Why a candidate call back can be the best recruiting strategy.

By: Ben White


Let’s face it, interviewing can be a really intimidating experience.  A quick Google search on interview anxiety pulls up a myriad of articles chronicling just how much the average candidate fears interviewing for a new position.  Now imagine being a candidate, going through multiple interviews, getting excited about the new opportunity and then never hearing back from the hiring team.

Unfortunately, this actually happens more than you may think. In fact, I would wager that most of you reading this blog have at some point in your career found yourself waiting for feedback after an interview, only to hear nothing.

What a frustrating feeling! For those of us involved in hiring, we have a responsibility to do better. I think putting yourselves in the candidate’s shoes and doing the right thing is motivation enough; however, there are several compelling reasons why closing the loop with your candidates makes great business sense as well.

Below are 4 reasons why a candidate call back is a must!

Create a strong pipeline moving forward

When I was in corporate recruiting, there were countless times in which we selected a great candidate for the role but there were three or four other candidates who we could have hired just as easily. These are the type of candidates that make you wish you had multiple openings for a role as opposed to just the one.

Those strong candidates are exactly the type of candidates you want to have strong relationship with, so when a similar role opens up, you’re ready to go!  The fact of the matter is a great pipeline of candidates should start with great candidates you already know are interested in your organization.

Those candidates are only going to be interested if you treat them well. If they come away feeling as if interviewing with your organization was a terrible experience, you can expect them to avoid interviewing with you again in the future. In this instance, closing the loop with them, having a great conversation and encouraging them to apply again in the future while letting them know you will reach out should another opportunity open up, is a win for everyone involved.

Opportunity to collect actionable feedback

Closing the loop is not just about doing the right thing and creating a future pipeline, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to get some really candidate feedback. Do you want honest feedback regarding your interview process? In my experience, nobody is willing to be as honest as someone who just experienced it and is not going to be joining the organization.

Letting a candidate know you are going in a different direction, creating a relationship and asking for feedback on what could have been done better, not only shows them you care, but it could very well help your recruiting process improve moving forward. Was your process too long? Was it intimidating? Did you do an adequate job selling the opportunity? If you truly want to know, they will tell you.

Protecting your brand

A great “candidate experience” is an extremely popular phrase in the hiring world right now. It is right up there with culture and onboarding when hiring is discussed, and for good reason. I have always maintained that candidates don’t always share their positive interview experiences, but they almost always share the negative ones. If you do everything right, they might not share it. But if they feel like they weren’t treated properly, that experience will find its way onto Glassdoor and they will share their negative story every time your organization comes up in discussion.

In today’s market where most organizations find themselves battling a constant talent shortage, few organizations can afford to have a negative reputation. Companies work so hard to improve the way they are perceived by potential candidates, but one of the best ways is make sure there is positive closure with all interviewing candidates.

So, the next time you’re thinking you don’t have time to do the “call back”, think again.  This little investment of time will pay dividends in the future.

Looking for more creative ways to attract and hire top talent?  Connect with Us.  We’d love to start a conversation.

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