Addressing the No-Show Epidemic in Hourly Recruiting

applicant going through hiring process

Even if you’re able to generate a whole pile of candidates for your openings, that gush turns into a trickle once it comes time for folks to show up and interview, or come in for their first day of work. That translates into a pile of wasted work and money.

What’s causing this epidemic?

Popular job sites make it extremely easy (1-click easy) for job seekers to apply to a variety of jobs, which has a lot of advantages. But it also means that employers end up with a lot of low-interest candidates to sort through. Whether it’s for lack of time or lack of care, many employers don’t close the loop with candidates. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If applicants no longer expect responsiveness from employers, should employers expect responsiveness from applicants?

And when candidates don’t follow-through, hiring managers are less likely to follow-through, making candidates less likely to follow-through, etc.

As an employer you’ve got an uphill battle to fight, but the good news is that there are things you can do to tilt the odds in your favor.

Tip #1: Get away from job boards

Job boards are the realm of the spray and pray approach. Many applicants submit applications without really knowing what job they are applying for. Moreover, the format of these sites typically limits your ability to promote the unique advantages of your company to a job-seeker.

Craigslist job board

The more you can promote your brand and company, the greater the likelihood that your applicants 1) know what they are applying for and 2) enter the process excited to talk to you.

If you have a career site, encourages applicants to visit it. If you have a social media presence, use it as a tool for recruiting. If you must rely on job sites, make sure you use great images and content to differentiate your company and make a case for why folks should not just apply, but want to work for your company.

Tip #2: Respond ASAP

Responding to applicants in a timely manner by text messaging

How long do you sit on a request for service from a new or existing customer?

When you receive an application from a great candidate, the race is on. For someone who has just submitted an application for potentially dozens of openings, the first employer to reply will usually win the day. After 72 hours, the odds of hearing back from a great candidate plummet. They’ve either moved on to another job, or decided to save themselves the inevitable frustration of waiting to hear back from you to schedule an interview, get a job offer, etc.

Oftentimes great candidates don’t have the luxury to wait around for you. And in this economy, they don’t need to either.

Tip #3: Over-communicate

communicating often with applicants by texting

If Tip #2 is to communicate early, Tip #3 is to communicate often. Over-communicating with candidates is crucial for a number of reasons:

  1. It demonstrates interest in the applicant which increases their interest in the job.
  2. It builds a personal connection with the applicant, and with it, personal accountability.
  3. It reduces the candidate’s uncertainty about where they stand with you.
  4. It encourages candidates to ask important questions and disclose information earlier in the process.

Although it can be cumbersome when done manually, the more touch points you have with a candidate, the better.

Tip #4: Use Text

text messaging for blue-collar hiring

When it comes to getting in touch with job-seekers, text is king. There are two key reasons:

  1. It’s convenient.
  2. It’s low threat.

Applicants don’t answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize, and hiring managers hate calling applicants repeatedly to try to get ahold of them. By using text as your primary method of communication you 1) increase the likelihood that your team reaches out, and 2) increase the likelihood that you receive a timely response.


At Team Engine, we’re keenly aware of the challenges employers face converting digital applicants into real-life, engaged and responsive candidates. There’s no silver bullet, but the good news is that there are a number of changes you can make that will immediately put you ahead of the pack.

We’d love to hear your thoughts or see how we can help, set up an appointment to speak to one of our team members.

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