Recruiting In 3D

Workshop Recap: Build Your Agency’s Talent Pipeline

I had the opportunity to attend a workshop last week, sponsored by DiceTMP DiceGovernment and the Partnership for Public Service, which centered on how to effectively build talent pipelines for your agency. Much of the content was centric to the federal sector, but as always it contained some relevant information for public and private alike. In addition to a lineup of well-informed speakers, they also included a panel of young professionals that helped drive home the message of the day: Recruiting needs to keep evolving. Read More

Candidate Experience: To Call Or Not To Call

As we all know by now, candidate experience is all the rage, and rightfully so. When the lifeblood of your career in this industry is based on your relationships with the people you interact with, this is exceptionally true.  But ensuring each candidate gets 1:1 personal treatment can be a daunting task, and in many cases, so overwhelming that communication gets ignored completely. And closure (of any kind) is important to a candidate. After all, it’s stressful to be in a full-on job search. Not hearing anything back only compounds this stress.

From a recruiter’s perspective, we ideally want to be able to provide that personal touch and experience for all candidates. However, reality can set in, and being able to personally call or talk to each candidate who has applied becomes nothing more than fantasy. But for many of the people we connect with, knowing where they stand is just good enough.  Don’t believe that? Sift through the results of any of the last few years of the Candidate Experience Awards data. It matters

And when closing the loop, how do you decide when to call and when to just email? Sadly, it’s not an exact science. But then again, recruiting isn’t an exact science either, which further muddies the waters. There aren’t rules, only guidelines, and the guidelines can vary from recruiter to recruiter and industry to industry.  So, here’s a sample framework for knowing which method of response to use when closing the loop. Your individual preference may vary.

Scenario 1: Candidate Application – No Contact – Rejection

Depending on the size of your company, the amount of openings you have, the size of your team, and how broadly you post your jobs, your candidate flow will vary. Candidates who aren’t even remotely qualified will apply for your jobs. It may not be realistic to reach out individually and personally to each person.

If they’ve applied, but there has been no direct contact, it’s OK to close things out with an email. It’s even acceptable if it is a form email. It’s something. And it’s even better if the email from your ATS (or Outlook?) comes from a real person’s email address.  Yeah, you’ll get the occasional crazy, but they are the exception and not the rule. And what if you get a referral for this or another role, just because they were impressed that you took the time to respond? This is worth it for the positive perception it builds with candidates. From a candidate’s perspective, the relief comes in knowing “hey at least they let me know I didn’t get it”

Side Note: Your internal practices may dictate additional steps, based on the structure of your company’s Employee Referral Program, so keep that in mind.

Scenario 2: Phone Interview Rejection

Let’s take it a step further, and say that they had a 20-30 minute call with you, the recruiter. But after speaking with them and reviewing your notes, or discussing their profile with the hiring manager, they are determined to not be a fit. In this case, you’re probably covered if you just send a personalized email saying that you are not moving forward, but would keep them in mind for the future opportunities. You’re fostering some trust with the candidate, and that is valuable in 3 months if they are a great fit for a new role.

On the other hand, if the candidate has had a phone interview with the manager, you can go either way. It really depends on your experience and relationship with the candidate. There isn’t a hard-and-fast catch all for how you should play this. That said, any written communications should be personalized and definitely not form emails. After all, they did spend anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes cumulatively talking with you and the hiring manager, so if you need to email, make it personal.

Scenario 3: In-Person Interview Rejection

Without question, this is the easiest one of the bunch. This is always a personal call. Always. Always. This person came in for several hours to get grilled by the hiring team. There’s a good chance they probably did the “Superman Change” if they were headed back to their job, and they took time off work to come meet with your company. Call them and explain that they didn’t get the job. Provide feedback if you are able (and if you are comfortable with this). Essentially, you want to provide them the soft landing that you’d want for yourself. Few other things in the candidate experience realm can be more damaging to your reputation as a recruiter and a company than to not provide any response to someone who came in to meet you. Unless of course, you used the form email.


Because candidates matter. Because your professional reputation matters. And most importantly, one day you’ll likely be in that same spot looking for some type of closure about a job.

This post first appeared on SourceCon on January 8, 2015

Respect Is Reciprocal

respectThere’s quite a bit of chatter about candidate experience these days, and rightfully so. For far too long, candidates would be treated more like a number or a task than a human being, in essence, it’s about respect.

However that has begun to change, and the change is evident by the rise in awareness by recruiters and organizationsSo, while this is a great time of awakening for the rapport between candidates and recruiters, it still has a ways to go before it comes full circle. While I won’t go into the full spectrum of what still needs to happen, I want to provide an example of something that happened to me recently in regard to respect. Read More

Why Reference Checks Need To End

The recruiting industry should be proud of itself. In the last 15 years that I’ve been fortunate to be a recruiter, I’ve spent time on the agency side, in-house corporate roles, and as a consultant (a real one, not the unemployed kind). I’ve been privy to seeing a number of amazing technological transformations in this industry that really only come along once in a generation. I’m constantly amazed – if not a little overwhelmed – at all the tools and technology we have at our disposal. We’ve been able to eliminate a lot of manual processes and busy work.

However, I’m mystified at the reluctance of companies in virtually every industry to begin moving away from one of the oldest, most useless processes HR and recruiting have ever embraced, the reference checking process. Yep, I think reference checks are garbage. And yes, while you may still need to do them and , they are about as useful as a North Face parka in Oahu…. ever. Read More

Counteroffers In The Candidate-Driven Market

In what has shifted to a very clear candidate-driven market, candidates have more opportunity for choice among the offers they are fielding. At a quick glance, this is great news for those who have been slogging through a difficult last few years. Since the recession took hold, the market has been largely employer-driven, giving companies the opportunity to be selective about who they bring on board.

A deeper look uncovers a much more unwelcome trend. As with any candidate-driven market, the incidence of candidates accepting counteroffers and/or reneging on offers tends to increase. This is detrimental to both the company hiring and the candidate who experiencing second thoughts. On the company side, there are costs associated with advertising and recruiting for a position. In addition, there is the cost of time spent on interviewing. The interviewing cycle takes time away from completing company initiatives. For those companies, this process needs to begin all over again. Read More

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