The Importance of Closing the Loop

There is nothing worst than getting excited about a job, going on an interview, maybe even a second interview, and then…nothing. Radio silence. We’ve all been there. You email or call the hiring manager to check on the status of your application and receive no response. Not only is this just bad practice, but it can make a great candidate quickly loose interest in the company.

It’s important for hiring manager to think of this from the candidate’s point of view: They’ve worked hard to prepare for their interviews, put in the time researching your company, your industry and even the people they’re scheduled to meet. They may have taken time off from work and battled the area’s traffic to arrive on time. To hear nothing after all of this effort is discouraging and can significantly influence a candidate’s opinions of your company.

Job seekers understand there are no guarantees. Getting an interview doesn’t mean you’re getting the job. Interviews are just an opportunity for managers and candidates to get a feel for each other and see if they can envision working with the other person. It’s a two-way street. But job-hunting can be a frustrating enough, and that frustration is made all the worse when candidates do their part, yet find themselves left in the dark. Some companies say they are simply too busy to respond to every communication from every job-seeker, but this is a short-sighted view.

In a world where everything is on social media, it’s important to remember that candidates talk too. Social media and websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor give them a wide range of avenues to share their impressions of your people, your culture and your hiring process. In this environment, not communicating with job-seekers can have real consequences. People can and will decline interviews because they’ve heard too many negative stories about how a company treated candidates. They see it as a sign of how you treat your staff, and the lack of respect you have for other people’s time.

When you’re thinking about feedback, don’t forget the recruiters. Sharing your opinions of the candidate with your recruiter or HR manager can help them polish their search so they send you candidates with the qualifications and personality you’re seeking. When you provide specifics about why a candidate may not have meshed, you help clarify your view of the role.

It’s never fun giving someone bad news, or telling a person they were not chosen to move forward in the hiring process. But it’s better than the alternative of leaving someone in the dark. If you have trouble delivering not-so-great news to a job seeker, just remind yourself that by telling a person they were not hired, you are allowing them to go out and pursue other opportunities.

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