How to Not Ruin Your Reputation While Hiring

Contributed by Brandi E. Hudson, Community Manager for HR for HR, Lumity

Join Brandi for her eSeminar, “People Ops: Building HR From the Ground Up” – Tuesday/Thursdays August 6, 8, 13 12:00 – 1:00 pm PST.  She will cover effective ways of building a People Ops department that aligns with the company vision and values, as well as creates a positive employee experience. Presented by Next Concept HR AssociationRegister here.


How not to ruin your reputation during hiringThe catch 22 of hiring is that you need the candidate in a desk as a team member before you start the recruiting process. However, because you need that candidate the team is so busy trying to juggle the workload that it can take longer than you want to go through the screening and interview process. Here are a few quick tips on how to not ruin your reputation as being a great place to work while having a longer than ideal hiring window.

No Response at all.

Yes it’s obvious that you can’t send a curated message to every candidate that applies, especially if it’s a well known company like Slack or Google (even if the company has a large People Team). However keep in mind that when candidates apply to popular companies, not getting a response at, all can rub them the wrong way. If they don’t work on a People Team, there can be assumptions around the process such as ‘everyone should hear back’ or the applicant may not understand just how many people apply. This is why using an ATS system like Greenhouse or Lever can be extremely helpful. They give you the ability to keep the process organized and in a click of a button you can send an email template letting the candidate know if they are aligned with what you’re seeking. No excuse anymore for not replying to candidates.

Unresponsive to Follow-Up.

So the initial phone screen is done and you’ve brought the candidate in. They meet with the team and ask their questions about the role and the company. At the end of each round, the candidate is told to reach out if they have any questions about the role, the company etc. If you say this to a candidate and they email you questions — by all means, answer them! Especially if they are well thought out and crafted. It leaves the candidate wondering if perhaps they’re being passed on and they were just not told so.

Lack of Communication During the Process.

The higher up the food chain the role is, the longer the process can take. Some companies want their CEO to meet every candidate and that can also take a long time if their calendar is busy (which it most likely is). This does not give you an excuse to just ignore the candidate until you hear from the coordinator working on scheduling in the background. It is unacceptable to go two weeks (hell even a week) without updating them. It’s also unacceptable for the candidate to be the one always reaching out for an update. If your boss asked you to work on an important project would you go two weeks without giving them a status update?

Stringing Along.

If the role has been a hard one to fill for whatever reasons make sure you’re straightforward from the beginning about the situation. Your work isn’t done there thought regarding this point. As they clear each round this gives the candidate the impression that they are making it to the end and perhaps getting an offer — no matter how much experience they have. Make sure always to remind the candidate that say just because they’re at the next round it does not mean they’ll get the role. Be clear with them as well as to why the position has been hard to fill. This is especially important for junior applicants to the position as they are newer to the workforce and still learning the process of interviewing for a job.

HR / Recruiting Roles Specifically.

Don’t get me wrong, the below can still apply to other roles that have active communities around them — but it’s especially important for HR and Recruiting functions as they know how this process works! The community is tight-knit and while they don’t want to burn a company publicly (well some may) in private Slack messages, emails or texts the company names are shared. Larger cities such as NYC and SF have microcosms where everyone knows everyone and much like a bad experience at a restaurant it will spread.

Circumstances of the Candidate.

Remember as well what circumstances are swirling around the candidate. They’re looking for a job, and that means that they may not have an income and are sweating for a start date. Yes, there are people with jobs looking for a new job but when you do the initial phone screen make a note of their situation. Remember what it was like for you when you were interviewing. If a candidate has said they need a role asap be mindful of that. This ties into points 3 and 4. Always try to have a projection of how long the process will take and let them know right away.

You don’t want to lose a star candidate over any of the above. Remember the Golden

Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Brandi is Lumity’s Community Manager for HR for HR and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lumity is an all-in-one benefits solution that combines technology and experts to relieve the headache of scaling modern benefits programs for small HR teams. She’s an accomplished HR leader with more than 17 years of progressive, diverse and broad-based HR experience in a variety of industries and organizational structures. Over the course of her career, she’s worked in the startup world in NYC, LA and New Orleans at global companies such as TripleLift and Playdots.

Connect with Brandi on LinkedIn.


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