How often do you communicate with candidates? What do you share with them when you do reach out?
A new study from DaXtra surveyed job seekers on their expectations in the recruitment process and uncovered where recruiters might be failing.
Let’s look at their top findings and dive into how to correct your hiring processes to give candidates a better experience:
1. You’re taking too long to make contact.
More than one-third of job seekers expect to hear back from a recruiter within 24 hours of making a job inquiry, according to the study. So if you’re not sending candidates some form of communication to let them know their application was received, they’re already going to be frustrated with you.
That being said, sometimes it’s impossible to respond to everyone within the first day — especially if you have dozens of applications to sort through. But there are steps you can take to alleviate some of this job seeker stress.
Set up your applicant tracking system to send an automatic email letting candidates know you received their application. In that email, you can also share how long your typical recruitment process takes. While it doesn’t have to be a strict rule to stick to that timeline, at least the job seeker will have a rough idea in their head of when to expect an update.
Additionally, if you’ve ruled out a candidate based on their resume and sincerely believe they aren’t the right fit for your company, send them an email as soon as possible. While rejection emails are never fun, the quicker you send them, the sooner the candidate can move on to focus on other prospects.
2. You don’t keep them posted.
According to the study, only 34% of candidates receive speculative communications from recruiters on at least a weekly basis. Not enough recruiters are keeping candidates in the loop. Yes, your internal recruitment process might take longer than seven days — but that’s not a reason to give job seekers the silent treatment.
Set up a schedule for checking in with candidates regularly, especially those who have had at least an initial interview. Once they’ve reached the interview stage, job seekers want to know if they’re still in consideration and when their next interview will occur.
If you don’t plan to get back to them for two weeks, set that expectation. Then, follow through with your commitment by checking in, whether you have new information or not. While it would be ideal for the hiring process to move quickly, that won’t always be the case. The least you can do is continue to keep candidates in the loop so they feel valued by your company.
3. You don’t follow up with candidates later.
Most job seekers (70%) would be happy for recruiters to keep their data on file for up to two years if it led to a more personalized recruitment experience, according to DaXtra. This is great news because it means you can keep silver medal candidates in your talent pool for other jobs that come up in the future.
The next time you have a similar job, don’t upload it immediately on your website. Start your search by reaching out to the candidates who came in second or third place for the last posting. Ask what they’ve been up to since they initially interviewed with you and if they added any new experiences to their resumes. If they’ve gained the skills they were missing previously, you may never even have to post the job at all.
Sometimes, though, it might be months before you need to fill a similar job. If that’s the case, keep those top candidates engaged by inviting them to apply for other positions or letting them know your latest company news. They’ll be happy to maintain a relationship with you if it leads to new opportunities.
4. You reach out too much.
On the flip side, nearly 60% of people would ignore a recruiter who contacted them too much, even if they liked the look of the job. If you don’t have anything of value to share with a passive job seeker, don’t reach out.
Additionally, if they opt-out of your communication, let them go. You don’t want to harass candidates. Instead, take their feedback on why they’re not interested and see if you can make changes to the candidate experience.
Every company’s recruitment process is going to look a little different. Your organization’s size and the volume of job openings influences how often you communicate with candidates. It’s up to you to do what you can to make the experience more enjoyable for job seekers.