When you’re trying to fill tens or even hundreds of roles, no-shows mean time-consuming and costly work down the drain plus frustrated managers. Looking at why Gen-Z candidates don’t show can help you make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Your store managers are all set to interview candidates, and some don’t show up. They’ve been ‘ghosted’. Do you chalk it up to the foibles of under-20 candidates? Well, sort of. But it’s nothing to do with them being flaky. It’s more about the experience you’ve given them, and how that fits into their world at the moment.
In the last 18 months, there has been a steady increase in interview ‘ghosting’. It’s a common by-product of a competitive job market, but throw a global pandemic in and you’ve got a ghosting problem. According to a 2021 report from Indeed,
28% of job applicants report having ghosted on an interview over the past year. That’s up from just 18% in 2019.
The researchers also asked the employers, with 76% saying they've had candidates just not turn up – and 57% saying it’s more common than ever.
The hard reality is people need to get into work fast. That means they follow the path of least resistance.
They’re probably applying for more than one job at a time, jumping on interviews when they’re offered, but saying yes to the first opportunity that comes their way – even if they haven’t explored all the options. At Weirdly, we’re seeing this happen in real-time. Candidates are nominating 18% more job locations than they were pre-pandemic, willing to go further afield to find work. They're also getting into interviews and jobs faster. We're seeing candidates book interviews in as little as 2 mins from the moment they were invited to. Time to hire is up 25% faster than pre-Covid speeds.
So with that in mind, here’s what you can do to keep no-shows to a minimum, (and enhance your employer brand at the same time).
Following up with no-show candidates to get feedback is the best way to find out what stopped them from coming along – and whether there are any adjustments you can make to stop the no-show of other candidates.
That aside, here’s what else you can do:
Take a big-picture look at your recruitment process and what that experience is like for your candidates. Filter out any information or steps that could be done during or after the interview stage. If candidates are forced to jump through too many hoops at the start, they’ll be less likely to stay engaged. We've helped one of our big retail customers get their process so streamlined, they're seeing some candidates go from application to hire in 42 hours.
Give feedback at every step. This is 101 stuff, but hard to do at scale. Use every communication tool at your disposal – text messages, calendar invites, phone and email reminders – to increase the odds of candidates showing up on the day. Use systems where possible to automate the reminders (Weirdly can do this for you), but if you need to, roll your sleeves up and confirm those interviews yourself. If some candidates are still a no-show, don’t make any assumptions. Follow up with a short, polite email or call that gives them a second chance. Yes, your time has been lost, schedules have been disrupted and money has been spent, but every interaction you have with potential employees is a chance to showcase company culture.
Don’t forget, your application process is the first time some candidates will have interacted with your brand. A smooth and easy ride will help encourage candidates to turn up, on time and ready to ace their interviews. Let candidates reschedule their appointments too – life happens, and things do crop up.
Remember it’s a two-way street, so don’t forget that cancelling on candidates will leave them with a negative impression of your company. And if they’re fielding multiple applications and interviews, they’re likely to lose interest when something else comes along. You’ll be hard-pressed to get them to a rescheduled interview, and they may decide not to turn up at all.
Only interview candidates who have a genuine interest in working with you. That means being clear about the role, but more importantly, what makes your company a great place to work. Then, use pre-screening software (like Weirdly!) to identify and prioritise candidates who have the values and motivations you’re looking for, not just skills and experience.
The best way to get Gen-Z candidates to an interview? It’s to be so well-known as a great place to work that they’ll jump at the chance. Work on delivering an exceptional candidate experience, and prioritise your internal culture. Implement diversity and inclusion measures that make everyone feel welcome and introduce benefits that set you apart from other high-volume recruiters.
Interview no-shows cost you time, money and resources, pulling teams away from more valuable tasks. But in a job market where competition is high and people need work now, no-shows can mean you need to look internally rather than blaming the candidates. An application process that’s easy for candidates, streamlined for recruiters and gets applicants into the right jobs quickly – that’s the key to fewer interview no-shows.
Streamline your recruitment and build a better candidate experience with Weirdly. Get in touch now to see a demo or read about what our clients have been able to achieve.