The Fine Art of Following up


So you just finished interviewing a candidate for your open position. Whether you’ve discovered your dream hire or immediately knew the candidate wasn’t a right fit for the job, the next step is to follow up. Following up is an essential part of the hiring process and establishing great habits can make it easier for you to do. Check the following off your list next time you’re making contact after an interview:

Determine the best method for you. Before you connect with a candidate, it’s good to know what works the best for you and your hiring process. Do you have an email you prefer to send or would you rather pick up the phone and make a call? Whatever you decide, consistently rely on your method of choice to avoid any confusion for everyone involved. Also make a point of letting a candidate know how you intend to contact them concerning any information after the interview.

Reach out in a timely manner. Time is of the essence when it comes to following up. Wait too long to let a quality candidate know you want to hire them and you risk losing them to another employer. Or if you neglect to let someone know you’re not hiring them, you risk tarnishing your reputation by seeming as though you don’t respect job seekers’ time. Moral of the story: don’t wait more than a few days to make contact. In cases where days could potentially turn into weeks, take the time to let candidates know you’re still making a decision and provide an estimate of when they should expect a call or email.

Always be polite. You should always make an effort to be as kind and respectful as possible when following up with a candidate, especially when you’re letting them know they will not be offered the position. If you’re connecting via email, create correspondence that is polite and to the point; if you’re comfortable doing so, encourage them to try applying again in the future. If you’re making a phone call, don’t rush through the conversation in an attempt to avoid awkwardness. Be clear and if the candidate has any questions, give them appropriate answers. They will appreciate the respect they’re being shown and the closure they’ll have so they can continue their job search.

The idea of following up can be a little scary, especially when you’re delivering some not—so—good news. But as mentioned before, being respectful of job seekers’ time and efforts is the perfect way to let them you are taking the hiring process as seriously as they are.

Imani Holmes

Imani is a content specialist at Snagajob , America’s largest hourly employment marketplace for job seekers and employers. When she’s not writing content for employers to read, she can be found updating her blog or channeling her inner rock star at karaoke.

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