Effective Interview Process in a Candidate-Short Market

Hiring in a candidate-short market

Across all sectors of recruitment, there will come times when the number of jobs open will exceed the number of people looking for work. Hiring in a candidate-short market is a challenge for companies as you are effectively in competition with others to attract the best talent from a shallower pool of candidates. Getting the interview process right when hiring in a candidate short market is one of the most important elements to success.

It is important to remember that during one of these periods, candidates will have more options open to them. Therefore, you need to ensure that throughout the process, you make your company stand out from others they will be applying to.

What can you be doing to improve your interview process during a candidate-short market?

Act Quickly

With so many jobs open to candidates, if you act slowly, they will have been snapped up elsewhere before you have had a chance to properly talk to them. Ensure that the interview process begins as quickly as possible. In a candidate-short market, taking too long to interview will cause a candidate to lose interest or be drawn away by another company. 

Don’t get stuck in the mindset that you should interview every possible candidate before making any offers, as this comes with the risk that candidates may accept other opportunities rather than waiting for you. Don’t be afraid to make a prompt offer if someone seems too good to miss.


Trying to schedule interviews in person is much more time-consuming and difficult as it requires numerous people to be available and present in one place. Be prepared to be flexible with how you interview, video interviews are quicker to schedule and conduct and are becoming increasingly more commonplace. By arranging these interviews as soon as possible, you will engage the candidate quickly by giving them a taste of the company and the process that lies ahead.

It would also be of benefit to be more flexible with who needs to be present at the interview. Waiting for multiple department heads to be available can cause a delay in this process with multiple schedules to work around. It would be worthwhile to consider having more junior members of necessary departments attend in place of senior members who are otherwise engaged.

Make a Good Impression 

With candidates having multiple options of employment open to them, it is important to remember during an interview that as much as you are looking to see if they are a fit for you, they are looking to see if your company appeals to them more than others they are meeting with. The interview is an opportunity for both candidate and company to assess whether they have a strong professional fit. You have just as much responsibility to make a good impression as your applicant. Be sure to effectively portray your company culture and values, highlights of working within your company and emphasise the clear selling points. Structure an open and honest conversation that will put the applicant at ease and allow them the opportunity to ask you and the interview team any questions that they may have.

Communicate Effectively 

Applicants that are left in the dark too long will lose interest quickly. Therefore, if you feel someone is a good fit for the role, be sure to communicate that to them and keep them well informed of the next stages of the interview and hiring process. If they feel like they are out of the loop, they will easily be drawn elsewhere.

What more can you do to improve your interview processes during a candidate-short market? If you are in need of any further advice, do get in touch, and we can see how we can help you fill your role with the best possible applicant.

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