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Repairing Candidate Perception: Essential Communication

By: Josh Ridgeway

As a recruiter, I understand that our industries best attribute is our people: the people we provide to clients, the clients we work with and our employees that work with you. Keeping a strong line of communication with candidates is essential to excellent customer service. I have spent four years explaining to candidates that recruiters are essential. We are essential to the life blood of any strong company. We bring in the talent that companies can’t find. The most difficult thing of all is convincing a jaded candidate to trust you with their future.

My Commitment

Over the last six months, I have been committed to letting candidates know three things every time I speak with them:

  • I will call you about any position I feel you are a fit for
  • I will tell you when you do not get the job
  • I will not forget about you

Recruiters always forget two of these three things. Recruiters most often forget to call candidates when they are not chosen for an interview or the candidate doesn’t get the position. Recruiters do not understand that this is the worst thing they can do. It crushes a candidate to know they trusted you to deliver and you could not even tell them yes or no.

Changing Candidate Perception

Repairing lost trust in recruiters is difficult, but not impossible. Earlier, when I said I adopted this about 6 months ago, it was because I had trouble with this at one time as well. People get lost in the shuffle, something comes up and you forget to call, etc. One day, I spoke with a candidate and she told me that I held her future in my hands and I then let her down. I have never felt so bad in my life. I realized then, that I needed to change. I quickly adjusted what I was doing. On Monday, I spoke with the candidate and told her I was sorry. I let her know that if she wanted to give me another chance, I would do everything I could to help her find a position. Two weeks later, she went to work for me. She made me realize that if I failed, it was fine, so long as she knew. If the opportunity doesn’t work out, then call. Call to check in and see how they are doing. Call if you might have something that is a match. Most importantly, if they don’t get the job, call them.

Follow Through

The choice I made was to follow through on my promises. I make sure to keep strong communication. I make my candidates believe in me. Even if the result is not always positive, it’s still a result. The best thing of all is when new candidates call me. It’s a great feeling have someone calls you and says they have heard you were good at your job and they would like to work with you. Old candidates now call me after months of not talking to me, just to check in and update me on their status. They thank me for my time and ensure me that they will talk to me soon. I always look forward to hearing from them again.

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