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How to Make Every Job Candidate Your Greatest Fan and Not Your Enemy

Imagine yourself passionately falling in love without really knowing how the other person feels about you. You put yourself out there, pouring your heart out and desperately waiting for an answer. It never comes.

Too many times, job candidates are left in the dark with no idea if they have been ditched due to a missing competency or a poor application, or if their interest in the company has even been acknowledged. Our biggest fear is not being liked as a person. Disappointment, insecurities, and a lack of information add up and create a wave of aggression—and yes, it is going to hit your company.

Did you know that a poor candidate experience has a direct impact on your revenue? For example, Virgin Media discovered that 6% of job candidates canceled their Virgin subscription because of the interview process. It does not sound like much, but it still ended up costing the company $5 million annually, not to mention the loss of revenue from the candidates’ families, friends, or social media followers.

With this in mind, you may be curious how you can win your candidates’ hearts, even and especially if they get rejected.

Treat Your Candidates as Leads

Make sure you nurture your lead by motivating them with regular communication.

If companies treated their candidates with the same dedication as they do their customers, the candidate experience would be a finished discussion. However, that is not the case. Here is what can be learned from inbound marketing and used in modern recruitment.

  • Never take a candidate for granted. The deal is not closed until the papers are signed. Make sure you nurture your lead by motivating them with regular communication and providing them with enough information about why they should choose you.

  • Always expect your candidates are holding multiple offers, even if they are not. This mindset helps you keep them in a tight loop and make sure they are not left in the dark at any stage. The best candidates move quickly, and so should you. Manage your recruitment time efficiently and automate processes to release time to connect with your lead.

  • Whatever business you are in, remember that your candidate could be your next customer if you just encouraged them a little. Try rewarding them with a voucher or a gift to say how much you appreciate their time and interest. It can be as simple as a postcard sent via traditional mail.

  • If you happen to get bad feedback, handle it immediately. Ignoring bad candidate experiences will cause it to accumulate because the spurned candidate is likely to shame your business all over social media.

Empathy Is the New Grilling in Recruitment

Giving feedback does not have to be time-consuming when you’re using the right tools.

Unless you are recruiting for military purposes, it’s safe to say that grilling is an outdated method. With a respectful and empathetic approach, you not only get the best out of the candidates but also ensure that they don’t suddenly turn into your enemies.

Recruitment should be a two-way street. Aim to both give and collect feedback at every stage and show your humanity. Giving feedback does not have to be time-consuming when you’re using the right tools. They’ll automatically transform your clicks into natural language.

Invite the candidate to your Talent Community, where they’ll have the opportunity to learn about similar job openings and join a Reference Program. Make their opinion count.

Try out different methods for interviewing. If a candidate seems very nervous, try to offer a little break and take them outside for a coffee instead. Kindness is always in fashion.

It Is Nothing Personal, Just Business

Organizations have seen an increase of 72% in candidates rating the candidate experience as great when they are simply asked for application feedback.

When you need to reject a candidate, try to be as sensitive as you would be when rejecting a marriage proposal. Sometimes, you just do not have mutual feelings, but that does not mean you are allowed to be brutal.

The “it is just business” mentality is like punching a person in the face. No matter how educated or experienced we are, there is still an innate need for acceptance. Here is a human way to say “I’m honored, but you’re just not the right person to me” in recruitment:

  • Effectively argue from the start what kind of competencies you value. It is not cool to first say that experience is irrelevant but then reject them by saying, “We went with a more experienced candidate.” At least explain that your priorities changed during the process. Inconsistency takes away all reliability.

  • In the early phases, an email will do, but make sure to call all rejected candidates when they have participated in multiple rounds. You owe them that. It is like dating somebody for weeks and then sending them a text saying, “Let’s not meet again.”

  • Ask for feedback. It is an effective way to reduce any shaming on social media. They may not have the guts to speak up, but treating your candidates as equals takes away the anger. In fact, according to Talent Board’s research, organizations have seen an increase of 72% in candidates rating the candidate experience as great when they are simply asked for application feedback.

  • Invite them to your Talent Community and indirectly communicate, “Can we still be friends?” Say that nothing would make you happier than keeping them around for future career opportunities, which they can automatically receive via Job Alert.


To ensure your candidates do not become your enemies and negatively affect your company’s turnover, treat them as the human beings they are. Applying for a job puts the candidate in a vulnerable position. Winning companies use empathy as their weapon. Would you like to make the candidate experience your greatest asset? Start by testing out the right tools! Request A Demo

Published: 28th May 2020 @ TalentAdore

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