Communication during the hiring process is key to engaging candidates and ensuring a positive experience.

Pretend you’re going on a first date. The date goes well and at the end of the evening your date promises to call you the next day.

The next day arrives and you don’t hear anything from your date. A few days turn into a week and you still haven’t heard anything.

More than likely you’re thinking that maybe the date didn’t go as well as you thought or that you did something wrong.

Not getting a response back upsets you since your date didn’t follow through after you were told to expect a call.

Hiring Process Communication

Now let’s think about how the communication process, after a date, relates to communication with your candidates. 

When you first speak with your candidate you talk about the company, explaining how it was started, your values and culture. You set the stage for the interviewing process by explaining how it works.

While explaining the process, you should communicate a timeline of interviews, feedback and follow up.

If you tell your candidate that you will follow up with them afterwards and fail to do so, they will assume you’re no longer interested in them.  This can be detrimental to the hiring process.

Lack of communication reflects poorly as the candidate starts to think negatively about the organization.

Like customer service, candidates will tell their family and friends about their poor experience while interviewing. No one talks about a good experience, but they won’t hesitate to share a negative one.

All of this results in a disengaged candidate, removal of themselves from the hiring process and having to put out fires on social media if the candidates spread the negative experience.

The best ways to keep the candidate engaged and avoid a lack of communication include:

  • Sharing industry and organization articles
  • Ensuring regular follow-up
  • Making timely hiring decisions

Those are just a few, but there are countless other ways to stay in communication with a candidate.

Candidate Communication in Practice

When our Charlotte team really likes a candidate, we will invite them to a team happy hour.

This way they can meet our staff. It also gives them an opportunity to ask questions about our company and the work that our team is doing at client sites.

Our team also follows up with weekly updates to candidates about next steps.

Even if we don’t have an update, I will let my candidates know at the end of the week that there haven’t been any changes and I hope to have a more informative update next time.

In my experience, candidates appreciate this as it keeps them in the loop and reduces the stress level of the hiring process.

We also make it a point to make timely hiring decisions.

If a candidate is not selected, we reach out immediately to say thank you for your time and interest in us and remind them that we will consider them for future opportunities.

Finally, we like to share any and all feedback from the hiring process.

This way, the candidates can, maybe, learn how to be more successful in subsequent interviews.

The same can be said of the earlier analogy to dating. Constructive feedback is always welcome and can be used to overcome future obstacles or issues.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, recruiters and hiring managers are in the people business, as I like to say.

This means treating all applicants with respect, and having the open communication they deserve. This will keep the candidate excited and wanting to be part of your team.