Following up with every candidate who applies to your company - whether you decide to hire them or not - is a crucial part of your recruitment process, especially post-interview. But what makes this such a critical step of the process?
We dug deeper into this best practice to explore what following up with candidates after the interview (and throughout the process) says about your organization, and if it's worth taking that extra step.
What Is Candidate Follow-Up?
Candidate follow-up is being in touch with them throughout the interview process. This is typically done before and after the interview when you set up interview times, answer any questions related to the company/position, or inform them on whether or not they were hired.
Here are five reasons why candidate follow-up is critically important, particularly post-interview.
1. Candidate follow-up post-interview closes the loop.
When on the job hunt, the worst feeling is the uncertainty that comes with applying for jobs, and not hearing any word from the company, hiring manager, or recruiter. At Glassdoor, our policy is simple: be fully transparent with candidates, and alert them of our decision as soon as possible.
The minute we know whether it's a firm yes or no, we keep them in the loop. Our advice is to never leave a candidate hanging or waiting for a response.
Some companies are even adding more interviews to their typical process to make up for the lack of in-person meetings. This makes it even more important to close the loop, as candidates are spending more time vying for the job. For example, someone from leadership contacts candidates immediately after our team decides if they're right for the role or not.
At Glassdoor, our sales development team will ask candidates to wait in Glassdoor's lobby while they deliberate, then tell them on the spot if they got the position, providing feedback either way. Policies like these can help provide transparency, clarity on the process, and improve the candidates follow-up experience.
2. Replying and responding to candidates after an interview is respectful.
The application process can be stressful and time-consuming, full of late nights perfecting your résumé and cover letter. It's safe to assume that candidates today spend at least an hour per job application. Even if your post-interview response is automated, it's best to at least send one follow-up email to eliminate the uncertainty that comes with applying for jobs.
While a personalized response to each candidate is ideal, we understand that it's not always possible. According to one report, only 2% of Fortune 500 companies "are communicating the status of a candidate's application throughout the entire duration of the (hiring) process." While it might be impossible to respond to hundreds of applications, it's imperative to give your applicants a positive candidate experience.
You can adopt an Applicant Tracking System, which has the option to send automated responses ranging from "It's not a good fit" to "This position has already been filled, but we'll keep your résumé on file for future positions." These automated post-interview follow-up responses can show that your company appreciates applicants' time and effort.
3. It speaks volumes about your brand.
Your reputation is a significant part of your company brand, and the comments left on your Glassdoor profile about your interview process help shape your brand image. To ensure you receive positive feedback from candidates, it's important to go the extra mile during interviews.
Train hiring managers on how to conduct a successful interview. Stress the importance of being on time, having questions prepared, and reviewing the candidate's résumé before meeting with them.
It might help to add personal touches, like offering candidates a beverage, food, or swag. While these may seem like little additions, these small gestures can have a meaningful impact, and candidates will remember them when leaving a review.
H2: 4. Candidates are going to talk!
In our world of organizational transparency, candidates will judge how they felt during the interview stage, and likely share their experience on sites, like Glassdoor.
Keep this in mind during every step of the interview process, including your candidate follow-up. Expect that candidates will leave reviews, and do everything possible to ensure those reviews reflect positively on your company.
5. Strong candidate follow-up helps drive better talent.
When deciding if they want to work for your company, candidates may visit your Glassdoor profile. According to a Glassdoor survey, nearly 3 in 4 (74%) of Glassdoor users read at least 4 reviews before forming an opinion about a company.
Your interview feedback loop can speak volumes about your brand as a whole: If Glassdoor reviewers say they had a positive experience, it will encourage candidates to apply and interview. If the interview feedback is negative, this could serve as a red flag to potential candidates and may discourage them from continuing with the interview process.
Four out of five (79%) Glassdoor users also said they are more likely to apply to an open position if the employer is active on Glassdoor (e.g. responds to reviews, updates their profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment, etc). If you want to attract strong candidates, make sure you're ticking off key checkboxes, like closing the interview loop.
It's important to not only encourage employees and interviewees to leave feedback on Glassdoor, but to also respond to the feedback they leave! Almost 90% percent of Glassdoor users find the employer perspective important on what it's like to work at the company. If you want to attract the right candidates, put in the time and effort to solidify your company's reputation as one that cares about the interview process.
Leverage Candidate Follow-Up
It's essential to make a plan to close the loop with candidates and improve your company's interview experience. Put yourself in the candidates' shoes to understand how your process can improve. Visit Glassdoor and review your interview feedback to see why candidate follow-up is a crucial step in your recruitment process.
By improving your interview experience with timely candidate follow-up, you can begin to measure and build your employer brand. Using tools like Glassdoor, you can promote your employer brand, advertise jobs, and measure the performance of key initiatives.
How recruiters and hiring managers at your organization engage with candidates matters and will show up in company reviews. To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.