No Call, No Shows

Yep, it happened again – I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am – I can’t stop myself!  As long as I’m in HR/Recruiting I will never understand how a candidate can accept an interview and then not show up – and worst off, not even call to tell you they are not going to show up.

Is there a worse feeling as an HR Pro?

You have your hiring team assembled, copies of resumes and interview decks, hot coffee, cold water, and then you wait, at first you start to think something must have happened – car accident, bad directions, alien invasion! – there is no way the person wouldn’t have risked life and limb to make this interview – you fear for their safety.  Slowly but surely it started to hit you, you got stood up – No Call, No Show.  The next feeling is a little embarrassment – you have peers and clients you support taking time out to come to an interview you set up, your reputation is on the line – how dare they!  Next comes the anger.  I’m going to black list this person from ever getting a job at my company!  Hell, we should put a list together of people who do this and share it professionally – in fact I’m going to start a website for HR Pros to publicly reprimand individuals who No Call, No Show – it will be called –!

I think the final emotion I feel when someone No Call, No Shows is sadness.  In what kind of a world do we live in when someone can’t extend the basic courtesy of calling beforehand and cancelling the interview?  It’s so simple, so understanding, just basic common courtesy – “I know I said I wanted to come, but things have changed and I need to cancel, I know longer want to interview with your company.”   Short, sweet, simple. Easy.  Yet, every single person in HR has had at least 1 No Call, No Show.

So, how do you make sure this will never happen again to you?

The only way that you can make sure this won’t happen to you (and even then it might not be 100%) is to get each candidate multiple outs.  The talking points go something like this:

“Mr. Candidate, I know you are probably getting calls daily from organizations – your background and experience is very impressive.  We would like to bring you in for a personal face to face interview with our team.  We want to make this work out for you, etc., etc. etc….(you know the drill – but here’s the important part)  I know you probably have multiple irons in the fire, if at any time you decide you no longer want to pursue our position – can I ask one small favor from you? (yes, make it a question, and wait for an answer)  I’m going to give you my personal cell phone number, could you please call me and tell me you won’t make it?  I have many people taking time out of their schedule to meet with you, and if you decide not to come, I owe it to them to give them this time back for their schedules.”

It’s one paragraph and yes, you have to do it for every single interview.  But you won’t – you know why?  Because you assume that every person will be courteous, that every person you set up for an interview has no better potentials than yours, that every single person has the emotional ability to put you through rejection.  But they don’t!  The above paragraph is letting the candidate know that it’s alright for them to reject you, that you get it and you are fine with it.  It’s not 100%, but it works about 99.9% of the time.  Let candidates know its alright for them to reject you – and you’ll have less rejection!

One thought on “No Call, No Shows

  1. I’ve had 2 candidate experiences in my life when I’ve cancelled interviews with companies, only to have them contact me (when I didn’t show) as if the interview was still on. Both times, the recruiter didn’t want to have a hit on the number of people interviewed by the hiring manager.

    The recruiter’s metrics didn’t hold a no call/no show against them. However, if someone cancelled an interview, it went against the recruiter’s numbers.

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