What Time to Schedule Your Interviews to Avoid Candidate Ghosting

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Jan 2, 2019

Timing plays a crucial part in “candidate ghosting” — specifically the time and day a candidate is scheduled to come in for an interview. Understand this point if you want to protect your recruiters and hiring manager’s time and your company’s bottom line.

We analyzed more than 55,000 interview results for hourly positions over a period of 12 months. Our goal was to identify the main causes of candidate ghosting, an expensive and widespread issue that is haunting employers across the nation.

One of the biggest takeaways from researching our customer’s interview times is that candidates are far more likely to show up for an interview if it’s scheduled in the morning, rather the middle of the afternoon. Monday morning between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., in particular, has proven to be the best time to schedule an interview to ensure that the interviewee will be present. In fact, they are as much as 27 percent more likely to be there. On the other hand, scheduling interviews for 8 a.m. will most certainly raise the likelihood that you’ll be ghosted.

Of course, if you are a large employer hiring hundreds of people per day, you can’t schedule all your interviews on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. Some companies try to anyway, overbooking multiple times over at every interview slot to circumvent the problem of ghosting. But this practice, while undeniably more business-friendly, can create bad experiences for candidates who have to wait a long time for their turn to interview. This has the potential to create a lot of negative social media noise.

A more balanced approach with a much lower potential for bad candidates experiences is to create shorter intervals for interview slots for positions with historically high no-show rates across the board. If, for example, you usually interview for 30 minutes, schedule interviews every 20 minutes. 

Making Sense of This Data

There could be a number of reasons that cause this variation on the candidate no-show rates based on time of the day and day of the week, and of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation.

But my interpretation is that Monday is the best day due to the “Monday Effect.” According to author Daniel Pink, Mondays marks a temporal landmark when people are especially motivated to start something new, like a job. We have seen lower no-show rates on the first few days of every month, which corroborates this theory. What are you seeing? Comment here, or of course on the Facebook group.

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