4 Ways to Incorporate Thanks Into the Candidate Experience

One of my clients is in hyper-growth mode. Super hyper-growth mode. 10 million competing priorities, fires everywhere, and hiring just as fast.

And sometimes candidate experience suffers.

For example, we had an open role for an Executive Assistant for the heads of the company. A position that would REALLY help put out the fires. We had the perfect candidate scheduled. And canceled on. And scheduled. And canceled on. And then, after we were trying to re-schedule her again, they put the position on hold.

As the recruiter who was using all of my tricks to keep her warm, what was I to do? I didn’t want her telling others that my client was a disorganized mess. I actually still believe she would be a great candidate if they just had time to meet her (and onboard her….).  She was incredibly understanding and joked that she could really help with all of their mishaps and snafus, but she wanted to meet them first. Understandable and the sign of a great hire.

As the person who was always flaking on her, I felt awful. Luckily, I found out about a great new service called Evabot, and with a few clicks, I was able to send this awesome candidate a gift she wanted and thank her for being so understanding. With Evabot, I put in her email address and my price point, and they did the rest. I didn’t need to know her address or anything, because that was all on the backend. She was so grateful, that I know when my client gets their act together, she will not only take my call, but give them another chance.

As recruiters, we are in the service industry, and while we touch so many people, we’d go bankrupt gifting everyone, it’s important to remember the value of kindness and gratitude throughout the recruiting process. My rules of thumb for easy candidate thanks are:

  1. At the end of the initial phone screen, thank them for their time, candor and detail.
  2. When I turn them down, thank them and offer assistance in any way I can.
  3. If my client is being slow, thank them for their patience and understanding.
  4. As part of onboarding, I encourage my clients to send/give some company swag to thank them for joining and welcome them to the team.

And, if the candidate experiences some sort of negative interaction, verbal, or even gifted thanks goes a long way. This is the human business, and expressing human kindness, understanding, and appreciation really helps us build rapport and relationships with our candidates and clients.

As a company who hires, tokens of appreciation, swag to make people feel like a part of the team, and acknowledgment of people’s time and commitment to interviewing with you builds your company’s reputation and brand, while also showing candidates your commitment to doing the right thing. 


Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.