Prompt Communication: A Fundamental Practice for Positive Candidate Experience

Posted on: in [ Hiring, Recruiting, Staffing and Employment ]

Prompt Communication: A Fundamental Practice for Positive Candidate Experience

As recruitment specialists, we see the strengths and weaknesses of employee attraction across multiple industries. The one piece of feedback that is consistent from potential employees, no matter what you specialize in, is that businesses struggle to respond promptly to candidates.

For some, this might not seem like a huge deal. However, if you respond promptly, you automatically set yourself apart from the competition.

We can imagine that you have several follow-up questions to this bit of advice. So, we asked our experts to go into detail about the timing of communication with applicants.

Q: What is an appropriate amount of time to wait before responding to a candidate throughout the entire process?


A: After a candidate applies, respond within no more than 72 hours; the quicker the better. Jobs with candidates in demand (i.e. sales and technical roles, skilled trades, truck drivers), require faster responses. Active candidates don’t have time or won’t wait on you. It’s far too easy to apply for jobs. If candidates don’t hear from you, they’ll move on quickly. This results in a waste of your advertisement investments. Take advantage of auto responses in your applicant tracking system to help you with this.


Q: What is the best way to respond to a candidate when you need more time to make a decision and evaluate other candidates?


A: Don’t overcomplicate it. Be honest with candidates and tell them exactly where you’re at. Give them a realistic timeline and don’t string them along. If you need more time to make a decision and evaluate all candidates, simply tell them so. When communicating this, refrain from saying “other candidates” because it infers that they are no longer being considered. Let them know they are still being considered as well, but you wanted to keep them updated during the process.


Q: How should a company tell a candidate they are no longer being considered?


A: If a candidate has invested time in interviewing with you, it’s a a best practice to give them the courtesy of a call and email. If a candidate has applied and not interviewed, an email communication would be appropriate. Thank the candidate for their interest in the opportunity and their time. Keep communication positive and general; specifics as to why they are no longer being considered should not be included. The No. 1 complaint from candidates is lack of communication. Incorporating this best practice into your recruiting process will exponentially improve your candidate experience.

Use these quick tips to help your organization stand out from other companies competing for top candidates. For more hands-on help, check out Skywalk Group’s recruiting services to see how we can step up your recruitment game.