Hiring is like dating. An amazing first date leaves you with a sense of excitement that quickly transitions into anticipation over what will happen next. Hiring works exactly the same way. If you’ve just finished an amazing first interview with a candidate, you can’t wait long before you follow-up. We call it “keeping them warm.” Letting too much time lapse makes your candidate doubt your interest and intentions. He’ll start thinking you’re just not that into him and he’ll begin to look for other opportunities. Here are 5 easy ways to show your commitment to your candidates as you move through the hiring process:
Think about the different steps and milestones that are part of the average hiring process. Phone interviews, testing, in-person interviews, second interviews, offer negotiations, background screens, the list goes on. Communicating your process lets your candidate know what kind of hiring timeline to expect and can help you avoid frustrating conversations over why things are taking so long. When you communicate, your candidate knows all of the hoops he’s jumping through are standard procedure—not due to your doubts over his qualifications.
2. Respond Enthusiastically
When you’re courting potential employees, you have to be energetic and enthusiastic each time you engage. Candidates are especially sensitive to things like tone of voice and body language. They will be wary of vague responses and abrupt communication. Your candidate is trying to gauge your sense of urgency, how invested you are, and what you’ll be like as a boss. Make time to respond and take every opportunity to remind her why she wants to work for you!
3. Double Date
If you’re having a difficult time deciding whether a potential candidate is a good fit, or if you have to come up with a creative way to stall your process a little bit, ask for a second opinion. Schedule drinks or a dinner meeting and invite a couple of your colleagues. You’ll earn points with your candidate, as well as gain valuable feedback from your colleagues.
4. Go All the Way
Be present and committed from the beginning to end of your hiring process. Whatever you do, don’t go radio silent halfway through. Whether intentional or not, unreturned phone calls and emails are a quick way to end any relationship and they literally send a message that says, “We’re just not that into you.”
5. Breaking Up is Hard to Do
Be brave enough to tell a candidate when you’re not choosing to move forward with him. It’s a black mark on your company, and on you personally, if you never tell a candidate that he’s out of the running. Most professionals will be grateful for your transparency and feedback. Some will certainly take this news better than others, but the courtesy and closure will be appreciated.