How often should you have a touchpoint with a candidate? Every few days? Once a week? If you guessed every few days, you’re right. We recommend checking in with candidates every 2-3 days. The main reason people back out of an opportunity is because they don’t feel connected to it. “It” is a broad term that encompasses a lot of things: the work your company is doing, YOU as the hiring manager, and the culture you’re promoting. It’s important that you recognize the value of connecting with people you’re interested in hiring, and that you strive to nurture and engage them from beginning to end. Letting too much time lapse means your candidates will begin to stray. Here are 3 ways to keep candidates engaged during your hiring process:
1. Maintain Regular Touchpoints
The worst thing you can do when you’re looking to hire is to go radio silent. It’s NOT an employer’s market right now, so this means you’ll have competition for great candidates. A certain amount of “hand-holding” is required to keep qualified people interested. It can be as simple as sending an email with a link to a relevant news article or a post about exciting things coming up at your company. The goal is to stay engaged. If you lose touch with candidates, you run the risk of losing them to another opportunity. Response time is extremely important. Aim to respond quickly—ideally within an hour or two—to calls and emails. If you don’t display a sense of urgency, it may cause your candidate to get cold feet.
2. Reiterate Motivating Factors
It’s important to know what motivates your candidate and the best way to understand this is to ask. Is he motivated by career growth, money, or the promise of flexibility and work-life balance? When you engage with passive candidates (people who are not posting their resume on job boards) you have to have a “hook” or a reason to get them to leave a good job and consider your opportunity. Is he working a 50 hour work week and you’re offering a 40 hour work week? Do you have amazing benefits? Can you offer him the ability to grow professionally into a role he’s always wanted? Remind your candidate that you’re able to help get him where he wants to be!
3. Never Stop Selling
If you don’t know why someone would want to work for your company, how can you expect a newcomer to understand that? Never stop selling potential employees on why it’s great to work for you. In the beginning you’re selling the big picture—potential. As you begin to close someone, you shift to the specifics. If your hiring process requires a candidate to jump through multiple hoops but you haven’t given him any reason to want to jump through those hoops, you’ll quickly lose top talent to a company with an easier/faster hiring process.