Cyndy Trivella shares 4 rules of candidate engagement every recruiter MUST follow

“If your organization doesn’t map the candidate experience journey, I highly encourage you to step back and take a hard look at what is being lost. It’s an expensive risk to be a complacent player in recruiting.”

Cyndy Trivella
Managing partner, Talent Culture


Recruiters, it’s time to step up your game! 

As someone who’s been in the trenches of talent acquisition, I’m here to nudge my fellow professionals: It’s high time we elevate our communication game for the success of both candidates and clients.

In the hustle of our day-to-day tasks, it’s crucial to remember the human element of our work and relationship-building elements. 

So, let me share some insights and strategies on candidate engagement and effective communication that can transform our recruitment approach.

Rule #1: Candidate ghosting? Leave it to teenage text messages!

How we treat potential talent speaks volumes about our organizational ethos. 

Are we respectful throughout the process, or are we, embarrassingly enough, ghosting them? 

According to Gallup, the recent turbulent job market has seen a rise in ghosting, affecting both employers and candidates. 

What’s concerning is that 28% of candidates admitted to ghosting an employer in 2020, a significant rise from 18% in 2019. 

While candidates are not exempt from this behavior, we, as professionals, should strive to set a higher standard. 

Ignoring candidates or not extending communication courtesy should be left to those who don’t know better.  

If this sounds familiar to you, your mistake may be costing you! Candidate ghosting will eventually leave a negative impression on your employer brand, and you might even miss out on some unique talent. 

You might also like: Mastering candidate engagement in recruitment: Expert strategies from Steve Ackroyd

Rule #2: Quality communication: The non-negotiable essential

You’ll be surprised to know that communication lapses are a major bottleneck in recruitment.

With the deluge of resumes and applications, it’s easy to fall behind. 

But remember, candidates are still waiting, and they expect and deserve prompt responses.

In my experience, I make it a point to respond to each resume submission. This personal touch might be challenging in larger organizations, but that’s where recruitment automation can lend a hand. 

But let’s not forget the human touch. 

A personalized email template or call can distinguish your company as one that values its candidates.

Piles of resumes often result in a backlog of work and inefficient communication. But candidates deserve (and frankly, demand) acknowledgment and swift responses. 

Simply remembering what it feels like to be a job seeker, waiting for an email or phone call, is enough to understand the importance of quality candidate communication

I’ve worked with job seekers, and the number one complaint by them has always been about the ghosting they experienced. This includes not getting a call, email, or text as they were told would happen. 

Communication is key, and even if the decision is not what they want to hear, candidates deserve to be given that recognition and respect for their time. 

Rule #3: Every day counts for a winning recruitment strategy

Let’s talk timing in recruitment. It’s more essential than you think. 

Did you know the average hiring journey spans a whopping 43 days, often packed with multiple interviews? 

Now, here’s where it gets interesting: a solid 62% of job seekers start losing interest if they’re left hanging for more than two weeks post-interview.

Sure, we all aim for thoroughness in our hiring processes, but there’s a fine line between being meticulous and just plain slow. 

In a job market where candidates might juggle multiple offers, a slow response from us can mean losing top talent. 

With each day of delay, we’re not just risking financial implications; we’re potentially costing our candidates something priceless – their respect and trust in our process.

Also read: Benjamin Keppers’ 5 steps to elevating candidate experience through a human touch

Rule #4: Don’t put your company’s reputation on the line!

As recruiters, our conduct during the hiring process significantly impacts our company’s reputation. 

The best recruiters have a vested interest in proactively presenting the company in a positive light. 

They understand that the hiring process is what people talk about. 

That’s why at The Talent Board, we’re committed to researching and sharing the gospel on the importance of a quality candidate experience

Consider this: Two-thirds of candidates share positive and negative experiences publicly. And don’t even get me started on how hard it is to repair a damaged employer brand!

Think of the candidate experience this way: Less than 10% of interested candidates are selected for jobs. So, what happens to the rest of them? 

These candidates form enduring opinions about your company. 

Every interaction a candidate has, from pre-application to rejection, impacts their perceptions of positivity, negativity, and fairness around your hiring process. 

If your organization doesn’t map the candidate experience journey, I highly encourage you to step back and take a hard look at what is being lost. 

It’s an expensive risk to be a complacent player in recruiting. So, step up and make sure your candidates receive the hiring experience they deserve! 


Cyndy Trivella

Cyndy is the Managing Partner at TalentCultureCyndy maintains a strong presence in the digital space and has been awarded the distinction of being recognized as one of the most influential people in the HR space by the Huffington Post, PeopleHum, Onalytica, and Leadtail.

Her background in Human Resources Marketing and Communications began on Madison Avenue in New York City, where she worked with global Fortune 500 companies. Her multiple years of employer branding and communications strategy experience in the HR space drives her interest in all facets of the world of work, where technology plays a role, and how culture drives the workplace.

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