3 voicemails, 2 emails, 3 texts, 2 LinkedIn messages later…still no response.
Are they really this busy? Are they not working today? Did they decide suddenly to live a device/technology free life in hopes to re-focus and re-energize? (how do they look at Instagram? Facebook? The Gym schedule when you know you aren’t really going to go to that yoga class?) The answer would be none of the above. Then why, you ask, was there no response after all of that? That’s a great question, one that I ask myself on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, I still don’t know the answer.
Fortunately, this is not the norm, but when it happens, it can sure ruin everyone’s day!
Let’s be honest, we all have our moments. The email fell below a long string of other very important emails (those 20% Bed, Bath, & Beyond coupons, who doesn’t love those?!), you get busy after you listen to the voicemail and forget to return it, & maybe you saw the text and need to research some things before you respond. So during all of this, tell me, what does this portray to the person on the other end?
Anyone who has gone through the recruiting process, either as a recruiter, candidate, or hiring manager, can agree that more than ½ the time, it is unnecessarily drawn out. Haven’t you ever heard the phrase, “Time Kills all Deals”? (yes you have, admit it). Even the notification of no news is better than nothing at all. Keeping everyone in the loop helps keep that communication going as well as keeping all parties still interested and engaged.
Let’s pretend that you are a hiring manager interested in a specific candidate a Recruiter has submitted to you. They look great on paper, great personality, great everything!! You have a wonderful first conversation and then decide to schedule a follow up call. It all goes downhill from there. The candidate doesn’t return your calls and they randomly respond to your emails with one or two word responses, all the while saying they are sorry. They are busy busy, but they will get back to you soon, because they are very interested in the position! What is your impression of this person from then on out? Yes, they have a job and you like that they are committed to their current company. But does that change your initial impression this person first gave you? Most definitely.
Same goes for the opposite scenario. Keep in mind that a candidate’s first impression of any company/organization is made by the first couple of interactions, which happen during the recruitment process. Lack of communication portrays lack of commitment. It tends to leave a very bad taste in a candidate’s mouth when they do not feel like the company sees them as important, or even as a possible asset to their organization.
It’s also not necessarily too far off to say that how a company treats candidates during the recruitment process is generally a fair indicator of how it treats its staff.
The above scenarios also apply to recruiters. The way you manage the recruitment process is vital to securing the best talent. Communication is one of the most important parts! One of the big frustrations of most candidates is not hearing back – not hearing back on an application, not hearing back on an interview, and not even hearing back on a start date or contract once an indication that an offer is forthcoming. These situations lead to candidates pulling out of the process and spreading that negative message across their own networks.
How can we change this? How can we make ourselves better, as well as the people we interact with in this business? How can we get the deal done?
Tips for better communication:
- Set the communication tone up front
o Let Candidates / Recruiters / Hiring Managers know you will be following up in 48 hours
o Ask how they prefer to be contacted, email might be the worst way, ya never know!
o Find out when is the best time to contact them
o Let them know you will be in contact every couple of days to follow up, etc
o Being an effective communicator means listening as well as talking. Sounds easy, but listening actually takes some work
o Make sure you understand (hear) what they want out of all of this, what they expect from you and what you expect from them
- Make sure you actually follow through with what you said you would
o Actually follow up with them in 48 hours, this lets them know they are important to you and that you respect their time
o Make sure you are in contact every couple of days (or whatever you told them) until the deal is signed
- No news is better than nothing
o Keeping in contact with a candidate, hiring manager, recruiter, company, etc is very important, even if you haven’t heard anything, let them know that, let them know you are still working on it
Again, lack of communication isn’t always the norm, but it does happen. Let’s admit, this is not our first rodeo, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday, but take a second and think about how you are portraying your interest, your company, your organization. Think about that time you didn’t have time to get back with someone or you forgot to respond, which resulted in the loss of a great opportunity. Even though we are well past ringing in the new year, make your resolution to be a great communicator and watch your business grow!