Last week I was on the phone with a candidate, having a great conversation about his current responsibilities and what his career goals were for the future. Towards the end of the call, he confirmed his interest and I told him I would submit his resume to the hiring team and follow-up with him after I heard back from them on next steps, regardless of what those were.
“Yeah Right!” He responded back.
Clearly not prepared for this reply, I said, “Pardon me?”
He proceeded to tell me how the majority of recruiters and sourcers that he’s worked with rarely follow-up, especially if he isn’t moving forward in the interview process. He went on to share that throughout his career he’s been told his resume would be sent to a hiring manager, and even after multiple follow-ups, never got a response back to hear what the status was. I could hear it in his voice that he was genuinely frustrated and made a note for myself to never miss a beat when touching base with him throughout the process.
Candidate engagement is a hot topic right now in the industry, as it should be. There are many companies doing some pretty awesome things to improve their candidate engagement, but what quick fixes can we as recruiters and sourcer implement right now to start changing the words that pop into a candidate’s mind when they think about dealing with us?
To a candidate, no news is good news. One of the things I do every Friday afternoon is block out 30 minutes for “candidate touch-base.” During this time, I send an e-mail to every candidate I’ve screened or submitted in the past week to let them know where we are in the process. Even if I have no updates, I tell them that!
“Hi Mike – Happy Friday! I wanted to touch base and let you know that I’m still waiting to hear back from the hiring manager on your resume submittal. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear something. Have a great weekend!”
I cannot tell you how much candidates appreciate you taking 30 seconds to let them know that you haven’t forgotten about them. I have had many people respond back to me, surprised and truly thankful that I sent a quick follow-up.
As hard as it can be, candidate’s want to know if they aren’t wanted. We are all crazy busy and talk to a lot of people every week, so when a candidate gets declined, it can be easy to forget about them and focus on the ones who will be moving forward. A former colleague was recently looking for a new role and the number of people who reached out to her for her resume and never got back to her after she sent it was mind-boggling. Even though telling candidate’s they aren’t selected for an interview is not the best part of our job, it is necessary. I always like to debrief and try to offer guidance tips to improve their job search, but as long as you send them a quick note letting them know they weren’t selected, that one simple e-mail can make a huge impact on how they feel.
Invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn. After you’ve closed the process with the candidate, invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn (or your preferred social media site). This shows the candidate that you are in it for the long-term relationship and were genuinely interested in their career, not just filling your open position.
Glen Cathey states it best: “Be a human first and a recruiter second.” Treat people how YOU want to be treated. If you ever found looking for a new position, would you want to be ignored? These three things are simple to do and can make a big impact on the way a candidate views you as a talent acquisition professional. What else will you do today to help make a change?