In an interview process the ability of employers and job candidates to be responsive in their communication is a crucial trait as both sides evaluate the other in their willingness to answer questions and follow through on “next steps” in the process. Even when you can’t provide a complete answer, your responsiveness shows you are listening and actively engaged.
Studies demonstrate that candidates begin to lose interest in a position after 72 hours without contact from the employer. The companies where managers respond quickly and set the interview schedule promptly are most often able to land the most talented candidates. Many employers have conditioned candidates to have low interest in an opportunity if the employer is not responsive during the selection process. Therefore, candidates mentally move on.
If your company is losing candidates the reason may be a lack of responsiveness. Responsiveness is critical when trying to attract talented employees who often have multiple opportunities to consider. Job seekers, recruiters, and hiring managers must be responsive to build rapport and respectfulness throughout the process. Timeliness is and always will be a factor. Will the candidate reach out to contact their interviewer, follow up with a proper thank you note, and let the interviewer/HR/hiring manager keep in touch with the candidate and know where they stand and how the decision process moves along?
Address this early on by asking, “what is your preferred method of communication?” Excellent communication between candidates and the hiring company has become an essential part of a great candidate experience and a necessity in the 21st century. Your professional relationship may have begun on social networks like LinkedIn or through Zoom. With mobile technology and messaging apps, today’s applicants have grown up expecting instant information. When the relationship has been established find out if communication can be through email, phone, or even text message. Figuring out which option is preferred can relieve stress about how and when information is passed along.
Here are some things to consider when communicating with potential applicants:
- Unresponsiveness – candidates for your job openings would rather receive a “no thank you” email than no communication at all.
- Public opinion – if you are not answering inquiries from candidates you are hurting your company. Unresponsiveness can decrease your risk of finding more applicants.
- Automate – for positions with hundreds of applicants send an automated email or text message to inform candidates if they will be moving forward in the process or if it’s a “no fit.” (Studies show that 75% of Millennials prefer messaging over calls.)
Everyone communicates in different ways and has different expectations. When things get busy and your response will be delayed, send a quick note that specifies when you’ll get back to them. In turn, the candidate that stands out is the one who knows the job they want and can explain why they are the ideal candidate. They understand the time constraints the manager may be under and follow their resume and application with an email that contains their enthusiasm and contact information but doesn’t require a response.
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The Alpine Group