applicant waits on the computer screen for an email

After weeks or months of sending resumes and taking on interviews, applicants can feel dejected if they experience rejection after rejection for their efforts. The waiting time allows applicants to reflect on whether they have a shot at the jobs they are applying for and where they might think their values and work experience align with the job requirements. They might even believe that the interview went well, going home with a smile and thinking that the job opening is theirs. That’s what leads to disappointment when you receive a rejection email, then eventually, self-doubt and loss of confidence. It worsens as you apply for more open roles and receive no feedback. While there are many reasons for not qualifying for a job opening, one critical factor (which is out of your control) could be he decider for your rejected applications: misalignment. 

Who Should be Aligned in the Recruitment Process?

Split screens showing an applicant submitting a resume, a recruiter getting the resume and talking to the hiring manager

Alignment controls everything in the recruitment process. The recruitment funnel consists of several people, each with a definitive role when considering whether an application is successful or not. They will all have their say and have different metrics to consider. An application will be affected at any point, making it necessary to familiarize yourself with everything involved in the process. Here are the stages that are part of the recruitment funnel: 

Applicant-Recruiter Alignment 

The most obvious one is the alignment between the applicant and the recruiter, which will be the most visible in any recruitment funnel. This is where the submission of resumes, the back-and-forth emails, the tests, and the interviews will happen. Those processes allow both the recruiter and the applicant to identify interview dates, participate in assessments, and even negotiate job offers. Recruiters will personally evaluate your skills and interest in the role and the company, checking if your addition will be valuable to their team. Applicants get a chance to check what the job entails, what the salary and compensation look like, and what the expectations and metrics would be once hired. There is a chance that applicants get rejected in this early stage of the recruitment funnel, while some might even qualify immediately. However, the most standard step taken after this alignment is identifying a shortlist of candidates and fellow applicants you are competing with for the open position. This applicant-recruiter alignment is where you can stand out, giving you the highest chance of convincing them that you are best suited for the role. 

Recruiter-Hiring Manager Alignment 

Once applicant interviews are over, recruiters will collect the best candidates for consideration. They will hand them over to hiring managers, who will likely be the ultimate deciders. A hiring manager is responsible for evaluating the shortlisted candidates and diving deeper into their portfolios and resumes. They will also look for employment potential, negotiated offers, and character values that might not have been visible during the job interview. Legal background checks, referrals of character, and credit history will all be part of this process, ensuring that a hired candidate has no strings attached that might haunt a company in the long run. Hiring managers can also push for more candidate interviews if the current shortlist does not meet the criteria. This is where most rejections happen, even if job interviews went well for applicants. If an applicant is deemed qualified by the hiring manager, the recruiter will reach out to confirm the good news. 

Hiring Manager-Client Alignment 

While most hiring managers can make the final decision for employment, there are times when they might feel stuck. Choosing between two qualified candidates can be challenging because the decision might affect the company’s outlook, meaning they might have to consider tapping someone else to help them. Immediate supervisors or team leaders are the first that come to mind, especially when the new hire is part of their group. They will evaluate according to their team’s needs, which means looking at their resume and skills to see if a candidate fits the role better than the other. They can also provide feedback if the need to hire is immediate, which might give an advantage to the candidate who can come on board quicker. 

Some companies have different recruitment funnel strategies, particularly those in the staffing, outsourcing, and offshoring industries. Organizations in the field work with clients to help them find top talent; the final say for a specific candidate will be in their hands. They might even want to be part of the interview process, talking to the applicants themselves to get a better feel of what they are looking for in a new hire. 

Hiring Manager-HR Alignment 

Once a candidate is considered qualified and ready for hire, the hiring manager will start to look at the negotiations. Recruiters will get a quote from applicants regarding the salary and compensation on demand, which might not be in line with the proposed budget. Another issue might be the availability. Most applicants are coming from another job, which means they might have to render days to help their current employer find a replacement. This alignment will involve you once you are accepted as a potential hire, but things can still change depending on the negotiations. 

Those are only a few of the people necessary to hire one person. While some companies take days to hire a candidate, the process could take weeks or months. Each of them needs to be aligned to ensure a smooth recruitment process that could benefit you as a qualified applicant. 

What Misalignments Affect a Candidate's Chances of Getting Hired?

Applicants visibly impatient for waiting too long.

