How to Manage a Candidate When the Employers Take Their Time

Gina Deveney
Posted by in Human Resources

Slow hiring is nothing new, particularly for companies with complex internal processes or long hiring periods. For HR professionals, the lag time makes it difficult to manage job candidates, particularly those who come in at the beginning of the hiring cycle. With effective candidate management strategies, you can avoid losing top talent to other companies.

Communication is crucial when you are trying to manage job candidates during the hiring process. While you are waiting for the final decision, stay in constant communication with job candidates. At least once a week, call or email with an update on the hiring process. Invite candidates to ask questions, and respond quickly. Send literature about the company's most exciting cultural initiatives, employee perks and career development programs. In the early stages, increasing excitement for the job is an effective way to manage job candidates and keep them on the hook. For candidates who are used to dealing with unresponsive corporations, this human touch can make your company stand out from the crowd.

As time passes between the interview and a final hiring decision, candidates may lose sight of their initial connection with the company. They begin to forget how much they loved the office atmosphere or how engaged the employees seemed. To make it easier to manage job candidates, find ways to keep them connected. Invite them to follow the company on social media. Send links to posts from the company blog. If you have videos on file about the company's facilities, either for training or promotional purposes, make them available for candidates to stream online. Record employee testimonials and office tours specifically for potential employees. The regular visual exposure can keep your top contenders feeling connected and enthusiastic about the company and the position, even when they have other offers on the table.

The hiring process is often a competition for the best talent. In order to manage job candidates effectively, you must understand what other companies are offering. The easiest way is to ask candidates about their other offers. Many job seekers, knowing that the information will demonstrate their value, will offer the information readily. Using those details, identify the ways your company can do better and communicate them to each candidate.

When slow hiring reaches a critical point, transparency is key. Job seekers are human; they understand that corporate processes can cause delays. In many cases, the final hiring decision is held up due to a lack of urgency, ineffective management or changing market conditions. Explain the situation candidly, and let candidates know that they are still in the running for the position. If possible, offer positive feedback from their interviews. In doing so, you'll demonstrate your respect for their time without making them think that they are out of the running. If they feel that the company is a good fit, they may be willing to wait.

For many HR professionals, the struggle to manage job candidates is a daily challenge. By becoming an enthusiastic company ambassador and engaging candidates throughout the process, you can find and retain the best people in the industry.

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