The Golden Rule of Recruiting: How Recruiters Can Stay Sane When Dealing With Pesky Candidates

Posted by The ConveyIQ Team

Guest Post by MightyRecruiter
If you’re in recruiting, you’ve no doubt dealt with your fair share of annoying job candidates. You know, the ones who call twelve times a day, drown you in emails, and get short with you when you don’t give them answers?
While it’s easy, even tempting, to lose your cool with these sorts of jobseekers, staying calm and handling their incessant hounding carefully is critical not only for your own sanity, but for the reputation of the company.
Let’s look at practices you can adopt to reduce your own stress levels, while also improving the experience of anxious candidates.

Do Not Ignore Them

It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to stop a pushy applicant from driving you crazy is to actually acknowledge and attend to them. Keeping candidates in the dark certainly doesn’t make the pestering go away.
It might not feel that consequential at the time, but ignoring jobseekers’ anxious requests for updates can actually ultimately be detrimental to the business. As the 2017 Talent Board Candidate Experience Research Report showed, many job applicants who have a negative hiring experience are likely to cease all dealings with the company (even as a consumer) and to bad-mouth the business to friends and family, and on social media and review websites.
So, get back to them, promptly.

Keep Candidates in the Loop Throughout the Hiring Journey

If a jobseeker is phoning you night and day, it’s because they’re desperate to learn about their application’s status. By giving them the information they want, swiftly and regularly, you can avoid being constantly bothered.
Of course, this requires work on your part, but by using Candidate Relationship Management Software, you can engage with applicants every step of the way without much effort. Talent communication platforms let you automate, and even personalize, emails and text messages to keep jobseekers informed about where they are in the hiring process. Real-time programmed updates can save you many hours, while also meeting the high expectations of in-demand talent.

Set Clear Boundaries from the Start

How do you manage a candidate’s anxiety? Manage their expectations, from day one. If you know you won’t be able to give feedback to every single applicant, automate an application acknowledgement email that thanks them and outlines how the process will work going forward. Include sentences like, “Rest assured, if we consider you a good fit for the role, we will be in touch to arrange the next step by [date]” and “If you don’t hear from us by [date], please assume that your application has been unsuccessful.”

Keep Your Word

If you don’t want to deal with “crazy” candidates, don’t drive them crazy with empty promises. Recruiters can save themselves a lot of trouble just by following through on commitments. If you say you’ll be in touch by 5pm next Tuesday, then be in touch by 5pm next Tuesday, even if it’s just to say that you have no updates yet. Set a reminder, automate an email, do whatever you have to do, but be in touch. If you don’t keep your word, you’re asking to be annoyed.

Decline Unsuccessful Candidates Promptly and Firmly

Rejecting applicants is never fun, so it’s tempting to avoid doing so. But then you have to live with being hounded by jobseekers who are no longer even in line for the job. It’s better, and kinder, to notify unsuccessful candidates about their status as soon as the decision is made, and to communicate this fact with a sense of finality. You’re not obligated to give reasons – you can keep the response short and non-specific – but do be firm and don’t give them false hope.
And if you have to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch, consider using a searchable resume database that allows you to invite candidates to apply for your job.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

It’s easy to see red if someone keeps pestering you or resorts to rudeness, but you can keep your emotions in check by stopping to consider where they’re coming from. A pesky candidate is probably just feeling anxious and uncertain. Remind yourself of this, and it’ll help you to react with more empathy.

Manage Your Own Time Well

You’re more likely to lose your temper with an overly persistent candidate if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s not always easy, but try to streamline the tasks you can control (there are some great Chrome extensions for that), so you have more time to deal with unpredictable irritations. With more time, patience improves tenfold.

Develop a Clear HR Policy

Document the procedure that the recruiting team should follow when handling difficult applicants. This way, all members of the crew will deal with these situations in the same considered way, and you won’t have to waste time debating what to do every time a similar scenario arises.

Get Legal Assistance

If a candidate is making your life a nightmare and you don’t know how to handle them without potentially causing legal trouble for yourself, you can always consult a lawyer. Often, sending a polite but firm letter from the company’s attorney is enough to make the problem go away for good.
MightyRecruiter is a free end-to-end recruiting solution that makes previously manual, time-consuming tasks easy, quick, and effective. MightyRecruiter is designed to help you quickly attract, source, recruit, and hire the most relevant candidates to your jobs. Peruse an extensive resume database, source passive candidates, manage applicants, and, take advantage of free job postings, starting today!

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