How to Reduce the Candidate Drop-off Rate

So, you posted a job online and received a lot of interesting applications. But after a few weeks, you only have a few candidates who are interested in moving forward with their applications.

It may also happen that the selected candidates do not show up for the scheduled interview. Or they may also back out at the last moment before the joining date.

Why did this happen?

This is because there are many candidates who begin your evaluation process but, for various reasons, never reach the end. There are various factors leading to such a high candidate drop-off rate.

HR professionals across industries are facing this challenge and are looking for ways to curb the applicant dropout rate.

Understanding the reason behind the dropouts helps recruiters understand exactly what they need to change in their end-to-end recruitment process.

In this blog, we will discuss milestones where you could potentially lose candidates and some tips to help you reduce the candidate drop-off rate in your organization.

1. Avoid Using Jargon in the Job Posting

Have you ever seen a job description that was so full of jargon that it sounded like it was written by a robot? That approach just does not resonate with potential candidates. Ensure you have a clear and well-defined job description that enlists what the candidate is expected to do on the job. List down all the necessary skills and qualifications required for the role, along with the experience that the candidate needs to have. Use the job description to set clear expectations and attract qualified candidates.

Secondly, talk about the organizational culture and the team they will be working with.

Avoid using internal language an applicant will not understand and is likely not looking for, such as “I3 SFPT Developer for DQ4.”

The likelihood of a dropout is low if the candidate is clear about the role and responsibilities and has a good understanding of their profile.

Design a Shorter Job Application Form

Long, repetitive, and confusing forms can frustrate the candidate, and they will drop out before providing the complete information.

A study by Sullivan reports that in Fortune 500 firms, 9 out of 10 potential applicants drop out because they encounter a frustrating application process.

To convert more candidates, ask questions pertaining to information that will help you filter the candidates. Questions that help you assess the quality of your candidature can also be asked later if the candidate meets your shortlisting criteria. You can also integrate with platforms like LinkedIn, where filtering happens right before the application is accepted.

Also, recruitment teams can make it easy to apply from mobile and offer desktop resume parsing functionality to make the application process less time-consuming.

The job application you post is the candidate’s first interaction with your company. Hence, try to keep it smart and effective.

Keep a Casual Conversation During Interviews

When conducting an interview, you must ensure that the individuals are comfortable and relaxed. This helps you assess the true potential of the candidate. Oftentimes, candidates get flustered and are not able to bring their best to the interview table.

When asking the questions, interact with the applicants, making it look like a normal conversation. Another crucial thing is to provide candidates with feedback at the end of the interview. This will make a favorable impression on them, encouraging them to continue with the process.

Collect Candidate Feedback

You manage the hiring process for hundreds of candidates. Why not ask them about their experience? Surveying candidates to understand what is working and what is not is one of the best ways to identify improvement areas in your recruitment process.

Allow candidates to rate their experience with your company by sharing a short survey at the end of the hiring process. Examine the comments to see where you are offering a pleasant experience and where you need to refocus in order to reduce candidate drop-off.

Create a Pre-Onboarding Strategy

Pre-onboarding strategy is designed for the time between the offer and the candidate’s joining date. This is a crucial stage for a company to ensure that the applicant on whom so much time, effort, and money has been spent really joins the team.

A solid pre-onboarding plan can help generate a sense of belonging even before they start. This contributes significantly to the reduction of the candidate dropout rate.

Plan your communication to include regular updates on company happenings with the prospective joiner.

Create some interesting activities like sharing team or employee success stories, a visit to the office, a check-in call before the joining date, calling or emailing about what they can expect on the first day, whom they will meet, details of the office layout, and more.

Avoid Communication Gaps

Communication breakdowns can be a huge turnoff for potential prospects. These gaps are usually caused by recruiting managers who are unclear about when and how communication will take place.

Candidates are more likely to hold out and stay in the pipeline if HR team members are open about timelines. It is crucial that these timelines are met exactly as stated. If a decision is postponed, communicating this information to candidates promotes candidates’ trust and confidence in your hiring team.

Share with applicants how they can get answers to commonly asked questions via FAQ sites or chatbots. Clear communication and easy-to-use resources earn you the candidates’ trust.

Streamline Your Recruitment Process

The main cause of candidate drop-out is a lengthy hiring process. Research suggests making hiring decisions within 10 days to avoid losing candidates to a competitor. Since the top talent is being pursued by several firms, they are likely to have one or more offers within 10 days.

Companies can fast-track their recruitment process using an applicant tracking system (ATS). It will help you standardize the entire recruitment process by eliminating the repetitive, mundane tasks that recruiters have to perform every day.

Automating your recruitment process begins with job posting and applicant tracking and extends all the way through hiring. Automation technologies help keep top talent engaged throughout the whole process, from candidate sourcing to background checks.


To increase applicant rates and decrease candidate drop-out rates, your recruitment process has to be more proactive than reactive. Candidates now have a better understanding of their position and value due to changes in the global workforce environment. Recruiters must be more sensitive to candidates’ ideas and needs in order to generate a consistent stream of successful hires.


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