<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=353110511707231&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Answering Candidates' Unspoken Questions

September 1, 2020

As we move into a post-pandemic world, candidate communication will continue to be both a significant and critical part of any hiring process or program. As you look to bring on new talent post-crisis, it's important to remember that the first interaction candidates will have will likely be through a help desk or support system. For the members of your help desk team or your support system team, it is crucial that they are able interpret what candidates are actually asking for, thoroughly respond, and anticipate and answer any future questions in a kind and professional manner.

Candidate questions during the hiring processHow do they accomplish that in one short response? Easily! By knowing the company’s processes, being intuitive in their responses, and by making lasting impression on the candidate. 

Use these best practices to inform your own approach: 

Know Your Processes 

First and foremost, know your processes. The candidate is coming to your help desk team because they are the experts. Knowing the processes from start to finish should enable them to both answer the question that was asked, as well as be able to give the candidate additional information when needed. Often, candidates will respond with follow-up questions if their initial question was not answered in its entirety. Doing some research up front about the situation can help reduce the number of interactions with the candidate in the long run.  

Be Intuitive in Your Responses 

While your help desk team members are the experts in your company’s process, the candidates that they are communicating with are not. Sometimes, candidates will pose a question in a confusing way or use different verbiage than what makes sense to your team. You will need to find a way to translate and interpret the inquiry and then formulate an intuitive and purposeful response. The question that the candidate is asking up front will not always be the question that you will end up answering. Knowing how to get to the root of the issue will ultimately help to facilitate and expedite your responses.  

Make a Lasting Impression 

Whether applying for a new job, transitioning into a different position, or inquiring about pay or benefits, the candidate is apt to be experiencing a time of change or uncertainty. Candidate communication is a great opportunity to not only make a personal connection with someone, but to also leave a positive lasting impression of the company. Sometimes you will be the first interaction a candidate has with a representative of your organization, and going that extra mile for them can be a step in the right direction in making the process a positive experience for them. 

In conclusion, knowing your processes, being intuitive in your responses, and making a lasting impression when communicating with a candidate will help you to not only resolve the candidates’ request, but will also allow you to go above and beyond in candidate care. After your interaction, the it's likely that the candidate will have a positive impression of you, the overall hiring process, and most importantly, the company that you represent. Taking these first steps can help you understand how to anticipate and answer candidates’ questions before they even have the chance to ask.  

webinar button for 5 ways to navigate the new talent landscape and emerge stronger

Hannah Asbury, M.S. Hannah Asbury, M.S. is a Consulting Associate at PSI Services, based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She implements and supports industry-leading, legally defensible assessment solutions and hiring processes for clients across a variety of industries. Her areas of expertise include candidate experience and communication, job analysis, and adverse impact.