Communication. When it comes to recruitment, it’s arguably the most important factor of them all. For this week’s blog, I want to highlight the importance of clear communication between candidates and recruiters.
As recruitment consultants, we’re the ones in the middle; we liaise with both the client and the candidate and, ideally, unite them. When everything works out, you can bet it’s down to the responsiveness of all involved. When it all falls through…there’s a strong chance there’s been a breakdown in communication along the way.
At NU Creative Talent, we value decent communication above all else. We’re not perfect, but we do strive to put ourselves in our candidates’ shoes and treat them as we’d like to be treated ourselves (and if you’ve not received this treatment from us, please let me know about it!). This means responding to all enquiries and applications, providing constructive feedback and – importantly – keeping candidates updated throughout the recruitment process so they know, for example, why they haven’t yet had a decision on their application.
We love it when our candidates are as responsive as we strive to be, and the fact that the vast majority of the talented jobseekers we deal with are hot on this makes our job much easier. The better we know you, the better we can represent you, both for the role you’re applying for but also in the future.
However, perhaps because of this obsession with effective communication, certain scenarios stick in our minds as examples of the type of candidate experience we’re keen to avoid. It’s said that a CV is looked at for an average of six seconds before it’s rejected if it’s not right for a role…but, as shocking as that may seem, it’s worth considering that consultants also spend hours taking relevant candidates through from that initial call to the final handshake.
Like most recruitment agencies, we’ve occasionally dealt with candidates who have:
- Not responded to phone calls or emails to discuss the role they applied for.
- Not turned up to registration / briefing meetings with us.
- Attended interviews…then never contacted us again.
- Enthusiastically spent time with us…then never turned up to their interview.
- Simply not turned up on their first day of work. Yep.
I’m aware that, in almost every case, the candidates in question decided to sever ties because they’d literally received a better offer, but a phone call to let us know would have really made a difference to us.
People tend to have long memories in recruitment. Bad communication with one consultant has a knock-on effect, as they’re likely to add notes on the agency’s CRM which can be seen by anyone in the company, plus they’ll do the same if they move on to another recruitment agency. Similarly, employers hold their own candidate databases, and any no-shows for interviews are unlikely to be considered in the future if they re-apply.
It’s therefore worth thinking about the long-term when deciding whether to take or reject that recruiter’s follow-up call…because, as much as recruitment consultants love to remember the great candidates they deal with, they tend to remember the uncommunicative ones too.
So, here are a few tips to help ensure you get the best out of your recruitment consultant via good old communication:
- Get the basics right, and make it easy for consultants to communicate with you. Email and phone number on your CV. A covering letter, pre-empting any concerns that your CV may raise. A portfolio if you’re a creative (or a link / offer to send it through in your cover letter). And no typos.
- If you don’t get a response in due course, follow up either by email or phone. Please bear with us, though; it takes time to get through applications and we’re sometimes not as speedy as we’d like to be.
- If you’re still not getting anywhere – or if your experience once you speak to a consultant isn’t a positive one – consider finding another agency to represent you. There’s a lot to be said for being selective, and if a recruitment consultancy doesn’t communicate well with you, they don’t deserve your attention.
- When that call or email comes…please respond, even if you’ve found another job in the meantime. Simply telling a consultant that you’re no longer available can make the difference between being considered for future roles or not.
- If you land a recruiter meeting and / or interview, it’s essential you attend. And if you no longer want or need to…please tell us.
- If you get the job but no longer want or need it, just let your consultant know. There’ll be tears, but we’ll get over it, and it’s preferable to the alternative.
- Think about the knock-on effect of not properly communicating with the recruitment consultant you’re dealing with…
- …but also consider the benefits of clear, timely communication with us. We love candidates who keep us updated and respond to our calls. It helps us get to know you, and means you’re front-of-mind when relevant opportunities come up.
- Often a simple emailed ‘Yes, please’ or ‘No, thank you’ can really make the difference, both short and long term.