Three Candidate Communication Mistakes to Avoid, Especially Right Now

Published on 4/14/2020 by David Webb
Last Updated on 10/1/2022

Categories: Candidate ExperienceRecruitingStaffing Agency Software Focus

Tags: candidatesTips

Candidate communication will always be important. Whether we’re in a candidate market or an employer one, dealing with a pandemic or “business as usual.” How you treat candidates is critical to your short- and long-term recruiting success.

But, since we are going through a challenging time right now, it really is important to tread carefully when it comes to candidate communications. Everyone is stressed. Everyone is worried. And when you add to that stress the natural anxiety and worry that comes along with a job search, you end up with candidates who might be sensitive (and understandably so!). 

Keep these candidate communication reminders in mind

The communications you send talent right now have the potential to impact your recruiting efforts for quite some time. To avoid making a critical mistake and ensure a positive candidate experience, here are some key candidate communication mistakes to avoid:

1. Going radio silent

Maybe your hiring is on pause during uncertain times. Or perhaps you’ve hit a roadblock during the hiring process that has resulted in a delay. Constant communication throughout the hiring process is always important, but it’s especially important right now. 

If you’ve hit a delay, communicate that to candidates. If you’ve decided on another candidate, let other candidates know. With unemployment at an all-time high right now, people are nervous about their employment opportunities. Don’t unnecessarily string talent along if you can free them to pursue other opportunities. 

2. Pretending things are normal

Although your business is operating and you are recruiting, it’s safe to say that things are not normal for many people across the country (and the world). While it’s completely acceptable to continue working, it’s also extremely important to acknowledge the situation.

It’s a fine line, though. You don’t want to dwell on the negative. Yet, you don’t want to sound insensitive or tone-deaf during a difficult time. Perhaps you, your employees and your families are all safe (we hope so!). 

Your candidates may have relatives who are sick, may have spouses who have lost their jobs, or are dealing with other fear and uncertainty during this pandemic. Sending communications that are oblivious to the realities many people currently face is a one-way ticket toward upset talent. The ramifications could impact your recruiting in the long run as well. 

3. Sending out too many communications

It really is a fine line, isn’t it? You want your talent to know that you’re still here. But when people are scared, nervous or stressed, sending out too many messages may be just as damaging as not sending enough of them! It’s really an art and a science  - there is no concrete formula to help you determine how often to communicate with talent.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

> Communicate when you have something important to say. Is there an update on your decision? Need to set a date/time for the second interview? Want to confirm your upcoming interviews? These are all logical times to reach out. 

> Reach out when they haven’t heard from you in a while. This is the gray area. It’s hard to know when “in awhile” is when it comes to communications. If you’ve been previously communicating once or twice a week, it’s safe to say that if a candidate hasn’t heard from you in a week, you may want to touch base with an update (even if the update is that there is no update!). For dormant candidates, you may want to ping them with a short “thinking of you” message to remind them that you’re here and that you are thinking of them right now.

> Respond to questions or requests for information. It should go unsaid, but if someone reaches out to you with a question about jobs or about the hiring process, or if people are looking for information about your company and its opportunities, you’ll want to follow up with them as soon as possible. 

The right technology can bolster your candidate communications.

Your ATS serves as the recruiting technology hub of your department. BrightMove was designed to simplify candidate communications and provide you with the data and capabilities you need to effectively and efficiently engage talent. To learn more or to see our platform in action, contact us to schedule a demo. 

About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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