Keeping Those Candidates on the Line

In yesterday’s Advisor we discussed how to best prepare yourself for first contact with a potential candidate. Today we’ll explore some tips on how to actually get that candidate in your office for an interview.

This crucial moment can play out in so many different ways, and most of that is up to you. Consider these Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Clearly introduce who you are, and be sure to include the name of your company.
  • State your purpose for calling.
  • By all means, flatter your candidates. Let them know you have specially picked them from a large pool of candidates. After all of your sourcing and preparation, this is very true!
  • Take your time and add a few short pauses here and there. Candidates should feel in control of the conversation and have enough time to think. If they didn’t expect a call from you, they might be on-guard or suspicious. A little space in a conversation can put them at ease.

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  • Do not offer them an interview for the same day, or even the next day, even if you really want that position filled quickly. Give your candidate time to do some research. Besides, rushing the process makes you seem desperate.
  • Never forget to explain in detail how the interview process works. Let them know what time and where they will be meeting, and with whom they will be meeting. Make sure to give them time to write it down, and if there are any other steps involved, let them know. Give them clear, easy steps to follow. This helps eliminate uncertainty.
  • Never misrepresent your company or the position. If candidates ask about the company, use clear terms to describe it. Also, make sure to tell them the job duties in accurate, straightforward terms. The candidate should arrive at the interview ready to talk about the actual job you want them to fill. If their interview doesn’t match the initial phone call, you are likely to lose the candidate.
  • Do not answer any questions about pay during the initial phone call. Sometimes a candidate will want to talk pay up front. Unless you work for a company where positions come with fixed pay, it’s best if you don’t mention any numbers at this time. At this point, your guess might not align with what they could see down the road in an offer. Experts agree that failure to be honest about pay can cost many companies good candidates.

Always Follow Up

So, you’ve made the call and hopefully you have an interview scheduled. The candidate knows what he or she is supposed to do, and when. So why would you follow up? This business practice is polite and it helps put the candidate at ease. Just shoot the person a quick e-mail shortly after you talk summarizing what you talked about. Send another e-mail the day before or early the day of the interview confirming the time and location. Make sure the candidate knows that he or she can contact you with any questions. In fact, some form of communication should take place at each step of the entire process. Employees expect this, and when it doesn’t happen, they feel adrift.

What if you decide not to go with that candidate? What if someone else gets hired before the interview? If this ends up being the case, you should still send a note gently letting the person know what has transpired. It may be hard to give someone bad news, but it is worse not to contact them at all. Studies have shown that people who are cold-shouldered by companies at any point during the interview process will often bad-mouth the company to their friends and family, as well as on social media. You may not see it directly, but a bad reputation gets around, and it may cost you in ways you didn’t anticipate.

Because the talent marketplace, the job search process and the availability of top talent have all changed dramatically, even your most experienced recruiters can struggle unless they update their skill sets and their recruiting tools. How to get there? Fortunately there’s timely help in the form of BLR’s new webinar—Hone Those Recruiting Skills! The Top 10 Actions That Will Make You an Exceptional Recruiter. In just 60 minutes, on Tuesday, October 20, you’ll learn everything you need to know about making your recruiters and recruiting strategies alike exceptional!

Register today for this interactive webinar.

Make your good recruiters into exceptional recruiters. Join us Tuesday, October 20, 2015, for a new interactive webinar, Hone Those Recruiting Skills! The Top 10 Actions That Will Make You an Exceptional Recruiter. Earn 1 hour in HRCI Recertification Credit and 1 hour in SHRM Professional Development Credit. Register Now

By participating in this interactive webinar, you’ll learn:

  • The difference in the results produced by an exceptional recruiter compared to an average recruiter.
  • How, by utilizing metrics and data, exceptional recruiters can take the guesswork out of determining the most effective sources, assessment approaches, and candidate closing approaches.
  • The top 10 action steps that make all the difference in your recruiting results.
  • How individual recruiters can determine which of your current recruiting approaches are working and not working.
  • Common recruiting roadblocks and how to work around them.
  • How you can dramatically improve your recruiting results by focusing on targeted employee referrals.
  • Who are the benchmark firms with the most innovative and leading-edge recruiting practices that you can learn from?
  • What are the trends and next practices that we can expect to see emerging over the next 18 months?
  • And much more!

Register now for this event risk-free.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Central)
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Mountain)
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Pacific)

Approved for Recertification Credit and Professional Development Credit

This program has been approved for 1 credit hour toward recertification through the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) and 1 credit hour towards SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

Join us on Tuesday, October 20, 2015—you’ll get the in-depth Hone Those Recruiting Skills! The Top 10 Actions That Will Make You an Exceptional Recruiter webinar AND you’ll get all of your particular questions answered by our experts.

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Train Your Entire Staff

As with all BLR®/HR Hero® webinars:

  • Train all the staff you can fit around a conference phone.
  • Get your (and their) specific phoned-in or e-mailed questions answered in Q&A sessions that follow the presentation.

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