The key to locking down great candidates

October 1, 2018

When looking for insightful topics to write on every month, we usually look at common situations and issues faced by our clients, and experienced by business owners of any size and industry.


When it comes to recruitment we have found that there is a specific factor that is the common cause of great candidates withdrawing their application, this factor is poor communication. We have noted that lack of communication is the number 1 cause of company’s losing star candidates, regardless of their size, reputation or industry.


Communication during all stages of the interview process is key!


A breakdown of communication at any stage, whether at the beginning in the application stage or at the final stage post extending an offer, can have severe effects for your company. It becomes more serious than just losing the perfect candidate, it could jeopardize your reputation that took years to build, as well as risk other companies conducting business with you. 


Here are a some valuable tips to keep in mind to ensure that communication is kept on point throughout the different stages of the interview process:


Application and CV filter stage:


Firstly, it would be a good idea to set an automated email to candidates acknowledging the receipt of their application. It is important to respond to all applications within 48 hours whether you are interested in proceeding to the interview phase, or if their application is unsuccessful. Keep in mind that as a candidate silence equals rejection and can lead to negative feelings towards the professionalism of the hiring company.  


Interview stage:


The interview stage could consist of more than one interview with different team members, for this reason this stage could take longer to get through. It is pivotal to firstly remember to communicate all vital information about the company to the candidate in the interview, as well as go through their job description in as much detail as possible delving into their roles and responsibilities to provide clarity on their duties and importantly to avoid misunderstandings. 


In this stage it is important to keep the candidate engaged.  Interviews might be conducted a week or two from each other due to aligning schedules, therefore ensure that the candidate knows that you are still interested by sending frequent emails explaining where you are in the process.


Selection stage:


In this stage it is good to firstly thank the candidates for the participation in the different phases of the interview stage, and inform them that the executive team are in the process of making an informed selection. Let the candidates know that you will be in touch as soon as a decision is reached.


Feedback Stage:


Communicating the final decision is important for both successful and unsuccessful candidates and should be done so as soon as possible. 


Successful candidates: It is a good idea to not only extend an offer to the candidate but to send a welcome pack / employee handbook so that the person gets a better understanding of the company's structure and systems, and importantly feels welcomed by the team. It is not a given that if an offer is made it would be automatically accepted, you should keep yourself open and available to candidates to answer any questions that they might have. It is best to iron out any creases before the the employees first day. 


If the person accepts your offer, the worst thing you could do is go radio silent on them, start including them in company socials, inviting them on employee tools like slack and Hi5. Importantly, send them any company information packs that you have so that they feel prepared and ready for their first day.


Unsuccessful candidates: Be open as to the reason why they were not selected, it goes a long way! It is important to remember that keeping open communication with unsuccessful candidates, also means keeping the door open for them should you have an appropriate  position for them in the future. Being courteous and kind also leaves the candidate with positive views about the company.


We hope that the above tips on communication throughout the recruitment stages was helpful. Remember communication is king in the recruitment game!



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