Communication in the hiring process: Everybody wants it. Few do it. Why?


A report this week cited statistics about candidate relationship management during the recruiting process. What did we learn? Candidates want real, human relationships during the hiring cycle rather than automated, impersonal processes. They want updates. They want feedback. They want explanations. While you might not have all the answers as a recruiter, good communication makes a difference. Candidates need to understand how the staffing cycle challenges recruiters. Let’s bridge the gap and understand each role better.

Remember that recruiters manage the process and often want the same information as you. When candidates clamor desperately for feedback after the big interview, the recruiter actively pursues the client contact for information. Background checks, another common waiting period, require time and a process beyond the recruiter’s control. I hear one frequent complaint from recruiters about candidates: availability. Make sure that you as a candidate tell the recruiter when you can talk with them (some prefer to talk outside of business hours) and stay true to your word. Answer the phone, respond to email and don’t prolong your own hiring process!

Recruiters should bear in mind that every hiring development affects the candidate’s livelihood and career. Every step of the process matters for the position immediately in front of them and their future professional pursuits. From the moment you describe the role and client, your clarity attracts candidates who expect updates regularly as the process progresses.

Recruiters and candidates should answer three questions when they communicate:

  1. Where is the candidate in the process?
  2. How could the candidate improve his or her perceived employability (either in preparation for the next step or a retroactive discussion about what happened in a past step of the process)?
  3. What next steps can the candidate take to advance their career?

The first question gets everyone on the same page. The second requires some coaching from the recruiter, often based on the role. For example, recruiters might ask candidates to highlight particular experiences in an upcoming interview. Recruiters might offer salary negotiation advice to a candidate grappling with an offer that pays too little. This important question plays into the third where candidates and recruiters work together to move forward. This may mean in a different role starting the process over; however, answering this question directs the next step.

Think about your career’s next steps often? Consider submitting your resume to a staffing firm. Allow a recruiting team to find your next great opportunity!

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