Staffing Resources


Are You Losing Great Candidates? The Importance of Follow Up

February 21st, 2014

After you’ve weeded through countless resumes, interviewed some promising candidates and picked the best, the other candidates have all been forgotten. Oftentimes, this is the stark reality of the recruitment game. However, have you ever stopped to think about how many great candidates your company could be missing out on, because you don’t routinely follow up?

Think about it for a moment. The candidates that you did not choose to interview or hire had some excellent backgrounds, credentials, and references. While they may have not been the perfect fit for the initial assignment, they very well could have the right qualities and skills that your company could use for future recruitment initiatives. Therefore, it makes good sense that you’ll want to find a way to keep these people in your talent pool.

What are some other reasons to follow up with candidates?

Along with having a few good candidates to turn to when you are ready to recruit for more assignments, there are some other valid reasons for following up with those who did not make the cut this time.

Fosters Good Will and Brand Reputation

What kind of message do you send when you simply ignore rejected candidates? Instead, take the time to build your brand and foster good will and positive interactions with candidates at every opportunity. Ultimately, this is going to work in your favor as a recruiter as you become known for treating candidates well.

Establishes Hiring Expectations

From the moment that an individual applies for a work opportunity with your company, you only have one chance to establish clear expectations about the hiring process. An immediate email follow up to set the stage is critical. This gives the candidate an idea of what they can expect, proving structure to your hiring process.

Provides Respectful Closure for Candidates

In any industry, there are companies that have built a reputation for treating candidates with respect and dignity during the hiring process. Follow up in the form of an email, a mailed note, or a phone call is demonstrating this respect. At the same time, it gives candidates closure so they can move on to the next job search activity.

How to Successfully Follow Up with Candidates

If you think following up has to be overly complicated or time consuming, which is why you never get around to it, think again. There are some methods of following up that are easy.

  • Set up email auto responders – The most convenient way to follow up with candidates is to create a series of email auto response messages. Either write them and save them to a document, or add them to your email messaging system. At each stage of the recruitment process, send the appropriate follow up by email, automating it using email folders.
  • Create a candidate thank you note – Receiving a rejection letter is the pits. Instead, surprise candidates by sending them a thank you note by mail. Let them know you appreciate their interest, and advise them on next steps.
  • Print out candidate rejection postcards – To save time (and postage) add your note to printable postcards and have plenty on hand to send out each week. Make it a point to send them on Fridays or during the less busy portion of your week.
  • Call candidates you’ve interviewed in person – If you have actually interviewed the candidates in person, be sure to schedule a short time to call each candidate and thank them for their time. Invite them to apply for future positions and advise them that you are keeping their resume on file for 6 months.

These are the preferred methods of following up with candidates. You may want to outsource some of the above steps by having another member of your HR staff help out. Just keep it simple and professional, and your recruitment efforts will pay off in the long term. When going through a staffing agency in Atlanta GA, you can find out what follow ups they conduct with candidates too. This can save you from having to perform this task in most cases.

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