One of the common obstacles that businesses face while recruiting, is the loss of talented candidates. If the interview activities run over a long period of time, the most qualified candidates can ‘jump ship’ and start pursuing other opportunities. Even if they felt strong advocacy for your business and team. The term ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is relatable to the recruitment and interview process. Imagine investing the time and effort to interview your top ten candidates twice. And you finally narrow it down to one candidate. You contact them, and they have already accepted another job. And now it is back to the drawing board.
What are some of the ways that professional recruiters keep high-quality candidates engaged? There are many strategies, but here are the four that every organization should be using procedurally, for best practice and results.
1. Inform The Candidate of the Interview Schedule and Decision Timeline
Create a list of your candidates after the application deadline has passed. This distribution list will make it easier for you to update candidates you plan to interview and hire. A sequence of three email communications to prospective candidates is standard.
a) A welcome message that includes some resources to help the candidate learn more about your business and corporate culture. This can include links to your EAP, a gallery of staff events, and other collateral. It is a great introduction that will also help the candidate determine if your company is a good fit for their needs. Even though the candidate has already reviewed the job requirements, it is good practice to include the scope and summary of the role again. It again, allows the candidate to evaluate the fit. And drop out of the running if they do not meet the qualifications you specified.
b) An interview schedule is helpful. It tells candidates the duration of the interview process, and when they will be notified about their eligibility. It also allows the candidate to prepare for secondary interviews, and skills assessment if required. Give the candidate a date for their interview, and instructions to prepare for a safe remote interview via teleconference.
If you are interviewing a large number of candidates for multiple roles, the time you invest in creating an interview schedule will pay off. It will allow you to proceed at a good pace. And it will keep talented professionals engaged (rather than looking for another opportunity) during the interview process. And don’t forget, a candidate that was not chosen can still recommend someone they know to apply. Protect the positive sentiment about your brand and business in the interview process.
2. Stay in Regular Contact With Top Candidates
As you are screening CVs, there are going to be some all-star candidates that really shine. They represent the top level of experience, personality, and leadership attributes, and more. Consider, however, that if you were impressed by their CV and credentials, your competitors will be too. Stay in contact with all applicants. However, you may wish to individually correspond with some of the standout performers. Because you do not want to lose them in the interview process.
3. Provide General Onboarding Materials and Resources
Want to offset nervousness and help the candidate conduct a confident and friendly interview? Give them the information they need to know about your company. Who are the managers and executive leadership? What are the core values of your business? What is it like working in your business environment? These are all questions and concerns that candidates have. Give them some peace of mind and helped them make an informed decision about joining your team, by sharing a little of the human side of your business.
4. Create Standardized Email to Notify Candidates Who Were Not Chosen
Every decision a business makes during the hiring process, can make, or break their reputation. While you may choose the ideal candidate, there may be 30-100+ candidates that are waiting to find out if they qualified. And if they will be hired.
Some businesses feel that they have no obligation to inform candidates that the role has been filled. After all, depending on the size of your business, you may get hundreds of applications. Are you really expected to email every single
one of them to let them know?
We recommend that procedure. First, if you have communicated with all candidates throughout the interview process, they are waiting for a notification. Eagerly. To not inform them means you are inadvertently delaying their job search. As they wait for an answer, they are not actively searching for the next opportunity. Ethically, that’s not kind.
Electronic forms that capture critical information such as an email address, provide the solution. Once the applications have been cut off on the deadline, a mailing list can be created (or imported) from the data collected from each applicant. Next, you can create a templated “thank you” to all candidates that applied. One email that is distributed to everyone. And an action that shows you care.
Creating that positive impression with applicants is important. It helps you build rapport, supports a positive reputation (and online reviews of your business). And, it keeps the door open to a future relationship with the candidate. Perhaps for a different role on your team.