These tips are simple to understand and often hard to implement, at least consistently. However, at scale, it will make dealing with candidates that are NOT hired much less awkward.
Step 1: Stop Trying To Close Like A Freshman In College
If you are searching for candidates in any kind of market where their market competition chances are your inmail/email/phone call/IM/poke/@reply/ fork then it is falling into a large bucket of cold lifeless reach outs from other recruiters.
A great candidate experience starts from the inception of the search. If you are about to reach out to a candidate and you can quickly explain three to five reasons why you are reaching out to them… then you probably shouldn’t.
When you do reach out, please stop asking for a resume or directing them to a link to apply now. This immediately puts you back into the bucket of recruiters they are ignoring. Make your reach outs at least two steps:
Tell them why you are reaching out to them. I do not mean for you to push your company’s job posting at them… and referring to those 3 to 5 specific reasons you chose their profile. If you are not sure based on a technical reason… (for example if you think they have ruby on rails experience but you are not sure) it is okay to reach out with the question you had in mind.
“Hi Tom, I work for _______ in New York and am searching for some ruby on rails engineers. I ran across your profile because it looks like you may have that experience? I wasn’t sure because although I know your company’s product is built with ruby on rails in the stack, it did not mention it on your profile.
At any case, if you are open to a conversation about what we are working on here at _____, please circle back.”
Step 2: Set The Expectations Right Up Front
Once the candidate has engaged with you to the point of sharing a resume, it is best to set some expectations right up front. Let’s face it, only one person is going to get hired so almost everyone you speak to is going home. It is best to level set on the upstart to prevent any misunderstandings.
A quick reply template could be built. Now that the prospect has become a candidate sharing information about the company is a good thing. Reply to them with the full description, ways they can subscribe to the companies (and your company’s) social media, etc.
In addition, let them know if they do not hear anything within two weeks (adjust the timeline based on your actual HM feedback ratios) that you will do your best to circle back and close the loop.
Step 3: Don’t Ignore Dismissed Candidates
We are all busy. It is easy to just forget to circle back to candidates that hiring managers pass on and then just let go. However, even if candidates do not follow up they will still be reminded when they run across your company again in any capacity.
It is best, even if you are putting a positive spin on an obvious rejection email, to close the loops as quickly as possible. That way if there is a negative issue, you and your team can get in front of it.
As a sourcer, we can greatly effect how your team handles the candidate experience. Although there is only so much you can control, doing what you can will help protect your reputation among candidates…especially in small candidate pools.