By: Jill Reynolds, President and CEO of Quantix, Inc.
This week, Quantix hosted a group of C-level candidates, yes, candidates. These executives are members of a highly effective networking group exclusively for IT executive job seekers. These are highly accomplished individuals and strategic thinkers. They find themselves as job seeker for various reasons, but many have “success-ed” themselves into the job seeker role. They may have completed a turnaround or have accomplished all they can in their current role and need to find their next challenge. This dynamic group is now sitting on the other side of the desk in an interview.
There was plenty of discussion about the entire networking and interviewing process but the recurring theme was feedback, or rather the lack thereof. They certainly see the value of feedback from a different perspective now. They were surprised and frustrated by the sparse communication after an interview, even when they were well advanced in the process. Whether an executive or mid-level candidate, this is frustrating and baffling for the candidate and one of a recruiter’s biggest challenges when all goes dark. Timely feedback, whether positive, negative or only a “maybe”, sets the appropriate expectation with the candidate and the recruiter. And, let’s face it, it’s just good manners. When this happens, it leaves me scratching my head. If there was enough interest in the candidate to make time for an interview wouldn’t you think communicating the outcome or next steps would be a given? Detailed feedback is a gem, but even a short email is better lets us know you’re still there.
From a candidate’s perspective, the lack of feedback tells them the employer is not interested. Unfortunately, it also infers a lack of respect for the candidate and their time. We’ve seen situations when after a long period of silence, the employer will finally express interest or extend an offer, but the candidate has become so irritated with the process they aren’t interested in moving forward.
For the recruiter, silence from a client is wearisome. The majority of clients are responsive, but with the prevalence of VMS’s, getting feedback to the candidates can be even more challenging. You’ve asked us to help you find a candidate, but help us help you. If clients don’t move promptly through the interview process, a quality candidate is long gone and not easily replaced. We understand there might be a stall in the process, but a simple “good, bad or I’m on the fence” provides a little something to pass along to the candidate.
Below is a recent exchange between one of our recruiters and the candidate:
From: Quantix Recruiter
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 9:48 AM
Subject: FW: Manager of Technical Services at Company XYZ
I wanted to reach out and let you know we haven’t heard anything from Company XYZ regarding the Manager position. Last we heard the hiring manager was reviewing resumes and nothing since.
If anything changes and we do hear something I will reach out and see if you are still interested.
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2016 11:30 AM
To: Quantix Recruiter
Subject: RE: Manager of Technical Services at Company XYZ
Thanks, XXX. I appreciate the follow up. Most folks don’t bother—what a wonderful surprise. J
Hmmmm, very interesting the candidate found it a “wonderful surprise” to get any response at all, even when the response was to tell them there was no response. Candidates, if you want a responsive recruiter, think Quantix. We can’t always deliver an informed message, but we’re here. Clients, we’re here to make the hiring process as efficient as possible, it’s a partnership and we’re here to help.