How to Keep Talent Interested in a Lengthy Interview Process

Hiring someone isn’t hard. Hiring someone great can still prove to be a challenge to this day-and you need to keep these people interested at every step of the process.

Believe us when we say that the best prospects have options, and they can cash in on them if your organization doesn’t have its act together.

Implement these tactics to keep your prospects in the loop. It will pay off immediately.

Stay in Contact Every Week

First off, don’t go for long stretches of time without contacting the person. It sounds obvious, but so many employers do it that our jaw hits the floor.

How often should you stay in contact? Once a week at least. Larger corporations with full-time Human Resources people on payroll should probably check in every 3-4 days to update candidates. Remember that the candidates have their own life circumstances that probably won’t wait for a five-week interview process without a word.

You don’t even need to have substantial updates. Just make it clear that they’re high on your priority list and value their time and sanity as much as your own, within reason.

Demonstrate a Good Culture

Keeping in frequent contact also displays the kind of culture that the best candidates can expect. Every candidate deserves that kind of respect, truthfully, and you never know who’s going to end up being your choice once the dust settles at the end of the interview process.

Send personalized messages instead of canned messages. People will know and automated message when they see one. Generic messages don’t provide any real updates for candidates, anyway.

The key is to make them feel valued. Do that and you’ll be several steps ahead of your competitors.

Connect Candidates With Actual Team Members

Companies that have something to hide don’t let you talk to anyone other than HR people.

Introduce them to some team members instead. First, it’s transparent behavior-that’ll build trust with candidates immediately. It gives the candidate a legitimate view into your company too. You’d ask neighbors about a property before buying and moving in, right?

It also gives outsiders the opportunity to see your employees smiling, living a balanced life, and succeeding in their professional goals. That shouldn’t scare you. If it does, then you’ll need a cultural consultation.

Nothing welcomes incoming candidates like going out for a coffee or lunch before they’ve even arrived. Let your team take off some of the burden of social proof.

Ask your employees what they think of candidates after they’ve met each other, too. It’s a two-way street.

Give Them Swag

Swag isn’t just about advertising. It’s about making your team (or fans) build their identities by associating with your own brand. It’s not just good for marketing purposes, either.

What better way to build good will and make people feel like they’re a part of the team than with some free swag?

What’s more, you can start building that rapport without having “sealed the deal.” It builds an emotional conneciton that can add that extra advantage when you can’t offer quiteas much money as a competitor, or if the candidate would have to commute farther than they used to.

This doesn’t need to be expensive! Try these:

  • Laptop stickers
  • Water bottles
  • Tote bags
  • Branded coffee/tea mugs

Any of those will do, and they’re all useful.

Level With Prospects on Advancement

Everybody wants to advance their careers. There’s really no shame in that, so don’t treat candidates like a cog in the machine.

They want to move up, and they can earn their way with hard work. Make that clear from the get-go.

This isn’t greed, of course. It’s how companies incentivize good work and growth.

Let candidates know what they can expect, and actively ask them about where they want to go. There’s no taboo on the idea of people leaving a company anymore-not if you put in a few good, hard-working years at a given place.

They’ll candidates want you to understand that, and not freak out if they ever wish to move on.

It also clarifies that you want them to grow with your organization rather than just staying in one role forever.

Take Notes From Your Recruiter

Did you find it annoying when your parents’ friends asked you the same questions about which grade you were in as a child, every single time a new adult met you?

Job seekers don’t like being asked the same things over and over again, either. Don’t restart the conversation every time you speak to them-continue it and go deeper. Similarly, pass on interview notes to every person interfacing with candidates.

It’s a two-way street: they get to learn more about your organization and how it can grow, while you can learn more about how the candidate thinks.

That’s exactly what an interview should be.

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