by Stephen Bruce | BLR
This crucial moment can play out in so many different ways, and most of that is up to you. Consider these Do’s and Don’ts.
- Clearly introduce who you are, and be sure to include the name of your company.
- State your purpose for calling.
- By all means, flatter your candidates. Let them know you have specially picked them from a large pool of candidates. After all of your sourcing and preparation, this is very true!
- Take your time and add a few short pauses here and there. Candidates should feel in control of the conversation and have enough time to think. If they didn’t expect a call from you, they might be on-guard or suspicious. A little space in a conversation can put them at ease.
- Do not offer them an interview for the same day, or even the next day, even if you really want that position filled quickly. Give your candidate time to do some research. Besides, rushing the process makes you seem desperate.
- Never forget to explain in detail how the interview process works. Let them know what time and where they will be meeting, and with whom they will be meeting. Make sure to give them time to write it down, and if there are any other steps involved, let them know. Give them clear, easy steps to follow. This helps eliminate uncertainty.
- Never misrepresent your company or the position. If candidates ask about the company, use clear terms to describe it. Also, make sure to tell them the job duties in accurate, straightforward terms. The candidate should arrive at the interview ready to talk about the actual job you want them to fill. If their interview doesn’t match the initial phone call, you are likely to lose the candidate.
- Do not answer any questions about pay during the initial phone call. Sometimes a candidate will want to talk pay up front. Unless you work for a company where positions come with fixed pay, it’s best if you don’t mention any numbers at this time. At this point, your guess might not align with what they could see down the road in an offer. Experts agree that failure to be honest about pay can cost many companies good candidates.
Always Follow Up
So, you’ve made the call and hopefully you have an interview scheduled. The candidate knows what he or she is supposed to do, and when. So why would you follow up? This business practice is polite and it helps put the candidate at ease. Just shoot the person a quick e-mail shortly after you talk summarizing what you talked about. Send another e-mail the day before or early the day of the interview confirming the time and location. Make sure the candidate knows that he or she can contact you with any questions. In fact, some form of communication should take place at each step of the entire process. Employees expect this, and when it doesn’t happen, they feel adrift.
What if you decide not to go with that candidate? What if someone else gets hired before the interview? If this ends up being the case, you should still send a note gently letting the person know what has transpired. It may be hard to give someone bad news, but it is worse not to contact them at all. Studies have shown that people who are cold-shouldered by companies at any point during the interview process will often bad-mouth the company to their friends and family, as well as on social media. You may not see it directly, but a bad reputation gets around, and it may cost you in ways you didn’t anticipate.