How do you deal with all the emails and applications you receive from candidates? You probably get a lot and there may be some you know exactly what to do with: either put them forward for a position or reject their application. Unfortunately, there can also be others that you are not sure how to deal with. It is much easier to just ignore them than try to have a difficult conversation, e.g. rejecting them or trying to convince them to wait until you have something for them. But knowing what to do with them and how to ensure that they all stay happy with you and your agency can be difficult.
In general, there are three types of candidates that recruiters deal with on a regular basis:
- Those they do not want to work with
- Those they want to work with but don’t have a position for at the moment
- Those that they have a position for straight away
Most recruiters only contact those in the third category and don’t respond to the others at all. While this makes sense in that these candidates are the only ones who they can help at the moment, it can alienate a huge amount of people. Getting ignored by a recruiter can leave a bad taste in your mouth and create a negative image of the agency. Getting in touch with everyone can provide many more benefits than you might think. We have some tips for how you can make the most out of each candidate who contacts you.
1. Candidates You Don’t Want To Work With
For the first category, many recruiters would not bother getting in touch with them to let them know that they aren’t going to work with them. Everyone knows how irritating it is when no one responds to your application or question, so you don’t want to do that to candidates. While they may not be someone you think you can place, you do not want to annoy them to such an extent that they start badmouthing your company. Letting them know that you do not have a position for them, and that you don’t feel that they have a skill set that you would be able to help them with can leave them with a better perception of the company than if you ignore them entirely. A definitive negative response is still better than being left hanging and ignored. You want to keep them happy while turning them away. One way to do this is to suggest that they keep looking at the jobs listed on their website and try applying to them and to suggest that they refer anyone they know whose skill set is a better match for you. If they get some form of compensation for their referral and feel like you are treating them respectfully they will leave much happier despite their rejection. You may also get several good leads from these unsuccessful candidates that you would not have gotten if you had simply ignored them.
2. Candidates You Want To Work With But No Position Available
The second category can be just as hard to deal with, despite you having a more positive message for them. You may not have the right position for them at the moment but that does not mean that you don’t want to work with them in the future. You may not want to contact them until you have something for them but not contacting them at all can mean that they move on to another agency and you lose great potential candidates. Letting them know that you think they have an interesting CV and that you would love to work with them in the future can discourage them from moving on to another agency while they wait. Ask them if there is anywhere they think they could work well and why. Finding out where they would like to work and what they can offer the company means that you can get in touch with them on their behalf. This may end with you placing them in a position that they hadn’t originally applied for. One thing to be careful of is making sure that they do not feel that they are doing all the work. Get as much information as possible to go to their desired company but tell them what you are going to do for them so that it is clear that you are working for them. If you don’t, they may think there is no point dealing with you as they can do it all themselves.
3. Position Available for Candidate Now
The third category of candidates may seem like the easiest to know how to deal with but there can still be challenges in keeping in contact with them and keeping them happy while their application is being processed. The time between when the candidate is first put forward for a role and when they get called for an interview and then until they get an offer or rejection can be very long. During this time the candidate can get annoyed with the lack of information they are receiving. While you may be getting in touch with the company on their behalf, often you can be blocked out and not given any real updates on the process. Responding to this lack of information by not contacting your candidate can annoy them and make them feel like nothing is happening. They will feel the need to call you, and then get no new information, making them feel that you are not working hard enough for them. Simply keeping them updated regularly, even if the company is not telling you anything can help. Telling them what you are doing, how many times you have contacted the company and what little they have told you can assure the candidate that you are taking them seriously and putting in the effort for them.
Keeping everyone happy can be very hard, especially with the large volume of applications that recruiters receive. These tips can lead to all candidates being significantly happier with the agency, regardless of whether they end up working with them or getting placed by them. There are several ways to improve the way that you communicate with candidates, leading to a better relationship all around.