Career Corner: Trouble Finding Candidates? Try This

If you leave candidates waiting too long or make the process difficult, don’t be surprised if they ghost you. – Courtesy photo / marc cornelis (CC BY 2.0)

By Angela Copeland

I read articles about candidates who are ghosting employers. They’re not showing up to interviews. They’re not showing up on their first day. They’re disappearing and employers are frustrated. On top of the ghosting phenomenon, employers can’t seem to find enough qualified candidates. It’s like there just aren’t any good people left.

If you’re a hiring manager and you’re having trouble hiring, here are a few tips.

First, think back to the last time you looked for a job. I’m not talking about the time a friend called and offered you something you didn’t know was open. I’m talking about the last time you felt down and out. I’m talking about a time when you were applying to everything you could find and were pinning your entire future on each interview. Remember how crazy that time felt? How vulnerable it felt? Keep that in mind and do your best to treat everyone you interview with the same level of respect you would want to receive.

Make it easy to apply. Don’t you hate those long online applications? So do job seekers. Make the process easy and you’ll have more candidates to pick from.

If you’re going to ask candidates to take tests as part of the interview process, think hard about it. Personality tests and IQ tests are not perfect indicators of future performance. But they’re a sure fire way to turn off candidates. If you decide that tests are for you, at least save them until late in the interview process. Don’t force candidates to devote time to your screening process if you’re not committed to investing time first.

Be flexible with candidates. I’m not talking about interviewing candidates on the weekend but when you offer times for interviews give more than one day and more than one time. Schedule interviews a few days ahead of time, so the candidate will have time to reorganize their schedule. Don’t force the job seeker to pick between their existing commitments and you. They don’t even know you yet.

Follow through on your commitments. If you tell the job seeker that you’ll let them know something next week, then let them know something next week. If next week comes and you don’t have the update yet, let them know that. They’ll understand.

Be reasonable with your requirements. Do you really need someone who can write code, market, and manage projects? Decide what’s the most important to you and focus in on those things. If you are expecting to find a unicorn, you’re going to come up empty-handed.

Pay attention to your online reviews. I know that they aren’t always fair. I get that sometimes disgruntled employees post things about your company that aren’t right but these reviews are how job seekers decide whether or not your company is worth the trouble.

Bottom line: treat other people the way you want to be treated.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at

March 14, 2019

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Angela Copeland

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