Fortune is in the Follow Up

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As the pandemic starts to dwindle down, the desire for job stability is at an all-time high. As recruiting and HR professionals, it is our duty to give the best candidate experience from initial email/sourcing efforts to final interview and feedback. We hear so often that candidates have been burned in the past by careless recruiting efforts, and it is our job to make sure they have a much different experience. Being and staying employed has never been as important as it is now, seeing that so many people have lost their jobs and may still be employed, seeking new work, not getting the job offer they wanted while still having to somehow support their families.

Hold their hand through the interview process. Be honest, upfront, consultative and stay close to the opportunity on both the client and candidate end. Check-in with candidates and clients for updates on the role, interviews that kick-off, managing start date timeline, and to just say hello/that you are thinking of them.

Interview preps are extremely underrated. These preps are something that I have implemented into my workflow and always do before my candidate goes into a first-round interview. It eases their nerves, provides them insight into the role/culture/company vision &structure. It allows them to ask any questions without judgment and get a better understanding of how to nail the interview and later secure the job offer. I like to do a few of the following things:

  • Send the candidate a fully detailed job description! As well as a link to the website and with confirmed salary included recapping our phone screen. (I speak on salary over the phone first, but follow up a hard copy with these details in the email so there is no back and forth/ bidding wars later on).
  • Send all parties a calendar invite with the job details included and copy the hiring manager and candidate copied. I also include my contact details should they get disconnected over the call/zoom interview. This ties everyone in and dissolves any confusion before the interview kicks off. This also holds all parties accountable for this day and time to be at the interview. Make sure everyone feels prepared and supported, thus leading to a successful interview.
  • Check-in the day before/morning of the interview. Wish the candidate luck, answer any last-minute questions and share some “good interview tips” and “engaging interview questions” examples so the candidate has a few good questions to ask when it is time for this at the end or during the interview. *I remind them to always ask questions. It shows your interest in the role while showcasing your communication skills.
  • Follow up after the interview(s)! I always call and follow up with email/text if I do not hear from the candidate afterward. I also make sure to check in with the client the same or the next day for feedback to relay to the candidate. The quicker the feedback from both ends, the better. It keeps the process in momentum.
  • PRE-CLOSE the candidate once more. Understand the pros and cons to the role, what questions they have after interviewing if any (“If there is something I cannot answer, I have no problem chatting with XYZ client to understand this more in-depth for you!”). Also, recap on salary expectations. “If you were to get an offer from XYZ company, would you accept?”
  • Understand the timeline. Do they need to give a 2- or 3-week notice? If so, setting that expectation with the client prior to an offer.

Follow up as much as possible. Be consultative, be professional, but be a friend. Be the person who cares more, always. Candidates can truly feel that and appreciate that support. Following up has so many benefits to the recruiting process, the client and candidate experience, and the overall lockdown of a hire. Make a point to call first, a voice is more personal. Always send a follow-up email with the information included and a call to action. Ex: Please reply back confirming your interest in XYZ Company’s opening. Also, do not forget to send me an updated resume and professional references attached!” The experience we give to clients and candidates is a direct reflection of the O’Connor Group and our hiring team. Make it the best one they have ever had!