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How to Keep Job Seekers Engaged (When the Hiring Process Is Slow)

The hiring process today is 15% longer than a few years ago.

While a longer hiring process complicates the work performed by talent acquisition teams, candidates bear the most frustration. A survey found that 23% of candidates lose interest in an employer if they don’t hear back within a week of the initial interview. The survey also found that 46% of candidates lose interest if there’s no update between 1-2 weeks after the initial interview. It’s advantageous for recruiters to keep candidates interested and upbeat as interviews and hiring decisions drag out.


News or no news, check in regularly.

For most people, changing jobs is a big deal. If the decision-making process is delayed or going slower than usual, it’s still important to get in touch with the candidate on a more frequent basis. Maintaining contact with the candidates and letting them know you haven’t forgotten about them helps the candidates feel comfortable.

  • Is the candidate interviewing elsewhere? At what stage of the interview?
  • How their current work situation is coming along? Go over the reasons again why they’re seeking job opportunities elsewhere.


Check in with the candidate weekly.

The frequency of contact is key when you’re trying to keep a candidate interested and engaged. Touch the candidates at least once a week, even if it’s just to let them know you haven’t heard anything yet.


Be open & personable.

When the process is taking a long time and the candidates are getting anxious, it’s your responsibility to keep them warm. Get to know them. Learn a little about their personal lives. They will feel more secure in the process and be more trustful of your service during the wait. Beyond your role as a recruiter, be the person who cares about what’s in the candidate’s best interests.


See their value.

Candidates will stay interested in you if you stay interested in them. The more you build the relationship around providing timely updates and honesty, the more they will subconsciously value your offering–versus another potential employer.


In short:

  1. Be prompt.
  2. Get personal with the candidates.
  3. Showcase your employer brand.
  4. Educate the candidates.
  5. Make the interview process more comfortable.
  6. Communicate often.