I recently ordered a few items online. Normal, right? We do this all the time. As it turned out, what should have been a swift and easy process wound up the opposite: there was an error on the retailer’s side/with my order and it needed to be resolved as soon as possible. But what happened instead was a week-long debacle of zero communication and accountability. The result? A canceled order. A lost sale. The retailer could have easily saved my business had it not neglected to communicate with me. It was that simple.

So, what’s the connection to recruiting? This got me thinking about how the candidate feels when recruiters and organizations fail to reach out after an application, interview, or any communication for that matter. It leaves a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth, and for good reason.

Let’s change that. Recruiters, always remember:

1. Respond to everyone who applies.
Most recruiters have access to an ATS system, so use the automatic responder when an applicant submits a resume. Even though the email is likely the standard “thanks for your application, we’ll reach out to you if you’re a good fit…” it’s still something. Acknowledge the candidate, and you’ll see that it goes a long way.

2. Give feedback after an interview.
Honest feedback should be given to the candidate quickly. One of the worst things a candidate has to endure is sitting and waiting to hear back. Don’t put them through that! They’re already looking for a new job and are likely under stress as it is. It’s your responsibility to track down the hiring leader to find answers. And this is true even if the answer is a “no” to the candidate. A “no” is better than the black hole of not knowing.

3. Reach back out to the candidate even if he isn’t the right fit.
Forget “we’ve decided to go with another candidate, but will keep your resume on file…” emails and make the communication personal. Automated responders are great for that initial acknowledgment but go the extra mile. Connect with the candidate on LinkedIn. Send some more resources to aid in their job hunt.

3. Leverage new technology.

Chatbots and/or online schedulers can save you loads of back-and-forth calls and emails. And since they save you time, you can focus on improving the part of candidate experience that actually requires a human.

No matter what you do, just remember that if your candidate feels like they’re stuck in the black hole, it has a negative impact on the brand, employer, and it just further fuels the negative stigma around the recruiting industry.


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