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In the recruiting field, there are a lot of variables you have to deal with once you submit a candidate to a position or present a candidate to a hiring manager. The hiring process can be nebulous at times and there are factors that can occasionally be out of your control; such as a position suddenly losing headcount, or a hiring manager deciding to change the scope of the position for example.
A candidate entrusts you to guide them through the hiring process and you want to make sure that your candidates are presented in the best light so that they are put in the best position to succeed (note, this is different than helping a candidate find a job, which is a common misconception of what a recruiters expectations should be on a regular basis).
In return, a recruiter should set expectations and be a candidate’s point of contact to keep them updated on the process. There is nothing worse than speaking with a recruiter, having your information submitted to the hiring manager and then…hear nothing, whether good or bad. In order to avoid this type of situation transparency is key.
It’s important to maintain transparency throughout the process because:
- You’re representing the company brand – Whether you work for a staffing company, an RPO, or you’re a corporate recruiter, it’s important to remember that you are an extension of a company and their brand. A candidate may think “I interviewed for a position and never heard back. That was rude for them to not reply back with any sort of feedback”. This kind of mindset from a candidate ruins the reputations of recruiters and leaves the company you work for in a bad light. Even if it’s negative feedback, always make sure your candidates are kept in the loop.
- You want to build relationships with your candidates – As I stated before, your goal isn’t to simply help candidates find jobs. Your goal is to help candidates to get to a point where they can successfully interview with a hiring manager for their desired position. As a recruiter, there is only so much you can control; you can’t interview for a candidate and control what they say. In order to set a candidate up for success, create a great candidate experience; ask them what they are looking for in a job and/or career, highlight opportunities that you feel fit their interests and if they are passed along successfully to a hiring manager, prepare them sufficiently for an interview. Also, if you candidate is fortunate enough to receive an offer, “pre-close” your candidate and set expectations about salary and benefits right away. Again, transparency is key. Also, let’s say a candidate isn’t qualified for your particular job, they could be in the future or they might know other people who are qualified or other people who are interested in working for your company. If you are building long lasting relationships with candidates, chances are they will want to work with you in the future (and refer other people to you as well).
- You’re respectful of a candidate’s time and effort – How many times have you applied for a job and have never heard anything back? It’s probably happened to you at least once in your life. Whether you’re working or in between jobs, applying for jobs can be time consuming and a frustrating process. Recruiters, in the meantime, also receive tons of applications, are searching for candidates on their own (sometimes in high volume) and are working with active candidates in their pipeline through various stages of the recruiting process along with other various responsibilities on a day to day basis. We get it, everyone is busy. However, time and effort spent following up and keeping candidates in the loop is necessary to not only building a reputable brand and relationships with candidates, but also respecting the time candidates took to apply for your job and to work for your company.
It’s great that someone wants to work where you work. Appreciate that fact by always keeping the candidate experience at the forefront. Through up-front communication and transparency, you can provide a top notch candidate experience and represent your company as “candidate-friendly” and an employer of choice.
By Joe Greiesbach | People Science Sr Talent Advisor