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How to Follow Up With Candidates After the Interview

By Glassdoor – Nov 28, 2018 at 5:59PM

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Not many employers do; here's why you should.

Here at Glassdoor, we preach that following up with every candidate who applies to your company -- whether you're going to hire them or not -- is a crucial part of your recruitment process. But why? Is it really that important?

We dug deeper into this best practice to see what following up with candidates really says about your organization and if it's worth taking the extra step.

A man walks by a row of four seated people who are waiting for an interview.

Image source: Getty Images.

What is candidate follow-up?

Following up with candidates is the action of responding or replying to them during the interview process. This is typically done before and after the interview when you set up interview times, answer any questions relative to the company/position, or inform them on whether or not they were hired.

Here are five reasons why we believe candidate follow-up is critically important after interviews.

Responding to candidates after the interview


1. Candidate follow-up after an interview closes the loop. When you're applying to jobs, the worst feeling in the world is uncertainty. Our policy is simple: Be fully transparent and alert candidates of our decision as soon as humanly possible. The minute we know whether it's a yes or a no, they know. Never leave a candidate hanging, waiting for a response.

One marketing leader contacts candidates immediately after our team decides if they were or weren't right for the role. Our sales development team asks candidates to wait in Glassdoor's lobby while they deliberate and tell them on the spot if they got the position, offering feedback either way. While we certainly haven't mastered the art of transparency, it's policies like these that can help you improve your candidate follow-up process.

2. Replying and responding to candidates after an interview is respectful. Think back to the last time you applied to a position you wanted. The application process can be a stressful, time-consuming experience full of late nights perfecting resumes and cover letters. It's safe to assume that candidates today spend at least an hour or more submitting each job application. Even if your response is automated, the least you can do is send one.

While a personalized response to each candidate is ideal, we understand that it's not always feasible. According to a new report, only 2% of Fortune 500 companies "are communicating the status of a candidate's application throughout the entire duration of the (hiring) process." While responding to the hundreds of resumes and applications a company might receive seems impossible, it is imperative to give your applicants a positive candidate experience.

At the very least, applicant tracking systems have the option to send automated responses ranging from "It's not a good fit" to "This position has already been filled, but we'll keep your resume on file for future positions." These automated post-interview follow-up responses show that your company values feedback and appreciates applicants' time and effort.

3. It says volumes about your brand. Your reputation is your brand, and the comments left on your Glassdoor profile help shape your overall employer brand. To ensure you're receiving the positive feedback you deserve, go the extra mile.

Train interviewers on how to conduct a successful interview. Stress the importance of being on time for interviews, having questions prepared, and reviewing the candidate's resume before entering.

Add personal touches, such as offering candidates beverages, food, or swag. While these may seem like little additions, they go a long way in a candidate's mind and are the things they'll remember when leaving a follow-up review.

4. Candidates are going to talk! Job seekers share their experiences on sites like Glassdoor, whether you like it or not. In our world of organizational transparency, candidates judge your every move.

Keep this in mind during every step of the interview process, including your candidate follow-up. Expect candidates to leave reviews and do everything possible to ensure those reviews reflect positively on your company.

5. Candidate follow-up and responses help drive better talent. To decide if they want to work for you, candidates visit your Glassdoor profile. According to a Glassdoor survey, nearly three of four (74%) of Glassdoor users read at least four reviews before forming an opinion of a company.

Your interview feedback says volumes about your brand as a whole -- if it's positive, that will encourage candidates to apply and interview. If it's negative, this serves as a red flag to potential candidates and may discourage them from applying at all. Roughly four in five (79%) Glassdoor users are more likely to apply to an open job if the employer is active on Glassdoor (e.g. responds to reviews, updates its profile, shares updates on the culture and work environment). If you want to attract the right candidates, take steps to up your game, like closing the interview loop.

It's important to not only encourage employees and interviewees to leave feedback on Glassdoor, but to also respond to the feedback they leave! Eighty-nine percent of Glassdoor users find the employer perspective important on what it's like to work at the company. If you want to attract the right candidates, put in the effort.

Leverage candidate follow-up

Make a plan today to close the loop with candidates and up your candidate experience. Put yourself in candidates' shoes to understand how your process can improve. Visit Glassdoor and review your interview feedback to see why candidate follow-up is really important. By improving your interview experience with timely candidate follow-up, you can begin to measure and build your employer brand. Using tools like Glassdoor, you can promote your employer brand, advertise jobs, and measure the performance of key initiatives.

So remember, before posting a job, think about the candidate experience and listen to the feedback you've already received to see how you can improve your recruitment process.

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