The recruitment process has always demanded a considerable amount of planning from HR teams. After all, if your hiring strategy is poorly developed, you can’t get the most effective candidate who could join your team.
At the same time, you should also know what your follow-up strategy plan is to be able to deal with candidates after the interview. Here is the ultimate guide on how to create an effective candidate follow-up strategy.
#1 Improve Your Communication
First and foremost, you need to think about your communication. If you don’t improve your communication, you shouldn’t even hope for a good candidate follow-up strategy that will actually be effective. In fact, communication is one of the biggest pain points for businesses both big and small – and this isn’t only a concern for HR teams because communication is poor throughout entire companies.
One way to significantly improve your communication is by determining which method works best in your company and by having a set of rules for proper communication. For instance, you could be using emailing on Gmail and messaging on Slack with certain rules for who can contact whom and during which hours. Once you improve the communication inside your company, you will be able to improve it specifically for following up on candidates.
#2 Build Lasting Relationships
Another thing you should really focus on is building lasting relationships. In some companies, the candidates are informed about the results right after the interview while in other companies the recruiting process is much longer. In addition to that, some companies prefer keeping in touch with rejected employees while others don’t. The important thing to remember is that your relationship with the candidate starts way before the interview.
But even if you know that you are trying to make a good impression before the interview, you should also remember to do this after the interview and at every other stage of the recruiting process. Even if the candidate was rejected, you should still continue building a long-term relationship with them because they might join your team in the future, or they could recommend someone else who might join your team. Either way, it’s a win for you.
#3 Make Email Your Best Friend
There are many channels that you can use for communication, but by far the most effective one is email. This is why making email your primary channel for communication is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your candidate follow-up strategy. Here are some benefits of using email:
- It lets you add pretty much any files to your messages that might not be supported on other platforms. Bigger files will sometimes require cloud storage, but they usually don’t become a big issue.
- It lets you write lengthy messages and format them nicely. You don’t need to worry about having to break down your emails into parts like you would with some messaging platforms that have a word limit for messages.
- It prevents information loss because everything is delivered in a written form. It is also a professional channel for communication that can be accessed on-the-go from almost any location.
#4 Don’t Just Assume Things
One big mistake that almost everyone makes at one point or another – or even regularly – is assuming things to be a certain way. Sometimes, such assumptions can be true, but other times they simply aren’t. And even though some assumptions may not do a lot of harm because they are pretty minor, most assumptions, if proven incorrect, can have a lot of influence, especially negative. This is why you should never just assume things.
When creating your candidate follow-up strategy, it’s much better to look at past experiences and statistics as well as consult experts to decide what should be your further actions in certain situations. For example, dealing with a rude candidate making a scene should not be done intuitively. You need to have a set of rules on how to deal with such a situation based on your past professional experiences with rude employees or clients. This way, you ensure that you are doing the right thing instead of assuming and further worsening the situation.
#5 Use Help from Without
If you really want your candidate follow-up strategy to be a success, you need to understand that using some help from without will really aid you in difficult situations, so you shouldn’t shy away from seeking such help. Most of the time, “help from without” can be understood as various tools, apps, and programs you use in your recruiting process to make it smoother and more comfortable for every party involved, from employers to HR agents to candidates.
For example, you could hire a professional writer from a writing services review site like Pick The Writer where you can compare different freelance writers by reputation, skills, and experience. This writer can then write job ads for you as well as help you with writing response emails after the candidate interviews are over. Other tools you can use include spelling and grammar checkers, platforms for communication, and visual content editors.
#6 Offer Other Positions
One way to make sure that everything you have done with the candidate doesn’t go to waste is to try to offer them other positions at your company. After all, you already reviewed their resume and conducted an interview with them, so you probably have an idea about their strengths and weaknesses.
If you are looking for multiple positions to be filled, perhaps this person who applied for one role will be more suitable for another one. But even if you weren’t originally looking to fill in a certain position, you could still hire a talented candidate to make your team stronger.
#7 Refer Candidates to Others
That being said, there will still be situations when you simply can’t afford to hire yet another person no matter how talented, skilled, or experienced they might be. This is the time when you can actually refer the person to others.
For instance, you might be in a close partnership with a similar company to yours (so you aren’t exactly competitors per se) that could benefit from a candidate like the one you just rejected. By referring the person to them, you are not just strengthening your relationship with the company but also with the candidate.
#8 Connect on Different Platforms
Speaking of your relationship with the candidate, it is important to make sure that you have a lasting connection with them. And what better way to do this than literally connect with them on different platforms? LinkedIn, Facebook, any other professional or semi-professional network will do just fine.
By connecting with them on different platforms, you link them to your company yet again even if they don’t actually end up working for you. If they are a freelancer, you might hire them for a project in the future which could be profitable both for you and for them. If they aren’t a freelancer, you could still get in touch with them later on once a relevant position is available at your company.
#9 Collect Feedback from Candidates
No matter how much time and effort you put into your candidate follow-up strategy, you will not be able to make it perfect. However, you can still keep improving it time and time again to make sure that it keeps up with the universal standards and new trends. Besides, you might not be aware of certain flaws in your strategy that need to be eliminated or improved.
This is when candidate feedback comes in. You will be surprised by how effective it can be if done right. All you need to do is put together a survey just long enough to be insightful but not too long that it becomes a bore for your candidates. Then, you can send out this survey after the interview or at the end of the recruiting process to collect valuable data.
#10 Adjust Your Strategy If Needed
Once you have the data ready, you can analyze it to determine the biggest issues with your candidate follow-up strategy as well as with your recruiting process as a whole. Then, you will need to adjust your strategy if you see big problems. How you adjust is already up to you because there are different solutions that can work for different situations.
What you should remember is that you shouldn’t stress about adjusting your candidate follow-up strategy too often because it might become counterproductive. If you hire new employees fairly regularly, you can schedule these feedback sessions from time to time instead of conducting the surveys every single time you want to enlarge your team. The point is to update your strategy when it really needs improvement (e.g. it became outdated).
All in all, having a well-developed candidate follow-up strategy is crucial for your recruitment process, so make sure to follow the steps in this article and use the tips effectively to create a strong post-interview candidate strategy.
Dominic Beaulieu is an expert writer who specializes in creating various training and professional upgrade courses, materials and manuals. He mainly writes on development, digital marketing, design, business strategies, etc. This breadth of specialization allows him to write expert columns on the most pressing topics in today’s society and creating writing reviews in Writing Judge.