As a recruiter, one of the tougher things to keep track of is reaching out to every candidate. Whether it’s a candidate that has applied to your role or has reached out to you via email or through a referral, it can be difficult to engage each candidate and then come to a conclusion on each one. Obviously, this is more difficult for certain positions; if you only have a handful of candidates, this won’t be much of an issue. However, if you have positions that are more inclined to attract a wide variety of candidates, there could be issues keeping everything organized. With that being said, here are ways to keep candidates in the loop with the hiring process of your position (outside of a candidate who has accepted an offer for your position).
For candidates that don’t make the cut – When you recruit for positions, there will be candidates in the requisition (or that have reached out to you) that are just not qualified. It’s easy to brush off candidates like this and just continue on your way. However, would you want to brush off this candidate if that candidate was you? What if that candidate has a positive history with your company and it would be their dream to work for them? What if the candidate is qualified for another role you have in the future? It’s important to touch base, even if it’s a “thanks, but no thanks” email. Showing interaction with applicants from a human, empathetic perspective can go a long way in making sure that candidates apply for future roles at your company.
Candidates in the interview stage – sometimes, candidates just don’t do well on phone and/or in person interviews. They didn’t have the right skills or perhaps they didn’t present their skills in the best way possible; whatever the reason, they didn’t get the job or advance to the next stages of the interview process. How you reach back out with this news is crucial; sometimes, it’s difficult to reach back out with exact hiring manager feedback but at the same time, it is 100% necessary to reach back out with a personal touch in this stage of the process. I would recommend trying to speak with that person about not moving forward as it does bring a certain closure to the interview process. However, emails (for larger groups of candidates) can work as well, as long as they have a personal touch.
Candidates that are offered a position, but decline an offer – In the unfortunate case of a candidate declining an offer, make sure you don’t let your emotions get the best of you. It would be easy to get upset with the candidate and ask “WHY?” but sometimes, there are factors that are out of your control when it comes to offering a candidate (to hopefully mitigate declined offers, that’s why recruiters pre-screen candidates to get a sense of where they are in the job search process and what it would take for them to accept an offer). At this stage, it’s important to keep things cordial with the candidate, obtain their reasoning as to why they took another offer and to wish them well. Who knows, maybe they’ll refer a colleague or friend of theirs for a role at your company (that’s personally happened to me a few times).
All in all, it’s important to keep candidates engaged in your hiring process and to keep them in the loop with feedback. You never know what impression you’ll make with a candidate, so it’s better to respect the candidates job search process and make sure that they are aware of what their status is for a certain job.
By Joe Griesbach | People Science Sr Talent Advisor