Keeping Promises During the Interview Process

By Rhonda Werner, Recruiting Consultant – Partner

Candidate:  “Wow, I really thought we’d have heard from X company by now. They said they would get back to me by Tuesday and it’s now Friday.”

Recruiter:  “I know. I’ve left them two voicemails and an email and still haven’t heard a peep.”

Candidate:  “If this is how they treat me, is this how they treat their customers and all their employees?  I’m not sure I want to work for a company like that.”

If I had a dollar for every conversation, I’ve had with a candidate that went pretty much just like the above dialogue, well, I’d have a lot more money than I do today.

We stress with candidates that First Impressions are key when interviewing.  Dress for success.  Look them in the eye.  Be prepared.  But little is said about the impressions that a client gives during the ENTIRE interview process.  While that first impression is important for landing top talent, it seems to fall apart as the process continues.

You can wow the candidate in the interview, or even series of interviews, but when you start breaking promises in the interview process, what kind of impression does that leave a candidate? They start second-guessing if you are the type of organization they want to work for.

Communication is key. ALWAYS. If you tell me as the recruiter, and/or the candidate, that you will have an update, or feedback or an offer by X date and that day comes and goes without so much as an email saying, “Hey sorry, we’ve had some delays, it looks like it will be Friday before we can get back to you,” it really leaves a poor impression with the candidate.

Common courtesy goes a long way, and we see less and less of it. Ghosting me or a candidate because you are interviewing other people, or just do not have all the information yet, only makes your company look bad. We would rather have the truth, or at least an update that you will miss your initial timeline, rather than hearing nothing for 5 days.

To me, it is all about treating others how you want to be treated. Time is of the essence in the interviewing process and while things sometimes get drug out for reasons out of your control, the ability to communicate that with the candidate shows that you have sincere interest in them for the role and interest in keeping your promises. Silence only breeds an imaginative array of scenarios that are never positive.