Follow-Up Throughout the Recruiting Process - Why it’s SO Important
Over the past few weeks, we have been given the task of hiring not one, but two people to join the Kuzneski Team before the craziness of fourth quarter rolls around! In a market where exceptional candidates are hard to attract, the importance of communication throughout the entire recruiting process is key to showing people the integrity and transparency that your organization has to offer. Even if the candidate does not get the position that they applied for, they will maintain a positive experience and image of your company if the correct processes are put into place.
Here at Kuzneski Insurance Group, we have designed a recruiting process where we create a tone of friendliness and warmth whether the job applicant is hired or not. This is not just about giving constructive feedback to the applicant; it is common courtesy! People want to feel that they have been heard, and that the time they have put into applying for a specific position is appreciated and valued.
Here is the process that we put together at KIG that resulted in an immense amount of positive feedback from applicants:
- Automated Reply to Candidates – Whenever a person applies for a position for which we have posted an ad, they will immediately get a follow-up email. This email says that we have received their resume, and regardless of whether their qualifications match or not, we will be in touch. This gives the applicant the peace of mind that their application went through successfully and that we appreciate them for taking the time to apply!
- Applicants For Out of Area – Due to the craziness of COVID-19, we had posted in our ads that we have allowed our employees to work from home to make them feel safe during the shut-downs, even when we were considered an essential business. In turn, the job site tagged our position as “Work from Home”, which drew resumes from all over the world (which is kind of cool...but lots of extra work)! After recognizing the error, we created an email letting these applicants know that the position required daily travel to our headquarters, and apologized for any inconvenience that the misinformation may have caused them. The feedback that we received was immensely positive, and showed that they appreciated us taking the time to let them know that the position was not remote.
- Recruiting Process Update – After the job ad has been posted for 4-5 days, we send an update to people who have not heard anything from us besides the verification of their resume being received. We let them know that we still have resumes coming in, and that we want to give each applicants’ resume the attention that it deserves. We also let them know that the next step in our process is to either schedule a phone interview, or to inform those applicants if they are not a good fit for the position. This keeps the person in the loop and reinstates that we did not forget about them!
- Phone Interview – After screening hundreds of resumes and cover letters (can’t forget the cover letter!), we pick the top candidates that we think would be a good fit for the position based on their qualifications and invite them to a phone interview. We thank them for applying and their interest to join our team and include a link where they can pick and choose a date and time that works best around their calendar, and ours. This eliminates excessive phone calls and emails, leaving messages, and telephone tag and ultimately reduces stress for everyone involved!
- Virtual Interview – In a normal setting, if a candidate passes the phone interview, we will invite them into our office to meet the team and to conduct a more formal interview. Because of these crazy times, we have had to resort to virtual interviews using Zoom. When sending the applicant the Zoom invitation, you want to make sure you clarify the date, time and who they will be meeting with and for how long. It is always a great idea to get in the habit of setting expectations, so the person knows what to expect before getting on the call!
- Rejection Letter – For most employers, turning applicants away is one of the hardest things to do. Most of the time, these emails tend to be impersonal or non-specific due to a lack of time or fear of offending the person. At KIG, we formulated an email that is constructive, courteous and is as personalized as possible. Whenever it is feasible, we let these applicants know which areas they can improve on in a concrete way, and we love to give feedback if it asked by the applicant themselves. This step DOES NOT go unnoticed, and I promise you that people will appreciate you taking the time out of your day to answers their questions, ESPECIALLY when they know you have hundreds of other resumes to look at! Creating the rejection letter into more of a conversation instead of a one-sided approach can have a significant effect on the morale of these people in their future job endeavors.
So, what is the solution to creating best hiring and recruiting practices? The answer is plain and simple – communication. You should always respond to and acknowledge applicants. They want updates and feedback during the process, and if they are not selected, they want to know as soon as possible. Creating these processes within your organization can take a lot of time and effort, but would you rather spend more time and resources on establishing positive relationships or more time attracting top candidates to make up for the negative reviews? Communication throughout the entire process is crucial if you want to protect your company’s reputation and build positive word of mouth! Remember, always create a tone of friendliness and warmth and be a fanatic about response time if you want to create a pool of applicants who want to work with you and do business with your organization!