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Why you should treat every candidate like a win

A good interview experience and follow-up matters more than you think

Interviewing should always be a two-way street. Candidates and hiring managers go through the interview process to see if they are compatible, each assessing the other. Unfortunately, we too often see hiring managers drop candidates with radio silence or form “thank you for your interest” emails. Though it may create more work for the hiring manager, candidates deserve to hear appropriate and timely feedback, even if they are not a good fit for the job. This should be done as a hiring standard, not only because it shows good manners on behalf of the hiring manager, but more importantly, in creating a positive interview experience for candidates, it builds a good reputation for your company, which may come back around to matter one day.

Here are three of the most important reasons your company should treat each candidate like a win:

  • Memory: Candidates are going to remember their interview experience the next time they see a job opening with your company, especially if their previous experience was particularly positive or negative. You don’t want to lose a great candidate from the bat because you ghosted them or treated them poorly during a previous interview. You may have skipped over them before, but in the time since they last interviewed, they may have gained more experience or polished their skills and approach, becoming an extremely valuable candidate. Treat them well the first time, they might be back. Treat them poorly the first time, you’ll likely never see them again.

  • Reviews: It is common knowledge that Glassdoor allows users to give feedback on the way companies handle interviews. Sour an interview and follow-up, you’re likely to see that experience mentioned in a review on your company’s page and remember in the world of hiring: there IS such thing as bad press.

  • Chatter: We all know people talk. And with social media, word of mouth spreads much more quickly. Thousands of people belong to professional social media communities, especially those in specialized fields, who share insights into their jobs, trainings, tips, and experiences. If you’re dismissive or disrespectful to a candidate, it is almost guaranteed to be shared with peers, potentially narrowing your candidate pool and causing you to lose out on future candidates.

Treating each candidate like a win is a simple step that goes a long way. Take your time to talk to each candidate and offer useful feedback instead of silence. You never know what may happen in the future…that simple step may come back around in a big way.

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