Cronofy, the embedded scheduler for high-performance teams, has released the latest edition of its annual Candidate Expectations report. 

Surveying 12,000 candidates across 7 countries in Europe and North America, the report presents exclusive insights into what candidates want out of hiring experiences. Candidates from the UK, France, Germany, USA, Spain, Canada, and the Netherlands share those long times taken to schedule interviews, ghosting, and a lack of communication are placing higher psychological burdens on candidates than ever before. 
They name the topmost frustrating issue in recruiting as lack of responsiveness and poor communication (at 28%). Neurodiverse candidates feel the effect of inefficient interview processes even more keenly, reporting higher levels of stress at 56%, compared to the global population (38%).
Amidst layoffs, candidates report feeling that the market is starkly less stable compared to previous years. In 2024, a higher proportion (36%) candidates are waiting a month or more before disengaging from an interview scheduling process, up 12% from last year. 
Just 12% of candidates would disengage after 1 week, less than half compared to 2023. Recruiters come under more pressure as the percentage of candidates expecting to wait a month or more for their first interview is up almost 3x from last year (from 5% to 14%). 
The largest proportion of candidates (31%) report their first interview took as long as 2-3 weeks to schedule, presenting a missed opportunity for recruiters looking to recruit top candidates. Candidates named the top area they want to see automated as interview scheduling at 37%. 
With 81% also saying having human touchpoints during the hiring process is vitally important, recruiters need to balance automation and timely communication to succeed.