Written by Holly Watson | April 29, 2015
Are you wondering why candidates aren’t applying for your roles? Have you noticed an increase in unhappy or frustrated applicants? If so, your candidate communications might be to blame.
When recruiting staff, it’s important to place the candidate experience at the heart of everything you do. A bad candidate experience can have a huge impact on your employer brand and, in this increasingly competitive market, reputation is everything.
The communication that you make with candidates can be so easy to get right but is equally incredibly easy to get wrong. Your recruitment comms can play a vital part in influencing candidates, whether they want to work for your company or not.
So, what are the key mistakes you should avoid making when communicating with your candidates? Webrecruit explores:
1. Sending out generic emails
When contacting potential candidates through platforms such as LinkedIn, try not to send out generic messages. This is particularly important when recruiting staff for niche roles that there are skills shortages for – it’s likely that these candidates are already in employment, so the communication you make is your chance to entice them.
Just think, if a candidate submitted a generic CV and cover letter that wasn’t tailored to the role you’re recruiting for, would you progress their application? Probably not.
Treat candidates with the same respect when initially contacting them about your position and ensure that you personalise your communications. Generally speaking, the more bespoke your messages are, the better response you’re likely to get.
2. Mis-selling the job
When communicating the details of a role to candidates, either via the telephone, email or through a job advert, it can be tempting to exaggerate or twist some of the duties to make it sound more appealing.
Whilst this might sound like a great idea to attract applicants, in the long run it will become apparent that it isn’t a true representation of the role. When candidates cotton on to this, you’re likely to lose their trust and they could potentially withdraw their application.
It’s important to be completely honest and transparent with candidates right the way through the recruitment process. By all means, sell the genuinely great parts of the role but don’t mislead candidates into thinking that it’s more exciting than it actually is.
By overstating the duties, you’ll be setting candidates (and yourself) up for a fall if you’re found to be dishonest. (And, don’t’ forget, this is an expensive exercise as you’ll need to cough up the money to re-advertise the role.
3. Putting candidates on the spot
Whilst it’s always an exciting moment when you offer a position to a candidate, don’t be disappointed if they ask for some time to think it over.
When making your offer, don’t corner them into making a decision straight away – this can lead to panic and sometimes accepting something that they’re really not sure about, potentially leading to drop outs later on down the line.
When communicating offers with candidates over the phone, ask them for their initial thoughts but also advise them to go away and have a think about it, offering to help them with any questions they may have.
Of course, some candidates may be excited to instantly accept but if they are hesitant, don’t push them. Be supportive.
Additionally, to minimise the chances of your candidate declining the offer, it’s important to discuss salary expectations and the salary bracket for each position as early on in the recruitment process as possible.
4. No communication at all
Leaving it weeks before contacting candidates after they’ve submitted an application can be dangerous. Applicants will have likely gone cold by then and there’s always the risk of losing out on a talented candidate to a competitor.
Equally, any unsuccessful applicants who haven’t received a response are likely to contact your business asking for an update and perhaps querying why their application wasn’t acknowledged. This will likely take up even more time than sending a simple email in the first place.
While not responding to applications may be a simple matter of ‘not enough time’, from the candidate’s perspective, it shows that you’re not organised enough to provide feedback and, perhaps, you don’t care about them. Naturally, this doesn’t create a great impression of your employer brand.
(If you are struggling with keeping your candidates updated, it’s worth considering recruitment software. Recruitment software enables you to create email templates to send out to successful and unsuccessful applicants with the click of a button – meaning that all candidates are kept fully updated and informed).
5. Unprofessional interview etiquette
So, you’ve sourced the ideal candidates and they’re booked in for an interview – you might think that you’ve aced it. But things can still go wrong.
Interviews aren’t just for candidates to sell themselves to you; they’re also for you to sell the benefits of working for your company. Conducting yourself in an unprofessional manner just leads to a negative representation of your company and, if you end up making an offer to candidates, they could reject.
Interested in learning how Webrecruit’s services can help you to improve your candidate experience when recruiting staff? Find out more.