You received budget approval to add a new position to your team, and you were just given the green light to hire someone and start interviewing candidates. It’s a prosperous time for your business, and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement that comes with growth. It is important, however, to recognize that even though you may be on Cloud 9, the hiring process is serious business.
Over the past few years the employment landscape has drastically changed; the US is experiencing record-low unemployment rates, which means there are more jobs than there are qualified individuals. In this candidate-driven market, prospective employees hold all the cards, and employer communication strategies have adapted along with this.
In a lot of ways, the landscape of job-hunting mirrors that of online dating, and the bottom line is that people will express more interest in the employer showing the most interest in them. Furthermore, your business is not the only game in town.
If more than a week goes by without any response or expressed interest after a resume is submitted, top applicants will start to lose interest because the lack of communication tells them they are not the individual the company is looking to hire. If an applicant is interviewing with multiple companies, and one is extremely responsive while the other one goes days with out any communication or updates, that candidate is more likely to accept an offer with the organization that demonstrated responsive communication — even if the latter is a better opportunity.
Additionally, employer communication during the interview process gives applicants insight into the workflow and culture of your business. Even if your recruiter and HR teams operate differently than your department, they are still acting agents of your business, and the first and only impression an applicant has. If your company’s staffing process is lacking in engaged and timely candidate outreach, what reason do they have to believe the communication style would be any different if they accepted the offer?
Unfortunately, we all have a lot on our plates when it comes to day-to-day responsibilities, and it is all too easy for the hiring process to fall to the bottom of the priority list. But when you find the outstanding candidate you want to bring onto your team, the hiring process needs to become the top priority.
Continuous communication with HR and/or your recruiter is critical. Follow up with an applicant should occur, at most, within 24 hours of receiving a resume, even if it is simply to acknowledge their application was received and when they can expect to hear back. Providing feedback immediately after interviews that include next steps demonstrates you are committed to filling this new role, and you are seriously considering them.
Where possible, try to make an offer no later than two days after your last interview with them. If there are other candidates you are considering for this job, be transparent and set expectations on when you are looking to make that final decision. The open and timely communication from your staffing process will inevitably make candidates view you as a viable opportunity, and a place they would want to work –especially compared to those businesses that have gone weeks between feedback and interviews.