When To Make The Right Phone Call To The Candidate

Tagged:Candidate, IT recruitment
When To Make The Right Phone Call To The Candidate

I read an interesting blog recently on Greg Savage’s website entitled “Calling a candidate to say there is no news IS news to the candidate”, which made me think a lot about how we communicate with our candidates – and clients – here at Ascent People.


As much as we would all like to admit that we keep both candidates and clients involved in the process of recruitment, every year there will be candidates that call to moan about a lack of feedback or a client who decides to use another agency because we haven’t given them enough progress reports on their candidate search.

Expectation levels

While it is rare for us to offer no feedback at all, we understand that time expectations differ for everyone.

For some, not getting back within 24 hours is poor service, others might be happy to wait over a week.

The trick for a recruiter is identifying who (client or candidate) needs continual (daily, or more) updates and who just want you get on with the job and call them when you have something to say.

Think like a candidate

You can never acknowledge this advice too much, what do candidates want? There is a lot of talk in business about the ‘candidate experience’ and it boils down to treating everyone with a bit of respect and treating them like an individual with something to offer.

When you engage with a good candidate (or any candidate), you need to quickly establish their skills and experience in order to involve them with any suitable vacancies.

Then it is up to the recruiter to successfully get them to buy in to you and the recruitment process – whether that is further testing or selling them a role or company – to establish trust.

Then it’s all about preparing them for telephone, or deface-to-face interviews (including giving them detailed directions) and the feedback you gain from them as soon as it has ended.

Essentially, with every candidate, the recruiter is trying to develop a ‘team’ ethic, even if it is just a team of two; people work harder for each other in small teams. Then, regardless of whether they get the job or not, they will look to you again in the future and even recommend others to you and your agency.

Know the client

Knowing what type of client you are dealing with, and what they expect, is a skill recruiters need to be acutely aware of, it is also a skill that takes time to learn.

For any service industry the scheduling of jobs and delivery times is important. Recruitment is no different. Whether it be a delivery to a construction site, a call-out from the photo-copier repairman or website creation, everyone relies on firm time frames to ensure their own responsibities are met.

The role of the recruiter

Because the recruiter lies in the middle, it is often up to us to manage, where possible, recruitment expectations from both sides.

And returning back to the title of this blog, it can be achieved with a well-timed phone call.

When a client offers to another candidate, it is the recruiter’s job to inform the unlucky candidate why they weren’t selected.

When a candidate decides to accept another role it is the recruiter’s job to inform the client why they didn’t accept.

Communicating those reasons clearly and honestly – and everything that happens before and after – can often be the difference between further collaboration and the end of the working relationship.

But in any industry, bad news is always dealt best when YOU make that phone call, nobody wants to have to call up themselves to receive bad news, that’s what the clients pay us to do!

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