Candidates are developing a perception of your company every step of the recruitment process and it’s reasonable to assume that the impact of candidate experience goes beyond hiring outcomes and is inextricably tied to your employer brand.
Here’s the deal: If candidates develop a poor impression of your company during their interaction with you, they’ll be less likely to apply to your company in the future.
Moreover, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll share their disappointing experience with their peers, friends and fellow colleagues, causing a negative word of mouth to spread that will become increasingly difficult to contain and can significantly hurt your brand.
Candidate experience is thus constantly contributing to your employer brand and impacting how it’s perceived. Hear it from the horse’s mouth: 95% of recruiters say that the nature of the candidate experience they provide impacts their brand.
When it comes to crafting a perfect candidate experience during recruiting events, most recruiters tend to focus on the pre-engagement stage to draw a decent number of visitors, or the on-event strategies, to engage the job seekers. They’ll utilize every platform available to create noise and hype about the event, and then will mobilize a large number of resources to designing fancy booths, roping in qualified booth reps, and handing out snazzy giveaways.
What goes neglected? Post-event follow-up. There happens to be a glaring absence of any initiative on the recruiter’s part to devise and execute a follow-up plan with the applicants. It goes largely overlooked, and while it might seem like a negligible aspect of a much larger process, it does have a huge impact.
After interacting with your company, your candidates will be waiting on pins and needles to hear from you and receive some feedback. A major blunder made by recruiters is that even when they do follow up, invariably, it’s not done in a timely fashion.
This, of course, speaks volumes about the company’s professionalism and modus operandi. Secondly, recruiters often tend to reach out to only the successful candidates, leaving the rejected ones hanging as they anxiously keep checking their inbox, hoping to receive a response.
Delays and tardiness during this stage won’t go unnoticed by your applicants and is likely to convey to the candidates that the organization does not value their comfort and convenience.
More importantly, relationship-building is very important. Whether it’s your successful lot of candidates or the rejected ones, you need to follow up and cultivate a warm and friendly association with them.
With respect to the successful candidates, a timely follow-up allows recruiters the chance to mentally prepare them for what is to come ahead and get them excited and involved in the whole process.
When it comes to those whom you’ve decided to reject, a prompt follow-up will give you the chance to retain a cordial relationship with them and encourage them to apply for future vacancies. This way these candidates will remain a part of your talent pool and because of the consideration you display toward them, will maintain an enthusiasm to work for you.
On the other hand, if you never get back to them with a response, these candidates are highly unlikely to give your company another shot in the future based on their past unpleasant experience.
Following Up Via Email
The best way to reach your applicants is via e-mail. It’s a platform most commonly used for professional correspondence and allows recruiters to develop a personal connection with candidates while at the same time keeping things formal and professional.
When drafting a follow up email, you must be sure to address the following points:
- Thank them for their attendance and mention that you enjoyed meeting them.
- Provide constructive feedback on their performance
- Encourage and motivate them
- Seek Feedback on your recruitment process
Whether you’re writing to tell the candidate that you won’t be processing their application further or that they have made it to the next stage, both types of emails must cover the aforementioned points.
Even the candidates who don’t make the cut need a response and it’s often in poor taste when employers leave them hanging. A lack of response from the employer, be it positive or negative, can be extremely demotivating and can induce feelings of self-doubt for these job-seekers.
Recruiters can compose an encouraging email thanking them for their attendance and identifying the competencies they displayed. They can encourage them to apply for future positions and inform them that their profile has been added to their talent pool. This gives the recruiter the chance to cordially close the process and put the anxious candidates out of their misery.
Secondly, your feedback can enable them to identify their strengths and weaknesses and give them guidance on how they can improve their performance for future opportunities
Here’s an example of a friendly and encouraging rejection email that tactfully conveys the rejection while ensuring that it builds their spirits instead of discouraging them:
Thank you for applying to [Company] for the position of [the position]. We really appreciate your interest in our company and your keen engagement throughout the process. However, we regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate for the position.
While we were particularly impressed with your confidence and your communication skills, we felt you lacked the required experience for the position. We suggest you take a few relevant courses to improve your understanding of the field.
However, we would like to stay in touch with you for future opportunities at [company]. Do let us know if you’d like to be added to our talent community.
Thanks again for taking the time to apply. We’d like to wish all the best for your future endeavors. Good Luck!
Those who are successful in advancing to the next stage need to duly be congratulated and lauded. You should inform them timely so they can mentally prepare themselves for the next stage and do a bit of homework. It’s best to get off on the right foot with them and cultivate a warm equation since you’ll be meeting them again and could possibly even give them the role ultimately. Get them excited about the remainder of the journey and convey the necessary information in time instead of informing them at the eleventh hour.
Here’s an example of a perfect congratulatory email that you can use as a guiding point:
We really enjoyed meeting you at the Career Fair and discuss the position of [position] with us. We’re happy to inform you that you’ve been shortlisted for the second round of interviews. Congratulations!
We were very impressed with your level of confidence and the enthusiasm you displayed to work with us. Your insights on how you could contribute positively to our organization were strongly appreciates and we feel that your academic and professional background makes you a strong candidate for the role.
You’ll be meeting with:
– [NAME] [DESIGNATION]
Are you available on [DATE] at [TIME]? If not, please let us know another date/time that work for you.
The team looks forward to learning more about you.
Pro Tip : Personalization
When drafting a follow-up email, make sure you personalize it. Reach out to your candidates and give them personalized feedback instead of doling out mass rejection/success emails. This will make the candidates feel like their participation was highly valued and that you are completely invested in acquiring the best out there.
Follow-up is not only something that the applicants deserve, but it’s also very important as an employer to keep showing to the candidates that you are dedicated to making the whole process mentally as stress-free as possible.
Sometimes even the smallest gestures can make a big impact. Your employer brand is your biggest asset, and the little things you do to make the hiring process a smooth and easy ride for the candidates will have an impact on how it’s perceived by others. So keep this in mind the next time you feel tempted to skip the hassle of following up!