If your email inbox is anything like mine, it can get filled up rather quickly! When candidate recruitment season rolls around, it is especially important to make sure you have a grasp on all of your inboxes, including email, voicemail, and any social media accounts used for recruitment purposes. And if you are managing multiple searches, the volume can add up quickly.
As you prepare to enter the recruitment season, I share with you some of tips I use, in hopes you will find a nugget to help you through recruitment season:
As the title says, timely candidate communication is the key to staying connected to your candidates. Use the “end-of-day” philosophy as frequently as possible – before leaving the office for the day, ensure you’ve replied to all candidate messages, even if it’s to indicate a more in-depth response in the morning (and follow through!). If your email inbox is the black hole of email, be sure you have a strategy in place to check for candidate emails.
Treat All Candidates Fairly
We’ve all had the “less-than-qualified” candidates come through our processes, and while we would rather spend our energy and time focusing on the candidates we “can’t let get away,” we also have to consider the equity in time all candidates deserve. Even more so, make it a priority to return calls or emails to all candidates within the “end-of-day” philosophy. As we share with candidates, you never know who your candidates may be connected to!
It is equally as important to personalize communication with candidates, as you are able. Including information from a cover letter or resume, or mentioning something from a conversation, goes a long way in candidates feeling connected to you, the department, and the institution. I have had colleagues and candidates all comment about the feedback they have received or given around how they have felt more valued in a search process when they know a potential employer has taken the time to look at their documents or reflect on a conversation.
This seems obvious, right? If you and your team are committed to recruiting the best of the best, as is our philosophy, it is imperative to make sure you follow through on things you say you will do. Does a candidate want to negotiate for something in their package that is not already included? Give them a time frame in which you will reach back out to them with an answer – and meet it! If you share a timeline, be sure you commit yourself to it, too! If you are not able to meet that deadline, it is fine to reach back out and let the candidate know what your new timeline is and why you may need more time. This also gives the candidate an opportunity to make decisions on their end, too, as they are likely in many searches at the same time. Being upfront, honest, and timely with your candidates makes you both a credible employer and transparent in your process – that’s a win-win in my book!
Alternate Forms of Communicating
As institutions become more competitive, and society heads down the path of immediate answers, it creates a tricky balance of communicating with candidates. I am a professional who gives my cell phone out fairly freely to folks, and when candidates come to campus, they are no exception! This allows for candidates to get “quick questions” answered without the need to draft a formal-feeling email. It also allows for logistical mishaps in travel or accommodations to quickly be addressed, if needed. At times I have found I make offers after hours so calling from my cell phone is the only option for me; the candidate may as well have my number so they know who is calling them!
Like much of the work we do, communication is key with our candidates. Because they are making decisions quickly, we owe it to them to address any questions or communication they have with us in a timely manner. While we know they are interviewing with us, we are also interviewing with them, so why not put our best foot forward?
This post is part of our #SArecruits series, which will share experiences from a variety of #SApros who have hired new employees. We hope that these stories will give great insight for both professionals looking to improve their hiring tactics, and also those on the job search looking for an inside perspective. For more information, please see Bill Mattera’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Quint Geis on #SAGrad, Life, and Job Searching