Bridging Gaps: How to Provide a Great Candidate Experience from First Contact

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As recruiters we have the best job. We’re involved in hiring decisions, we learn and discover new technologies, network with tons of great people who span many industries, and most of all we’re able to help others.  Those we help include both candidates and clients.  We work hard to make that hire, but it’s worth it in the end when I receive that “thank you” from the candidate and client.

A big part of earning that thanks from both candidate and client is creating a great candidate experience, and that begins with our first contact with the candidate. Following are a few tips for making the experience exceptional:

  • In your first contact with the candidate, find out what they already know about the company, then fill in the gaps with as much information as possible about the company and the position
  • Encourage them to do additional independent research on the company
  • Ask open-ended questions (questions requiring more than just a “yes” or “no” answer, for example:
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you enjoy doing most?
  • What do you enjoy most about your current job/company?

(Sometimes by asking these questions, the candidate will realize that the job is not a good fit and hopefully communicate that to you.)

  • While you may be focused on the job opening in front of you, remember to keep your ears open and listen to the candidate’s needs. They may not be a perfect match for this particular opportunity, but they may be just right for another

It’s all about bridging gaps – between candidate and client, between the candidate and the position, and between the client and a successful hire.  Candidates will appreciate a thoughtful, thorough approach because it minimizes confusion during the interview process.  Clients will appreciate that you’ve done the work of educating the candidate about the position and the company in advance of the interview.

Additionally, keep in mind that those who are in the job market – especially newly entering the job market – are oftentimes looking for advice.  Be their representative.  Pass along constructive feedback from the hiring manager.

This is the profession we love, so let’s do it well.  Provide a candidate experience that optimally positions the candidate and makes the client’s life easier.

By Michael Valentino | People Science Recruiting Manager


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