Miguel Olave waited 35 minutes for an interview. Then he walked out.
He was absolutely right to do so.
Five minutes, sure. Ten minutes, I'll even give you a pass. But when you let a candidate sit for 35 minutes without acknowledging him, you're going to lose that candidate.
Note, what I said--you're losing the candidate.
So many hiring managers and recruiters still see it as a hirer's market and figure they can just treat candidates like they have for years--as expendable. There will always be another candidate.
But, with an unemployment rate that reached a 50-year low in February, that's changed. And candidates are changing. They don't have to put up with hiring managers who ignore them any longer. Candidates ghost employers now. This is the logical response to years of recruiters' and hiring managers' ghosting candidates.
But sometimes candidates aren't even applying. When I ran this article about social security numbers in job applications, many people said that asking for a social security was a deal breaker for them.
People drop out of job applications when the online application becomes too onerous. I recently filled out an application for a job (that admittedly, I had no intention of taking) because a reader had said it had ridiculous questions. I wanted to see for myself. I couldn't even get through the entire application. After spending 20 minutes putting in data, the application refused to go forward. I don't know whether the problem was on the company's end or mine, but unless someone desperately wanted a job with this firm, they'd probably walk away.
You need to treat job candidates with respect. Their time is just as valuable as yours--and in many cases more valuable. You're receiving a paycheck for all the time you spend recruiting. Candidates receive no paycheck and may be using up their precious vacation time to job search. Candidates may pay for babysitters, transportation, and even new clothes for interviews. Please respect that time.
I don't condone ghosting--from candidates or companies. I do, however, support the right of any candidate to walk out of a job interview when it's clear that the company doesn't respect them or their time.
This is not to say that emergencies don't happen. They do. But as long as the building isn't on fire, you can say to the waiting candidate, "I'm so sorry, but we need to cancel because of an emergency." It's polite. It's easy.
If your company treats job candidates poorly, candidates will take that as a sign it will treat employees even worse. Make sure you respect your candidates, or they may walk out the door.