27 Apr 2018
By Megan McQuade Posted in hiring tips, Recruiters, For Employers

Candidate Communication: 5 Tips for being PROMPT

By Megan McQuade On April 27, 2018

When was the last time you were a candidate? Active or Passive. When you reflect back on that experience or if this currently describes you, what types of feelings does it elicit? Positive or Negative? Unfortunately, many say - negative. The #1 complaint from candidates centers around employer communication.

Candidate Communication Blog

Today, let's focus on keeping candidates engaged in the recruiting process through communication. Recruiters spend hours each day attracting candidates to job openings and accidentally lose several of them through the recruiting process. In a competitive market, you owe it to yourself and your candidates to deliver top-notch service. And, it all comes in the form of communication.

5 Tips for being PROMPT with your Candidate Communication

1. Under Promise, Over Deliver

You and I both know that the other way DOES NOT WORK. Do not over promise and under deliver. When you are speaking to a candidate provide a realistic roadmap as it pertains to the steps in the process. Candidates want to know what the next step is and when to expect follow up. Providing this not only decreases the amount of times candidates will follow up with you asking for "news," it will give candidates a date to plan for so they can focus on other aspects of their lives. Sitting and waiting with no idea how long you have to go is miserable and can be all-consuming. Don't torture your candidates! When providing a timeline, build in buffer room. If you expect feedback by Friday but aren't 100% you will get it, don't tell your candidate to expect news on Friday. Explain that you will be in contact by Tuesday of next week at the latest. If you get the feedback on Friday, surprise your candidate with the news.

2. Hold Your Partners Accountable

Two keys words here: Partners & Accountable. Your hiring managers are your partners. You are both working towards a common goal - hiring top talent. Ensure that you and your partners are in alignment when it comes to candidate expectations and feedback. What is your process for feedback once you present a resume to your hiring managers? How about after an interview is over? Outline this process so you can maintain integrity in your communication timelines. If your partners are failing to provide timely feedback to you, follow up. As a recruiter, you are delivering the "good news" and "bad news." You are explaining to candidates why they are or not moving forward. The faster you are able to deliver this news, the faster all parties are able to move on.

3. Provide Feedback

Often candidates apply for a job and get sucked into the proverbial black hole. Unfortunately, they don't expect to receive a response because radio silence happens too often. Ensure that you have a process for delivering feedback to your candidate pipeline. Maybe it is automated in the beginning and you follow up via phone call later in the process. Regardless, let your candidates know where they stand. The number of candidates that respond to an open post can be overwhelming. Not to mention, recruiters receive several unqualified candidates as well. An automated email at this stage of the game should suffice. However, if a candidate has interviewed over the phone or in-person, personalize the feedback. If a candidate is not moving forward, explain reasons why. People want to know what can be improved upon for future interviews.

4. Remain Positive

As a recruiter, you are a representation of your organization or the company you are recruiting for. Your candidates are correlating your behavior to the company and its values. Avoid speaking negatively about your process, your partners or the organization. Own ALL communication coming from you and present it in a positive, concise and professional manner. Do not place blame on others. If you fail to promptly communicate with your candidate or fail to show ownership with feedback, what message does this send about your organization? Remember, because a candidate is not a good fit for your current position, doesn't mean that the same person might not be an excellent match for something in the future. Leaving candidates feeling supported sets your pipeline up for the future.

5. Implement Candidate Tracking

Have you ever panicked because you suddenly remember you forgot to follow up with a candidate? Make sure you are tracking your candidates through your pipeline. This can be accomplished with an applicant tracking system such as Job Diva. Regardless of which ATS you use, ensure that you are tracking so candidates don't fall through the cracks. While you don't purposely forget, this action leaves an impression on a candidate. Use your ATS to record notes, move your applicant through stages of your process, and set follow up reminders/appointments. Successful recruiters will schedule appointments and follow up times and stick to them! Pushing off scheduled time means you are pushing off tasks that you previously deemed important.

We hope these tips help improve your candidate communication. Have additional tips, don't hesitate to reach out to us! Looking for help writing job descriptions to attract candidates? 

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