Be Good to your Candidates…

I  recently read a post that has since been deleted (Backlash Perhaps?) Anyhow, to sum it up it was an internal/corporate recruiter making a comment about how she doesn’t appreciate candidates reaching out to her without being “proactive” about first researching open positions within her organization. She stated that it’s annoying & unprofessional and to not waste her time. In closing her rant, she added “But if you have this background/experience message me!” … Wait…What? Sounds promising right? Nope….

The tone to be honest, was insulting to my profession.

Here’s my thoughts on the cause and effect of this type of behavior on the candidates, employers, and recruiters.

  • Respecting each other’s time and effort:

I absolutely do not think the above statement is the way to approach future talent reaching out. If the candidate is taking their time reaching out to you, I see that as being proactive. Being in our industry, all you recruiters know as well as I do req’s change status all the time… Like- within minutes at times! I talk with candidates every day, and one of the things I hear most No one ever got back to me… That is not acceptable! This is their livelihood. And not to mention, it is a small world. It is our job as recruiters to treat each candidate qualified or not, with dignity and respect. If we don’t have candidates we don’t have jobs…. If they took the time to reach out to me they deserve my time in return. Trust me, your time is not more important than anyone else’s.

  • Employer Branding & Reputation:

Your organizations reputation starts with the talent acquisition teams (BOTH Internal & Third Party/Agency). We as recruiting professionals need to brand our employers & clients by providing a positive experience for every candidate from the application process – to hire or decline. First impressions count! These candidates should feel appreciated even if they do not get the job, or if they are not qualified at the time. Example: As an agency girl for most of my career, I remember those times when that little light bulb clicks when you are on the phone with a client, and you remember that amazing candidate you talked to last week that could be a fantastic fit. Boom! Client is happy Candidate has an awesome opportunity, and I did my job. And I kept this same approach with the corporations I have worked for, speed to market, follow through and lots of communication. Reputation can be a killer especially in niche markets, and low unemployment markets.

  • Your Process = Your Success:

I have witnessed a variety of mentalities regarding this subject both with corporate and agency recruiters alike. But let’s be honest, how much easier could your recruiting process be, if you improved your communication from Start to Finish with your candidates? Simple improvements such as; making sure you are getting back to candidates within 24 hours, setting up short introduction calls to set expectations moving forward with your prospective candidates, and following through with the decline process and making an effort to reach out personally. Pipe-lining and building your brand for your organization is valuable and it works… Trust me. As recruiters we should be working smarter to save the companies we work for time and money. I understand there are times when you have over 100 applicants for roles, and this could be daunting but that is our job. At least send them a personal email, thanking them for applying and letting them know the role has been filled, is on hold, or their skill set isn’t the right fit. Stay in touch with your network. AND PLEASE!  Do not send generic declines from your ATS system, especially if they interviewed! It’s plain rude… that’s another topic for a later date….

  • Bottom Line:

I am NOT a perfect recruiter, none of us are. I make mistakes I am human! When I am riding solo and when my awesome little team is out or vacationing I forget, or cannot respond to everyone right that minute. But I certainly put them on my list and reach out as soon as humanly possible. They deserve it. We are not hiring pieces of paper with words on them WE HIRE HUMAN BEINGS. Treat them as such, dig in a little, and you never know what you may find! That “meh” resume could be a diamond in the rough. Open your doors and you will often get that breath of fresh air talking to a candidate that gets you excited about what we do every day again!


Never forget how awesome that really is. That is all for now… I am off my soap box.

Have a fantastic rest of your week!











Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.