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Don’t Keep Your Candidates Guessing : Why Communication is the Key to Keeping Candidates Interested

Don’t Keep Your Candidates Guessing: Why Communication is the Key to Keeping Candidates Interested on ahabusinessconsulting.comThe hiring process has become more complex because of the need to run background checks, pre-hire assessments, and multiple interview rounds. None should be used as an excuse to drop off the radar once you have engaged a job candidate.

It’s already difficult to find good job candidates.  As a hiring manager, you don’t want to drive potential candidates away. Recent research published by Glassdoor shows that the average interviewing time continues to lengthen.

The stats say it’s now an average of 23.8 days, which is almost one day longer than when the organization measured the process in 2014. It could be worse. The research shows that it takes an average of 38.9 days to get through the hiring process in France. No matter how you spin this, it’s bad news. The time it takes is frustrating for candidates, and you’re going to lose your best ones if you don’t stay in constant communication with them throughout the hiring process.

Plenty of reasons, but none are excuses

The job interviewing and hiring process takes more time because of company policies. The process has become more complex because of the need to run background checks, pre-hire assessments, and multiple interview rounds.

This is especially true for jobs where there’s a small talent pool available because of specialized knowledge or experience. Jobs requiring skills that are easy to verify tend to be in industries with high turnover, so it doesn’t make sense to increase the complexity of the interview process.

Some of these policies have resulted because of regulations or legislation. Most are in place as protective measures. However, none of them should be used as an excuse to drop off the radar screen if you have engaged a job candidate.

No, thank you

It’s no longer rare to hear that a candidate has rejected a company’s job offer. According to an applicant experience survey of more than 80,000 job applicants, CareerBuilder concluded that a bad experience when applying for a job plays a critical role in a candidate’s decision to accept the position.

While there are plenty of reasons why a candidate can decide it’s not a good fit—ranging from research to peer recommendations on social media—the top reason is lack of communication. No one appreciates being left to guess what’s going on, yet that’s often the case during the job application process.

Keep them in the loop

It is important to remember that your best candidate catches likely are being pursued by other companies, which means they aren’t interested in your staffing or procedural process issues. Once you engage with them, you must continue to do so.

Much of this can be done with common sense approaches that require you to look at things from a candidate’s point of view. It doesn’t have to feel like you’re over communicating, short and straightforward communication is all that is needed to keep a candidate engaged.

  • Quick email updates: Think for a moment about the major steps of the job application process. Some of these steps are binary. A job is either still available or it’s not. An application has been received or it hasn’t. Often, a short update email to candidates is all that’s necessary.
  • Next steps: Contact a promising candidate to let them know you’d like to interview them as soon as possible. At this point, you can manage expectations. The interview might not happen for days or even weeks, but at least a candidate doesn’t have to guess. Likewise, send out an email if you decide you’re going to pass on a candidate. It’s only fair, and yes, you should feel obligated to do this. Maybe not by law, but because you could end up getting a negative review online if it becomes a pattern.
  • Keep up the engagement: In most cases, even a passive jobseeker candidate is going to be excited about an opportunity that could lead to the next step in their career. Keep that enthusiasm burning bright by giving them appropriate feedback—even if it’s a short email, or even a text message, saying that the latest news is that there’s nothing new to report. Meanwhile, how can you help them learn more about your organization? A steady diet of educational information can be just as reassuring as a status update.

Tick tock

If this increased level of communication with job candidates sounds like it might take a lot of time, that’s because it does. Much of this communication can be semi-automated, but it does start with taking the time to map out a strategy. AHA! Business Consulting can help you plan your recruitment process or do it for you!

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