The Candidate Experience in Tough Times

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As a Talent Consultant at Hire Ventures, I work hard to lead clients through challenges that come in the recruitment cycle. Generally, they include sourcing strategies, culture fit, salary negotiations and process hiccups. While those issues are challenging, they pale in comparison to struggles many employers and recruiters are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout.

Many companies have been forced to hold recruiting and are doing their best to keep business going in order to keep their current employees on the payroll. This means that hopeful candidates (some who have lost their jobs) will lose another opportunity to land their next job.

In times like these, it’s more important than ever to practice compassionate recruiting and pay attention to your candidate experience. Crises and challenges are “make or break” moments for brands which include your employer brand, and the way you treat candidates now WILL be a consideration in the future.

Providing an exceptional candidate experience doesn’t require massive amounts of time or money, but rather sensitivity, patience, and kindness. Simple strategies go a long way in showing candidates you care:

  • Use your Applicant Tracking System (our preferred partner is JazzHR) to create custom, bulk action email templates alerting candidates to a recruitment hold.
  • Include your LinkedIn profile in email correspondence to connect with candidates online.
  • Take time each day to respond to candidate emails or LinkedIn messages about recruitment.
  • Use social media platforms as a communication tool to keep candidates in-the-know about your company’s initiatives, timelines, and goals.

Just this week, I used these strategies to pause recruitment for a VIP client and the results were incredible.img_61894 Hours after sending our bulk action email, I received close to 100 LinkedIn connection requests and candidate emails thanking our client for keeping them informed.

“It’s nice to hear from a company that cares” and “Thank you for doing the right thing” were just some of the responses, and countless others encouraged the team to “keep in touch” and “stay healthy” as the pandemic progressed.

What struck me the most was not just the level of follow-through from candidates but also their genuine understanding of and appreciation for our client’s gesture. In reading the responses there’s a true sense of comradery, and I know these candidates will keep their positive experience in mind when (not IF) they apply in the future. 

Our Technical Talent Consultant, Ankit, had an experience that mirrored my own. While winding down recruitment for this same client, he found the software engineers and developers (especially those in late-stage interviews) responded very well to personalized emails and LinkedIn connection requests that kept them informed about the process. For Ankit and the entire Hire Ventures team, honest communication and a commitment to an exceptional candidate experience are not just expected, but standard practice as we guide clients through their recruitment journey.

“I try to be honest and straightforward, the engineers just want to know what’s going on… It’s a tough time for everybody.” – Ankit Dogra

While these are challenging times, there are better days ahead. Your recruitment initiatives may be on hold today but soon you’ll be hiring again, and the strategies you put in place NOW will impact the success you have in the future. Take the time to send those personalized notes, make online connections, respond to those messages, and check in on your candidates. You’ll see your efforts pay off when high-quality candidates return to your recruitment pool more excited than ever to join a company they know truly cares.

Looking for recruitment strategy advice or HR support during the COVID-19 pandemic? Contact our team or schedule a call with our Founder, Teresa Murphey, today!