The Golden Rule of Recruiting: The Truth About Being a Candidate

Posted by The ConveyIQ Team

It was not that long ago that I was getting ready to graduate from my alma mater, join the workforce, and take the world by storm.
Exciting? Absolutely! But, this was a very stressful way to begin my professional life. I was in a whirlwind of preparing for career fairs, flying across the country for interviews, making a last-minute run to Macy’s to replace my coffee-stained dress shirt, deciding how many lecture attendance points are worth losing for the next prospective company and submitting more online applications than I ever dreamt of.
I certainly did not mind spending the time and effort to find the right job. But very often, this effort felt meaningless. I traveled from interview to interview, only to hear nothing back from companies for weeks at a time. I submitted countless online applications only to receive a few generic messages from an ATS.
I joked with friends that I hoped those big companies recycled, because it didn't seem like they were doing much else with those stacks of career fair resumes.
I received all sorts of marketing content from companies, but when it came to asking where I stand in their process, I experienced silence.

The Missing Piece In Recruiting

Like so many candidates, I felt that I was bending over backwards for every company, while few of them were willing to just return the favor with a basic level of transparency.
If I were a strong candidate, great! Let’s chat.
If not, just let me know.
It was not until I started working with recruiters on a daily basis that I realized delivering on such transparency is much easier said than done. But as a recent job candidate who now works to help recruiters communicate more effectively and deliver on the Golden Rule, I would say that there is still plenty recruiting teams can do to improve.
In my opinion, if recruiting teams are going to make one change to their hiring processes, it should be the level of transparency they provide to candidates.
Most interviews are followed by a friend or a family member asking, “How did it go?”
Now, an ideal response is something along the lines of, “Great! I’m meeting them in person next week.”
However, a more common response (far from ideal) is, “Well, I guess only time will tell.” And what follows that? “I know I didn’t have that recommended one year of experience or that I was not in one of their target majors, but I was never challenged on any of this.” In other words, a whole bunch of self-doubt and disappointments.
Until candidates hear back from employers, they are stuck in candidate purgatory, a very frustrating place to be.
Now, the companies that immediately move top candidates to next round interviews are doing well in one regard. But, that leaves their second and third choice candidates in the dark and unhappy, so something still isn’t quite right here.
For candidates who are not a fit, this the easiest place for them to build up frustration leading up to their delayed disposition. Where do they go to blow off steam? Friends, family, Glassdoor, you name it. This is detrimental for any brand, and even more so in a consumer facing environment, where your candidates are your customers.
Not being transparent or only being partially transparent can spiral out of control even deeper into the dreaded candidate black hole.
Coming from my perspective as a recent candidate, it’s time to be more transparent and communicative. Trust me!
About the Author: Dan is a member of the Business Development team at ConveyIQ. As a recent Penn State student of Engineering, Dan decided to pursue a career in sales shortly after graduation. Outside of helping recruiters win their war for talent, you can find him obsessing over Penn State football, exploring the streets of NYC and spending time with his family and dog. Find Dan on LinkedIn.

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