When Clients Snooze

By MEREDITH LOVE on FEBRUARY 15, 2016

The recruiting competition for good talent these days is fierce and no one will wait for slackers who don’t respond in a timely manner. To win at the recruiting game today, companies who are hiring and candidates who are applying need to react and communicate quickly. This is especially critical in today’s environment where good candidates are in short supply.

Whether you are a manager or recruiter for one single company, constantly looking for great new talent, or you recruit for several clients or companies like we do here at Kimmel & Associates, these 5 tips can help you recruit great talent when you need it – quickly.

In this economy, great candidates won’t wait long for you to bring them a good offer and they are most likely considering several opportunities simultaneously. Therefore, hiring authorities simply cannot afford to take an inordinate amount of time to respond to candidates. Recruiters and candidates need feedback. Everyone must stay on task and respond quickly. By doing so, candidates will be happy with their offers and companies will end up with top-tier performers.

It’s Best for Everyone Involved

As recruiters, we need to let our clients (employers) know that they need to respond quickly to inquiries in order to land the best employees. Alternatively, let candidates know right from the start that you will not chase them down or wait for them to respond to your calls. However, candidates are harder to find than jobs right now, so use this tactic sparingly because it can sometimes work against us. Nevertheless, when every party is on board with communicating a clear and timely response, we can serve you, our clients, with the confidence to lead the recruiting competition in this highly competitive job market.

To succeed in today’s economy as a top tier company, you need to be part professor, part counselor and part salesman. To further enhance your ability to work effectively and efficiently, consider employing these tips to your recruiting repertoire:

1. Provide Information

When you have an urgent job order, provide as much information about the position up front. Be ready with complete responses when your top candidates ask about them. They may jump to another job if they have to wait on you to get answers from companies who don’t feel the same urgency to respond or if they don’t feel like their goals are aligned with your company.

Provide information about responsibilities, opportunities for advancement, benefits and perks as soon as you can so the process isn’t slowed do. Also provide cultural and career-path potential, how many hours they are expected to work, and how much vacation and flex time is offered as well as options for creativity.

2. Respond Quickly

Smart, professional candidates can’t — and won’t — wait around these days to get answers from the slowest-moving employer. If top candidates don’t feel as if they are being taken seriously or given sufficient respect, they’ll take another offer. It is likely they’ll have more than one offer on the table, or they’ll bolt to find another job on their own or through another recruiter.

When you tell a candidate that you are going to respond to their candidacy by Friday, do it. Make commitments to your candidates and stick to them. If you are not serving good candidates with appreciation and urgency, they will move on to something else.

3. Be Available

To get good candidates, you’ve got to be aggressive and available. When you spot those candidates who present that “wow” factor you’re looking for, do not rest on your laurels and take them for granted. You’ve got to pursue great candidates like you are chasing a beauty queen for a date to the prom — with vigor and vigilance.

Just as that cute girl (or guy) needs to feel special to accept your invitation, your candidates have to feel the love too. There’s a line forming behind you to ask her out; if you fail, your competitors will move in. The best candidates won’t give you a second chance. They want someone to provide an amazing job offer in a timely manner. They don’t care if it’s you or the recruiting competition. So show up with your “wow” factor in place, sell them on YOU, the opportunity, and the advancement potential so they are interested and compelled to move forward with a potential offer.

4. Cooperate Urgently

Timing is everything when it comes to recruiting competition.

If a client is going to be a snoozer and refuse to cooperate, recruiters can’t do anything about that. But we can move on to other hot clients who are responsive and place the best employees there.

When clients don’t respond quickly, candidates don’t take them seriously; neither do recruiters. Recruiters will respond to job orders from companies that understand the urgency. Many hiring managers have lost good candidates due to lack of urgency, and in some cases, have sorely regretted it.

5. Be Proactive

When we first respond to a job order, we let hiring managers know that they need to participate in the recruiting process as well. It’s important that you heed your recruiter’s advice. Your goal becomes our goal, which is to find you the best employees on the job market. But to be successful, everyone has to move with speed in the same direction. Everyone has to be on the same page.

But clear communication is a two-way street. Stories abound of recruiters waiting on a response from a client, when all along, that very same client was waiting to hear back from the recruiter. Don’t get caught in that miscommunication quagmire that will cost you the top-tier candidates. If it seems like you’re the one waiting on someone else, it might actually be the other way around. Go ahead and get in touch. Be proactive.

Recruiting Competition and Responsive Clients

Ideally, we shouldn’t have to work so hard to convince you that you need to react quickly in the current marketplace to land the best candidates. But let’s face it, everyone is busy. You need to hire more people to take some of the load off of your desk. We get it. It’s a double-edged sword. It’s hard to find the time to hire someone when you’re busy doing the work of that individual to be hired. But unfortunately in this market, hiring has to be a priority because good candidates are very hard to find. Once you accept responsibility for the communication in the client/recruiter relationship, you can expect to see a few great candidates so long as you don’t waste your time in making a decision. Yes, take your time, but be very careful to not take too much time.

It’s a new world. Now is not the time to snooze or relax in the hiring process. Good candidates don’t last. The recruiting competition is out there waiting for you to slip up. Candidates show up at interviews wearing metaphorical running shoes; they’re ready to run if you don’t woo them. Instead, be proactive and responsive. Sell yourself and your company. Act like the company YOU want to work for. Court the good people with speed and efficiency. If you don’t make them feel the love, your competition will.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Meredith Love

Meredith Love

Executive Vice President

Meredith Love began her career with Kimmel & Associates as an associate in 2002. She holds a BA degree from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Western Carolina University with a concentration in Organizational Behavior.

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