether it’s arrangements, feedback or next steps, a good process requires regular and clear communication from organisations and their agencies.

3. Lack of courtesy

Everyone deserves (and therefore expects) respect. So when people feel their time isn’t being valued as highly as that of the people hiring, it’s a big red flag. Being on time and a good host goes a long way.

4. Too many interview stages

Some roles require it. And we’re all for being thorough. But if it feels overkill for the role or it demands too much time from someone with other commitments, then it can lead to a lot of wasted time.

5. Uncompetitive salaries and policies

Very few people will move jobs for less money than they’re on now. Salary is and always will be a critical decision-making factor. The same goes for annual leave, maternity leave and other HR policies. It's ok to offer what you can afford but if it's below market rates, you'll need to manage your expectations accordingly.

6. Negative reputation in the market

Candidates do their homework. They talk to your employees. They read Glassdoor reviews. They ask around. If a company’s reputation is poor, it's over no matter what you can offer on paper.

7. Unclear progression routes

Ambitious people want to progress. You don’t have to promise it but you do have to show them there’s a pathway to achieve it. Otherwise they’ll worry about wasting the next few years.

8. Lack of diversity

It comes up. Maybe not as much as what we’d all like to think. But a lack of representation in the interview and diversity across the organisation rings alarm bells. It can put people off taking things further.

9. Can’t answer their questions

When a candidate has a question, it shows an interest that will quickly fade without a good answer. Just as candidates need to be prepared, so too must interviewers and their agencies.

10. Bad agency practices

Recruiters work hard to find and engage potential candidates. But there’s a fine line between pestering and persistence. If your agency views candidates as commodities, hounds them or doesn't do their homework, it can reflect negatively on your company. Choose wisely!



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