candidate care programme

Positive candidate experiences have wide-ranging and long-lasting benefits for the employer. Both positive and negative experiences travel fast in today’s highly connected world, so looking after candidates makes sense and can create long-term relationships even if they do not get the job.

Candidates who are treated well are likely to feel that the organisation will be as conscientious in other dealings. Creating a favourable impression through a well-handled recruitment process will boost the employer brand (see also chapter 3) and disseminate positive messages about your company’s reputation and corporate image.

Managing the duration of the recruitment process is crucial. If it meanders on, it can lead to losing potential high-quality recruits. More than two-thirds of Australian HR managers reported losing one or more top candidates due to the length of the recruiting process. Often the number of stakeholders involved is cited as a reason for a longer process. 

Candidates generally want to be hired as soon as possible and research shows that two interviews, or about one month, to make a decision is acceptable.

During recruitment, or between interviews, candidate care is essential. Many candidates will have other job applications in the pipeline, and perhaps even continue applying for jobs. If they receive a bad impression during the recruitment process – unreturned calls or emails; a lack of information about where they stand in the process –  they may walk away from your organisation and the opportunity. Once a job offer is made and accepted, the onboarding process should start as the next stage of the candidate care programme.

Before starting to recruit, establish some candidate care mechanisms to ensure the process goes smoothly. Create dedicated website pages so candidates will be able to find out about development opportunities, the location of offices, hints and tips about what you’re looking for, organisation culture. You could include blogs from existing employees. Set up a dedicated email address for candidates so you will be able to answer their questions promptly.

top tips for effective candidate care

return calls acknowledge applications within a published timeframe

send an information pack containing the job description, interview format, and details about the interviewers and the company. Make sure they know who to contact with any questions, and how (dedicated email address)

let them know in good time when and where they will be interviewed, advise of any delays

write to unsuccessful candidates as well as those you are planning to take forward to the next stage (it’s polite) or at the very least supply a date by which successful candidates will have heard

give feedback to unsuccessful candidates.


more articles about: the selection process