Imagine receiving 50 or more applicants for every open position and the necessity to communicate with each and every applicant from the time their information is received through the many stages of your recruiting process? If you review the list below of just some of the reasons to contact applicants and hiring managers, you will soon realize that communications alone can consume a good part of your business day! Electronic or phone communications may include:

  • Acknowledgement of receipt of Resume or Application
  • Requests to the Applicant for additional information
  • Responding to requests from the applicant for additional company information, benefits information, etc.
  • Responding to applicant requests of their current status
  • Requesting available dates and times from managers to schedule phone screens or face to face interviews
  • Requesting available dates and times from applicants to schedule phone screens or face to face interviews
  • Forwarding resumes to staff for review
  • Requesting/recording the Hiring Manager’s Review and Feedback of an applicant
  • Collecting feedback/evaluations from staff after interviews
  • Confirming interview schedules or changes to interview schedules
  • Letter of no interest to the unqualified applicants
  • Permission to conduct a background check
  • Informing an applicant that a position has been filled, cancelled or put on hold
  • Responding to status reports or updates to managers

Respecting candidates includes acknowledging receipt of their applications, giving them some sense of what’s coming next and eventually letting them know the outcome. Most companies want to be timely and professional toward applicants and managers, but with limited resources and time, do not communicate effectively or at all.

4 Steps to improve Communications during the Recruiting Process

  1. Establish a clear, consistent, courteous and timely process for communicating with applicants and hiring managers during your recruiting process. Document the process and decide which stages in your recruiting process require written or verbal communication. Applicants who have been selected for further consideration in your selection process should continue to receive consistent, timely and accurate messaging. While applicants who did not meet your minimum qualifications, should be communicated with almost immediately.
  2. Communicate the established process to everyone involved in the recruiting process including hiring managers, recruiters and support staff. Make it clear who is responsible for which communications to avoid confusion and possible duplicate or conflicting communications to the same applicant. This is especially important when there are multiple recruiters working with your applicant database. Nothing could be more embarrassing than one recruiter sending a “we’re not interested” email and another recruiter trying to schedule an interview with the same applicant—it happens more than you think.
  3. Automate communications when possible: Implementing an applicant tracking system enables you to automate emails as your applicants are moved through different stages in the recruiting process. Many systems have “triggered” email capabilities which save time, eliminate errors and help your company to maintain a more professional image and reputation.
  4. Track all Communications: Once again, an applicant tracking system is of great value here. Communications are automatically recorded—even date and time stamped, so staff involved in the recruiting process can view the most recent or pending communication or activity related to an applicant. If automation is not an option, using your calendar or an excel spreadsheet that can be shared by everyone is recommended.

Benefits of Effective Communications during the Recruiting Process

  • Shows respect and appreciation to applicants regardless of their qualifications
  • Keeps hiring managers and other staff informed about the status of open positions
  • Protects companies against false accusations and legal repercussions if candidates misinterpret your communication
  • Eliminates excessive phone calls, leaving messages and telephone tag
  • Tracks all activity related to an applicant for future use
  • Most importantly, confirms your company operates with integrity and transparency

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