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Attention: Hiring Managers, Candidates Want Straight Answers

September 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Careers | HR | Talent Management

We have all, at some point in time, left an interview confident that we had aced it and thought that in all likelihood secured a second interview was imminent. Sometimes, this over confidence could have been as result of the cues, we got (or so, we thought at the time) from the hiring manager that made us believe we had shot at eventually landing the job.

Attention: Hiring Managers, Candidates Want Straight Answers

Prospective employees, according to John Hollon, from his article Hey Recruiters: Here’s How You Can Be Frank and Honest With Candidates want the truth.

If you are an HR or hiring professional, here are 7 tips from the article that you will find useful:

  1. Communicate early and often: The best organizations respond and communicate with candidates quickly when they first apply, and then as often as they can during the entire application and selection process. More is always best, and the more you keep them informed, the better they will feel about the process.
  2. Help candidates manage their expectations: I applied to a blind ad that turned out to be from a company that I used to work for and had been happy with me. When I was contacted about the job, I went through a whirlwind three days of interviews. Then, nothing for a week except a text on Day 8 saying they were far down the road with another candidate but hadn’t hired anyone yet. Well, they eventually did hire someone, but not me. My expectation was that they would at least tell me I wasn’t going to get the job. I’m still waiting.
  3. Communicate the outcome, no matter what it is: This past year, I’ve had two companies that said they wanted to hire me, then suddenly fell off the face of the Earth and would not respond to any of my communications asking what happened. Yes, it’s hard to give bad news and say that a situation has changed, but that’s what good companies do. Leaving people hanging isn’t being frank and honest; it’s never a smart approach.
  4. Don’t give false hope:Has anyone ever been contacted again by a company that tells them, “We’ll keep your application on file”? I’m sure it happens, but broken clocks are right twice a day too. Telling a candidate something like this gives false hope — and that’s wrong.
  5. Remember Tim Sackett’s rule for multiple rounds of interviews: How many interviews do you need to have to decide to hire someone? Well my friend Tim Sackett has this rule, and it’s pretty simple: “No one needs four rounds of interviews to decide if a candidate is the right candidate for your organization. A fifth round, or any number higher, is just adding insult to injury.” 
  6. Be completely clear with someone who really MIGHT be good candidate later. My son had a job interview for a position he didn’t get, but one of the executives at the firm told him, “We like you a lot. We’ll be in touch again because we have job opening up all the time.” THAT’S how to keep a rejected candidate engaged and do it right.
  7. At the end of it all, remember the Golden Rule. Yes, at the end of it all the Golden Rule still applies —treat others as you would like to be treated. If more companies handled candidates with that in mind, nobody would ever be talking and writing about how bad the candidate experience is.

Bottom-line: Treat all candidates with dignity and respect, even if you know you are not going to not hire them. Anything less says more about you and your company, not prospective employees.

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