Trakstar Academy: Candidate Communication

Hiring a candidate requires lots of interaction - and lots of different users! Not only do you need to keep everyone in the loop, but it also helps to record the numerous conversations that occur. Hire is your centralized location for all communication! Job seekers constantly vent about the lack of communication from recruiters. Hire allows you to send emails directly from the candidate's profile - and any user who has access can see these emails and respond to them, too.  You can document phone calls, comments, and other notes, too.  

Let's go over the entire candidate experience, how to craft a great application form, and best practices & tips for candidate communication.

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In This Article

An Overview of the Candidate's Experience

Want to see what the candidate experiences when they apply for an opening and work through your hiring stages?  Watch the webinar below to learn about the candidate experience, with great tips on improving communication and candidate satisfaction!

Note: This webinar was recorded when Hire was Recruiterbox - all of the information is still valid, but you'll hear us refer to the product a little differently.

Creating the Candidate Experience from Trakstar on Vimeo.

What do candidates see?

All of this information is stored in the candidate's profile - but what does the candidate see?

The candidate does not have access to their profile - this includes visibility into their hiring stage, comments, etc.  The only thing they receive are any email communications that you choose to send to them.  

Creating an Awesome Application Form

A great job description and application form will often be a candidate's first interaction with your company, and start everyone off on the right foot. The perfect application form will get you the information you need in a searchable format without putting too much work into the candidate.  

How do you achieve this magical sweet spot? Check out this article to learn more!

Pro Tip: Did you know the application questions pull to the Candidate Excel Report? This allows you to take action on the questions outside of the system or export them!

Communicating with Candidates in Hire

Hire allows you to communicate with candidates, directly from the system.  This has many benefits, such as:

  • Transparency - anyone who has access to the candidate profile can view the email communication or follow up with the candidate.  Get the communication out of your email inbox and into Hire!
  • Privacy - sending emails via Hire uses a masked email address, so candidates don't see your actual email address.
  • Ease of Use - use templates and bulk options to easily email customized responses to more than one candidate at once!
  • Questionnaires, EEOC, & more - send the candidate pre-built questionnaires or the EEOC form, right in Hire, to gather essential information for your hiring process.
  • Scheduling - need to set up an interview? Connect your calendar and you don't even need to leave the system!  Send the candidate dynamic options for self-scheduling interviews, and everything will populate to your calendar when they're scheduled!

To view emails click into the Emails tab of a candidate's profile.  Scroll down and you'll see all emails that were sent to this candidate, from you or other users in the system.

To send a new email, click on New Email from the right side of the candidate's profile.  The email window will pop up. You'll see all of your options here - including setting a reminder to follow up in a set number of days, or even scheduling the email to be sent later!

You can also select from your templates, or send the email directly from the Careers address built into your Hire account, if you don't want it to come directly from you.

Email Signatures

You have a custom signature for our email inbox - why not in your Hire account?  With the email signature set up, every email you send from the system will have your signature attached.  You can include images as well!  Learn more about this feature here.

Auto Responses

In Hire, we only have one automatic email that goes out to a candidate: when they apply for the position.  You can set this up on the opening page.  We highly suggest turning it on, so the candidate has a record of their application.  You can add additional information - like next steps, timelines, or even a questionnaire or the EEOC form!  Learn more about setting up the auto response here.

Pro Tip: Candidate Aging Icon

When you are viewing the Candidates page in Hire, you'll see a date with a color coded timer on the right side.  This indicates the amount of time a candidate has spent in their current stage.  You can hover over the date to see the exact number of days.

This is a great, at a glance way to see what candidates you may need to reach out to soon.

  • No Timer: Less than seven days
  • Black Timer: Seven to fourteen days
  • Orange Timer: Fourteen to twenty-eight days
  • Red Timer: More than twenty-eight days

Learn more about the candidate aging icon here.

Best Practices for a Positive Candidate Experience

  • Personalize Communication - Use the fillable fields in the email templates, rejection emails, and your auto-response, to customize the auto or bulk emails you are sending.  These fields pull in data from the candidates' profile to customize the email.

  • Make the application easy - Follow our guide to create a simple yet straightforward job application form that doesn't have too many hoops to jump through.  You don't want to miss out on a great candidate because your application was too overwhelming.
  • Provide and ask for feedback - Let candidates know why you won't be moving forward, especially as you get towards the end of your hiring process.  This is valuable feedback for them - and leaves them with a more positive experience.  In addition, asking your new hires for feedback on the hiring process can provide lots of information on how you can improve the system and make it better for future hires, too.
  • Provide status updates - Clear communication with specific end dates and deadlines can not only help to eliminate back and forth of candidates checking in, but it helps candidates feel secure and understand the process.  Sharing your hiring process details on your website, including a timeline, is a great way to share this - or include it in the screening call or first interview.

Let Them Down Easy - Guide to the Art of Rejection

Always communicate and don't "ghost" your candidates.  Getting a rejection is hard - but never hearing from a company after spending time in their hiring pipeline is even harder!  Hire makes it simple to send bulk emails when rejecting candidates, so don't be afraid to use those, to close the loop.  We know it's not your favorite part of your job, but it's important.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employers who recognize the value of nurturing relationships with candidates are consistently the ones who get the best talent - and this includes that rejection.

Here are some tips for crafting an empathetic yet firm rejection email:

  • Be honest and straightforward - there's no need to string the candidate along with misleading platitudes.
  • Make it a way for candidates to improve - if there is specific feedback you can offer, take the opportunity to share it with the candidate.  Sharing tips or pointers on how they can improve - while ensuring this is constructive - can go a long way to making this tough moment better.
  • Thank them for their time! - candidates devote a lot of unpaid time to job hunting and interviews.  Be sure to extend the courtesy to them and tell them you appreciate the time and effort they put into the process.
  • Always, always get back to them - even a generic response is better than no response!  The rejection is a direct reflection on your company's brand.

Want to craft some great rejection email templates? Check out our guide here!

Locking Decisioned Candidates

Once a candidate is hired, you may not want that full transparency on their profile anymore.  Maybe they'll be working with Hire or you include offer details that you don't want other employees to see.  You can lock candidates' profiles once they are marked as hired - even hiding it from other Super Admins.  Learn more here.

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