Challenges in recruitment that deserve attention


Ask any CEO, CHRO or business leader what their biggest challenge in recruitment is, and you will get the same answer, “No show on the date of joining”.

Talent war

Today’s organisations are failing not because of their product or strategy, but because of their hiring. They are all hungry for talented professionals to bring innovation and deliver world-class experience for their customers. There was a time when people started their career with an organisation and stayed with the same organisation till retirement. It was common to see people serving the same organisation for three to four decades.

With businesses becoming more dynamic, there is a lot of demand for talented professionals and companies are doing every bit – great offers, flexibility, perks, employer branding and so on – to attract the best talent.

Offer stage: Company’s investment in hiring

Hiring is an expensive process— There is considerable financial investment in paying commission and recruitment consultants; there is significant  investment of time with recruiters screening tons of resumes and scheduling innumerable interviews; countless hours go into interviewing by the hiring team to finally find a person who fits the role and who finally accepts the offer and commits to join.

Notice period: The time between offer date & joining date

The real challenge is the notice period. This is when the companies close their positions and are committed to the offer letters handed over to the candidates. The candidates, however, see this as another opportunity in their kitty and explore more options during the notice period with their previous employer. This may not be the case with every candidate, but this behaviour is becoming the norm. A large percentage of candidates are exhibiting this pattern. No one likes to leave money on the table, and that’s fair enough. However, if the candidates feel like they have left money on the table with their current employer or with their first offer, they are bound to go to the next one.

Joining day: The company’s investment goes down the drain

Making choices and decisions is freedom, and making them on time is life changing, but the candidates holding offers tend to do exactly the opposite. They procrastinate and put off making the final decision until the day of joining the company. Meanwhile, their new employers / recruiters continue to wait for the candidates to show up. Alas! The candidates never show up. Millions of dollars are wasted daily owing to this one problem of candidates not showing up to join after having committed to joining the company.

The devastated recruiters or hiring managers are left staring at the offer letters and asking themselves, “What’s the value of the signature by the candidate on this offer letter? Does it mean anything to them at all?”

What if the tables are turned?

What if the employers exhibit this behaviour? What happens if on the date of joining the employers say that they have found a more suitable candidate? Ouch! It will hurt the candidate’s sentiments deeply. The Glassdoor, and other such forums will be flooded with complaints about the employer. The candidates will vent out their agony. Corporates and even small companies cannot indulge in such behaviour since it goes against the basic values of integrity and commitment.

Offer letters are becoming a one-sided commitment

Companies are now vocal on social platforms highlighting how candidates continue to search for roles during their notice period, post signing the offer letter, while the companies stop looking further.

Role of placement  

Campus recruitment has played a major role in most of the students’ careers. The anxiety of facing the first interview to landing a job offer, to getting the first salary – memory of a lifetime!

There is generally a rule in most educational institutions — once candidates accept an offer from a company, they are not allowed to attend any further interviews of other companies that visit thereafter.

Weird as it may appear to be to the candidates, the rule exists for a reason. About 30 per cent of the students will have multiple offers and the rest will be left with none because every company will try to grab the best.

Our educational institutions made this rule so that most of the companies get a candidate who will join for sure and start their career with them.

Pseudo unemployment

On the one hand there is a lot of unemployment — people with good skills/ education are not getting jobs— and on the other hand there are companies with  hundreds of positions still open. This is because the top-tier talents fail to make timely decisions unlike when they did at the time of receiving their first job offer through campus recruitment.

Effect on deserving jobseekers

When a candidate fails to  show up on the date of joining, another deserving candidate who really wanted the same job loses out. The latter may, for instance, not be considered in the fresh recruitment cycle and may end up being barred from reapplying as most companies have a minimum six-month policy to avoid repeat candidates.

If candidates have accumulated an average of five offers, they have also deprived four other job seekers of the opportunity to join their dream company. If the jobseekers with multiple offers decommit in time, the other four offers could have been accepted by eligible jobseekers. The domino effect doesn’t stop there because most job seekers, including those juggling multiple offers, are not spared from this endless loop. It is likely that they too would have missed out on an opportunity to join their dream company because someone would have blocked them from that offer with no intention of joining. This cycle deprives 90 per cent of job seekers from getting the job they actually want.

Transparency is beneficial

The need of the hour is  a more transparent system where candidates with offers can commit and de-commit without fear of repercussions and in a manner that gives recruiters ample time to offer the open role to other desirable candidates.

There is a need for more open and transparent platforms that address the problem of candidates backing out from their commitments at the last minute. By introducing much-needed transparency, recruiters can know the commitment and de-commitment status of their offered candidates, actively renegotiate and seek commitment clarity from candidates. It also enables recruiters to close the open position on time by making the offer to other jobseekers, creating a win-win for both companies and job seekers. Additionally, such platforms can also help to build trust and confidence in the recruitment process for both employers and candidates.

   The author Ayushi Rungta is founder Openoffers.                                                     

Comment on the Article

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

14 − 7 =