While some believe that a recruiter's responsibilities are confined to tasks like screening resumes and conducting interviews, the reality is that the role extends far beyond these activities. One of the aspects that is often overlooked is candidate communication. It is a dynamic process of establishing clear, transparent, and engaging interactions between recruiters and potential candidates throughout the hiring journey. In this blog post, we’ll explore why communication with candidates is so important and what you can do to improve this process.
Why is Candidate Communication Important?
Effective candidate communication fosters transparency, providing candidates with clear insights into the hiring process, company culture, and role expectations. This transparency builds trust and ensures that candidates make informed decisions about their potential fit within the organization. Moreover, it contributes to building a strong employer brand, influencing a candidate's company perception. Many candidates tend to share information about their hiring experience. A good review on a website like Glassdoor will create a positive impression about your organization for future hiring. Last but not least, effective communication with candidates contributes to building lasting relationships with potential talent, irrespective of the outcome of the hiring process, thereby nurturing a valuable talent pool for future opportunities.
Now, let’s dive into how we can improve our recruitment communication strategy.
How to Enhance Your Candidate Communication
Establish your main touchpoints
You’ll need to understand when and how you will contact your candidates. Create a pipeline or a map highlighting the touchpoints with your applicants. Your communication plan for hiring recruits can look something like this:
Invite job seekers to subscribe to your career-related notifications. Also, always reply to those who reach out to you, explaining where they can apply or find updates on new vacancies.
Ensure the candidate receives a confirmation that their application has been received. If the reviewing process takes longer than expected, sending a follow-up to the candidate will be reassuring.
Keep candidates updated on their application status. For example, the candidate has passed the pre-screen, and now you want to invite them to an interview.
Maintain strong communication when scheduling an interview. You can do it manually or use automated tools to schedule meetings with your candidates.
Whether it’s an offer or a rejection, you must inform the candidate about your decision.
Share the timeline
Timeline is a cornerstone of recruitment communication strategy. Whether it’s a confirmation of receiving the application or feedback after the interview, you need to establish a clear time frame for when you will contact the candidate. Looking for a job is a demanding and stressful process, and taking away some of the anxiety will help to build a trustworthy relationship with the candidates. Make sure to inform them how long the hiring process takes in your company, what the stages are, and when the candidate should expect to hear from you after each stage.
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The hiring process may vary from one company to another, and even within one organization, everything can change. If you decide to close the position with the internal hire, you must inform your candidates. If the vacancy is on hold, make sure to notify the candidate and let them know when you’re going to get back to them. If you need more time to provide feedback on the interview, don’t forget to get back to the candidate and provide them with a new, more realistic date as to when they should expect your response. It is crucial for maintaining transparency and building trust with your candidates.
Be ready to answer questions
Sometimes, it is easy to forget that the candidate does not possess the same level of knowledge about the company and its processes as you do. Therefore, you need to be ready to answer many questions, even if they seem obvious to you.
Automated tools are great time saviors, especially if you work with high-volume hiring. However, providing a personal touch to engage your candidates and keep their interest is essential. If you’re using messaging templates, insert the name of the candidate. It’s a small detail, but it makes the message seem more personal. Don’t be afraid of some small talk if you’re conducting an interview. Showing genuine interest in your candidate is essential as it not only cultivates a positive candidate experience but also strengthens the connection between the recruiter and the candidate.
Of course, there is some information that you cannot share with the candidates, like technical data or product plans. The is also some information that you can simply not know. And, there is sensitive information like negative feedback for the candidate. The key here is to be honest - if you don’t know something, acknowledge it and say you need time to consult with your colleague. If you cannot share some data, say so and explain that this is confidential information. If you need to provide negative feedback, do that in a polite manner.
Always give feedback
Feedback is an important part of the hiring process. Whether it is positive or negative, you need to share it with your candidate. By doing so, you will demonstrate that you took time and effort to evaluate the candidate’s application. Moreover, constructive criticism will help the candidate to enhance their next application and increase their chances of finding a suitable job.
Encourage them to stay in touch
Whether you reject the candidate or they reject your offer, building a long-term connection with them is vital. Maybe it’s not a good fit now, but this approach will not only strengthen the relationship between the recruiter and candidate but also allow the organization to tap into a network of qualified individuals when new positions arise.
Use multiple channels
Using just one platform for communication with candidates can make you miss many opportunities. Hiring means working with many different people, and each of them has their preferred or most-used channel for communication. Maybe you use email as a primary form of candidate communication, but what if your perfect candidate doesn’t check their email that often? Try using multiple channels when reaching out to your candidates: email, social media, messengers, and even phone calls.
How ATS Can Help You Improve Communication with Candidates?
Automated communication and updates
One of the most common complaints from job seekers is the lack of communication and updates during the application process. An ATS addresses this issue by automating communications, ensuring that candidates receive timely notifications about their application status. This can include confirmation emails upon receiving an application, updates about the review process, and notifications about next steps. Such communication keeps candidates informed and engaged, improving their overall experience.
Modern ATS platforms offer features that enable more personalized communication with candidates. Instead of generic emails, recruiters can use the system to send personalized messages, acknowledging the candidate's specific skills or experiences. This level of personalization makes candidates feel valued and respected, fostering a positive perception of the company.
Scheduling interviews can be a time-consuming process, often involving back-and-forth emails to find a suitable time. Many ATS platforms include scheduling tools that allow candidates to choose their interview times based on the availability of the hiring team. This not only speeds up the process but also enhances the candidate experience by offering them convenience and flexibility.
Ready to improve your recruitment communication strategy and provide an exceptional candidate experience? Axterior ATS is your partner in this journey. Join the ranks of leading companies that have transformed their recruitment processes, attracted top talent, and enhanced their employer brand with Axterior ATS.
In conclusion, acknowledging the significance of effective candidate communication is essential for a successful recruitment strategy. Beyond traditional tasks, it builds trust, enhances the candidate experience, and contributes to a positive employer brand. Remember to develop a communication plan for hiring recruits as we delve into strategies. Prioritizing personalized interactions, timely feedback, and encouraging lasting connections with candidates will not only strengthen your talent pipeline but also position your organization as a preferred employer in today's competitive job market.