Telling a candidate there’s no news, is news

By David Lawrence |

We were recently instructed by a large tier one operator in Germany to source a senior hire within their executive management team. During the search we came across a senior Director from a competitor who told us that they had interviewed for the role over a month ago and had not heard anything back. I was surprised to hear this and asked if the candidate felt they were still in contention for the role or if they felt it was closed. I then enquired who it was who was communicating with him (the client or an agency). Whoever it was, they had failed to keep the candidate engaged and in the loop, which had left him with a negative perception of the company.
Whether you are the candidate, the client or an agent, not receiving feedback is very frustrating. It is difficult to tell someone ‘no’, but not saying anything and hoping that they’ll get the message is very damaging for everyone involved.


The candidate feels despondent, they share that with their friends and colleagues and that has a negative impact on the brand of the organisation.

How many recruiters, both working in house and agency side, don’t give adequate feedback, why not and how can they make it part of their planning?
Let’s imagine for example that you’ve put a candidate forward for a role and you tell the candidate you’ll get feedback in a couple of days, a week max. After chasing the client for feedback what seems like 100 times, you still hear nothing. As a recruiter you have so many different things to do that it’s easy to get side tracked and not call the candidate. However, imagine what they might think of you if they never hear anything and you call them a few months later about a different job. You can’t build a strong relationship without feedback and dialogue. So how do you remember? I find that the easiest way is simply to put it in your ATS (application tracking system), calendar or diary to call back in a few days’ time or a week after to keep in touch even if you have no feedback.

Whether it is good news, bad news or no news, your candidate will be grateful that you’ve updated them. Think about this next time you call up that candidate; you want to be remembered as the recruiter (whether external or internal) that acted with integrity and got back to the candidate whatever the news. This will help you build a relationship with your candidate and as any good recruiter knows, a good relationship with candidates is the key to success.



David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.

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