Misalignments in the recruitment funnel can affect the hiring process. A candidate will not know the final decision until everything gets sorted internally. For most companies, those alignments are well-structured, allowing applicants to see if they are accepted or rejected as early as possible. However, misalignments will appear from time to time. Here are a few that might be part of your application journey. 

Offer Negotiations 

One misalignment in the recruitment process that can impact a candidate’s chances of getting hired is the issue of offer negotiations. Often, there is a lack of clear communication between the hiring manager and recruiter regarding the salary range and benefits offered. This misalignment can lead to a candidate receiving an offer that falls below their expectations or the industry standard. Conversely, if the employer overestimates the candidate’s salary expectations, it may result in a breakdown in negotiations, causing the candidate to reject the offer. 

Organizations must establish transparent communication channels between hiring managers and HR professionals to mitigate this misalignment. Regular meetings to discuss candidate expectations and align them with the company’s budget can help ensure that offers are competitive and reflect the candidate’s skills and experience. 

Scheduling Conflicts in the Recruitment Funnel 

Scheduling conflicts within the recruitment process can significantly hinder a candidate’s journey. These conflicts may arise during interview rounds, making it challenging for the candidate to showcase their skills and personality to the fullest extent. For example, suppose decision-makers are not available during scheduled interviews. In that case, it can lead to delays in the hiring process and may even result in losing top talent to competing job offers. 

To address this issue, organizations should implement efficient scheduling systems and tools for seamless coordination among interviewers and candidates. Clear communication about the importance of timely feedback and availability can help streamline the process, ensuring that candidates progress smoothly through the recruitment funnel. 

Background Checks 

Another misalignment that can affect a candidate’s chances of getting hired is discrepancies in the background check process. If there is a lack of coordination between the HR department and the external agency conducting the background check, incorrect information may be reported, or crucial details may be overlooked. This can lead to unwarranted rejections of qualified candidates or, conversely, hiring individuals with undisclosed red flags. 

Organizations should establish a standardized and transparent background check process to avoid misalignments. Communication channels between the HR team and the external agency should be open, and candidates should be informed about the background check procedures to ensure accuracy and fairness in evaluating their candidacy. 

Many other misalignments can happen during your application. However, they should not discourage you from getting the job you want and the compensation that should come with it. Accepting lowball offers, shortening the rendering period, and failing to accomplish background check processes can lead to adverse consequences in the long run. Still, there are many ways to affect your chances when misalignments happen. 

How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Hired

applicant doing well in interview

While recruitment misalignments can pose challenges, they might be out of your control to influence the final decision. Besides the job interviews and negotiations, you might have to wait a while and wish the company you are applying for can make the recruitment process smoother and faster.  

To further enhance your chances of landing the job, here are some proactive strategies you can employ: 

Research and Preparation 

Thoroughly researching the company, its values, and the specific role you’re applying for is crucial. Being well-prepared for interviews demonstrates your genuine interest and commitment, helping to overcome potential misalignments in the recruiter’s expectations. You can also come up with a list of questions to identify potential roadblocks in the hiring process. You can ask for the following steps to ensure you know when to expect an answer, regardless of whether you are hired or not. 

Flexibility and Adaptability 

Showcase your flexibility and adaptability as valuable traits. Misalignments often arise due to unforeseen circumstances, and employers appreciate candidates who can navigate challenges with a positive attitude and a solution-oriented mindset. For example, you can opt for their set amount for compensation, even if it is lower than your expectations. Of course, you must ensure your salary is enough to help your lifestyle needs. 


Availability for a job opening might be the most influential factor that hiring managers will consider. Two or more candidates will be fighting for a spot, so you must do everything possible to ensure the odds are in your favor. You can be transparent with your render period or even negotiate with your previous employer regarding your starting date. But, you must be careful with your approach to the topic. The colleagues in your former company will still be part of your professional network, making it ideal to ensure your relationship with them remains good. 

The Stars Align at iSupport Worldwide!

applicant welcomed in iSupport Worldwide.

As an applicant, it is up to you to increase your chances of getting hired. The stars might not align for you in one company, but remember that top talent will always be recognized. If you prepare enough and present yourself as a must-hire, the organizations you apply to will move their pieces fast to get you onboard. iSupport Worldwide recognizes top talent and can ensure a smooth and fast recruitment process.

Apply now and start your career journey at iSupport Worldwide!