Solutions Driven

Why Your Candidates Don’t Turn Up For Interviews (Hint: It’s Probably The Same Reason Why You Cancel Your Friends At Short Notice)

Why Your Candidates Don't Turn Up For Interviews (Hint_ It's The Same Reason Why You Cancel Your Friend At Short Notice)

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You’ve set up the meeting. Called your candidate and confirmed their 1pm appointment. You’ve rearranged a meeting and eaten lunch early. 1.30pm comes, 2pm, and they still haven’t turned up.

The recruiter says they seemed really keen when they were in contact with them.


Well, we hate to tell people something they don’t want to hear. It’s why we plan meetups with friends then text to cancel an hour before.

It’s why we say “of course” when a restaurant calls to confirm a booking when, really, we’ve booked somewhere else. We don’t like to say no to someone directly, meaning we’ll put off any potential confrontation until the last minute, and avoid it completely if we can. For most people, they’re not being rude, quite the opposite: they’re scared to offend.

And that’s why so many candidates don’t turn up for interviews arranged by recruiters. They’re initially flattered at being considered and, in the moment, are excited by a new opportunity.

Then they go away and think about it. Doubts slip in. They see a couple of bad reviews about the company online.

They get “the fear”.

By the time the interview comes around, they’ve decided. They’re not going. But that same fear also stops them from telling the recruiter or the interviewee. This paralysis is something most of us will have experienced.

The problem

For the hiring manager, this is a nightmare. You’ve likely spent time looking into the candidate and taken an hour out of your already busy day to do the interview. You see the recruiter in a bad light.

In addition, while scoping out the no-shower, the recruiter could have been working on other roles or finding a better candidate for this one. For recruiters who work on a contingent basis (where they’re usually only paid when they fill a role), this can mean a loss of money. For those on a retained basis, a loss of face.

Is there a quick fix?

In a word, no.

The main way recruiters can stop no-showing candidates is by building a relationship with them. This is difficult if they’re only getting paid for filling a role as they must keep in touch with a high volume of candidates to gain enough business.

However, if they’re working on a retained basis, they have the time and the incentive to get each and every role right. There’s no way for them to “scrap that and move on” as they’re contracted to a company. It means they have an understanding with the prospect and they’re aware of their questions and concerns at an early stage.

So, how do you build a relationship?

Firstly, honesty is vital. There’s no point in a recruiter contacting a candidate for a job if it’s the wrong fit for them. Or if they know the commute will be too long and they won’t consider moving.

Getting someone to the interview stage is pointless if they’re going to no-show, show up and not take the job, or show up and be the wrong candidate.

Working with a recruiter who is laser focused on a small pool of great candidates means you can ensure they’re properly interested, the requirements have been fully explained, and get a real feel for their thoughts on the job. A good recruiter practises strict candidate care, keeping in regular touch with their clients from both sides and gauging any potential issues early.

At Solutions Driven, we spend 5-7 days sourcing our candidates based on a scorecard from the hiring company and our own expertise. Our Delivery team ensure candidates have the agreed monetary expectations, can commute to the new workplace or are willing to move, possess all the required skills and qualifications, and will fit into the organisation’s culture. We hold online screening calls for each role and personally assess each candidate too.

We believe this is why Solutions Driven has a great first time success rate, placing the right people in the right roles 97% of the time.

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