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No-Show Job Candidates

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December 10, 2008

My editor, Bob Scott, called me from an Information Technology Alliance conference this week to report some seemingly unbelievable news: Several attendees were complaining about candidates who didn't show up for job interviews.

What are employers supposed to do?

My advice: Don't give those candidates another chance unless they call with a really good excuse (like they were in the hospital or were locked out of the house).

Make a note on their resume indicating what happened and never give them another chance.

But that's not always the way to go.

One employer posed the question of how to respond to no-show candidates on LinkedIn Answers—a free service to LinkedIn members which allows other members to answer the questions and get rated on their responses.

Out of more than two dozen replies, the following post by Bob Waldo, senior recruiter at banking software company Automated Financial Systems, received "Best Answer."

"You have a few options. First option: Do nothing. More than likely, your candidate has moved on to another opportunity, and has not given you the common courtesy of notifying you. In this case, the candidate reaps what they have sewn.

"Second option: A call out of concern. Make a call to the candidate and explain to them that your calendar indicated that there was an interview scheduled and that you were calling out of concern for their well-being, as they did not show. This allows for the candidate to potentially explain why they did not show up. Sometimes there are legitimate excuses, and only you can determine if their excuse was valid.

"Third option: An email stating that as the result of their not showing for the interview that they have eliminated themselves from consideration, and that you are moving on to other candidates. How you choose to handle a no-show is really up to you and what you feel is the right approach. I've used all three approaches in different circumstances."

After reading that response, I'm a fan of Option 3 because it provides the firm with an auditable electronic trail of the circumstances and protects them in case the candidate comes back with some kind of anti-discrimination case against them.

What would you do?

Contact us by posting a comment below or emailing tomorrow@sourcemedia.com.

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