“When candidates are left out of the loop, they move on, plain and simple.”
Tyson Spring, founder, and VP of recruiting with Élever Professional, LP doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to recruiting top talent. Employees expect more from staffing and recruiting professionals, and they aren’t afraid to move on if those expectations aren’t met.
In fact, 80 percent of job seekers say they would be discouraged to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status, according to Workplace Trends’ 2016 Candidate Experience Study.
And can you blame them?
No matter your title, recruiter, staffer, or hiring pro, it’s your job to create and nurture front-line relationships with candidates. According to Spring, failing to do this will send qualified applicants over the edge.
“Every candidate has a breaking point where they decide that the position is not worth their effort. For recruiters, the interview process can become mundane. However, we must remember that for the job seeker, it is not an everyday occurrence,” he said.
Talent acquisition isn’t a frequent process for candidates. So, it’s your responsibility to identify opportunity and make a strong personal connection over and over again.
In fact, 80 percent of people say they’d take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process, according to a recent Mattersight report. Given that, these connections have never been more critical.
Unfortunately, without timely updates throughout the process when sourcing candidates, they will quickly disconnect and move forward with their job search.
Don’t let candidates slip through your fingers. Here are three talent acquisition tips to keep them in the loop and excited about joining your client’s team:
1. Stay diligent
“Some people in hiring organizations lack a sense of urgency. Usually, they’re from a school of thought that treats a candidate as inferior,” Spring explained.
When you’re recruiting top talent, diligence is the key to hiring the best of the best. For Spring’s company, without that diligence, a client would’ve lost out on an exciting potential candidate.
“Everyone who met the candidate was excited about the potential. Then it got to human resources and someone pulled the emergency brake on any movement,” Spring said. “The candidate went from meeting five people in five days to going two weeks waiting for the next (and final) step.”
After 10 days, the interested candidate made sure the recruiter knew he had multiple options. Not only was candidate growing impatient, it made this position drop from first place to below third on his list.
“Our recruiter pushed the client to address the delay and to reignite the excitement. They requested an interview with someone in their product management group. This interview was more of a sales pitch to the candidate. It effectively bridged the gap and gave the candidate an inside look at the product, ultimately getting them energized about the position,” he said.
Thanks to one recruiter’s big push, the candidate was sold on the role and they came to an agreement shortly afterward. Spring’s story is a great reminder that no matter who is holding the process up, it’s your job to take on the responsibility and diligently advocate for candidates.
2. Update in stages
With so many clients and candidates to keep track of, talent acquisition can quickly get out of hand. For Cristian Rennella, co-CEO and co-founder of oMelhorTrato.com, the solution for keeping job seekers in the loop — even through the chaos of recruiting — was with a standardized system.
“Three years ago, we developed an internal system that works like the Trello tool. It consists of several columns representing different stages of the talent acquisition process,” Rennella explained. “Each time a candidate passes a stage, we move the candidate to the next column.”
With Rennella’s system, a candidate automatically receives an email informing them of their advancement from one stage to the next. Any additional information about the next stage is also included in the email, which makes candidates feel active and engaged in the process.
Rennella went on to explain, “This was a fundamental change needed to scale our startup. It reduced process times by 23.7 percent. And improving communication with candidates helping the conversion from candidate to employee improved by 18.1 percent.”
Every stage of the talent acquisition process is critical for staffing pros and their clients to make the right hire. It only makes sense to let candidates in on each stage and allow them to be proactive in moving the process forward. But remember, if the process is taking too long, it’s important to update candidates about once a week to keep them interested.
3. Set the expectation
You’ve likely set expectations and goals for yourself. Suggesting quality candidates that clients hire and keeping a strong talent pool active and up-to-date are among them. While these are both important, your success in talent acquisition also relies on the expectations you set for yourself and candidates.
Dana Case, director of operations at MyCorporation.com, believes setting high expectations and keeping potential candidates in the loop is the key to not only showing professionalism but also making your own placement process run smoother.
“I have found it most efficient to set the expectation of the process when you meet with them. Then, an occasional phone call or email helps keep them up-to-date,” Case said. “We recently admired a highly potential candidate and made the mistake of waiting to connect until after the weekend. Unfortunately, by the time we reached out on Monday morning, she had already accepted a different position that she was offered elsewhere.”
This is the perfect example of why you need to set expectations for follow-ups from the get-go. Had this candidate understood when they’d be receiving an update on the opening, they may have waited on accepting the offer to the other position.