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A study conducted this year by the Talent Board reveals that 52% of candidates never hear back from the organizations they apply to, even after more than two or three months have passed. Not communicating with candidates hurts your employer brand. And anything that hurts your employer brand can hurt your recruitment efforts. Consider that:

  • These candidates could leave negative comments on social media and websites such as Glassdoor, leaving poor impressions of your organization with other potential candidates
  • Candidates who don’t hear from you are candidates who can’t grow your talent pool
  • Candidates you don’t nurture could have been an excellent fit with your organization—if not now, then in the future
  • Candidates you don’t communicate with could have developed into your brand ambassadors

It seems a simple task to champion timeliness with applicants, but the truth is that communicating with candidates requires a well thought out plan and people you can rely on to execute that plan.

Experience has taught me that creating an engaging, satisfying candidate experience begins with developing excellent working relationships with hiring managers. Like everything else in the recruitment cycle, this requires intentional effort.


Tips for engaging hiring managers

IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization has partnered for 15 years with a large organization in the healthcare industry for a recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) solution. We hire more than 24,000 employees for this client annually. Over the years we have developed and refined a successful recruiting solution that focuses on delivering a positive hiring manager and candidate experience.

This partnership demonstrates several best practices that you can follow for ensuring your hiring managers are engaged in and satisfied with the recruitment process.

1. Appoint one point of contact. A lead recruiter serves as the main contact for each hiring manager. Lead recruiters use a correspondence template when they begin to work with a hiring manager that provides the manager with contact information for both the lead recruiter and the lead recruiter’s manager. This way hiring managers know whom to contact and how for all recruitment needs or questions.

2. Establish lead recruiters as trusted advisors. Because of the high volume of hires for this client, we make sure that hiring managers work with the same lead recruiter for each of their open reqs. The hiring manager and lead recruiter can build a good working relationship, which helps position the lead recruiter as a trusted advisor to the hiring manager.

This approach is like having a primary care physician who knows your history, your needs—and you. The lead recruiter learns the market, the urgency of hiring needs, the hiring manager and his or her team. By building a relationship, the lead recruiter knows if a candidate fits the job and if the job fits the candidate. In other words, does the candidate have the soft skills to succeed under the hiring manager and with that team?

3. Communicate clear expectations. There’s no room for ambiguity: hiring managers should know exactly what their lead recruiter will deliver for them—and when. The lead recruiter is charged with creating sourcing action plans, monitoring applicants, and having weekly touchpoints with the hiring manager. Providing data points, the lead recruiter also consults with the hiring manager about compensation to make sure job offers are competitive.

4. Define the protocol for elevating urgency. Each stakeholder in the recruitment lifecycle has accountability for deliverables. To ensure deliverables are met, lead recruiters communicate at least weekly with hiring managers, and our talent acquisition managers conduct weekly check-ins with both lead recruiters and recruiters to review requisitions and address any special requests from hiring managers.

However, if a deliverable is missed and there is a need to elevate urgency in the recruitment lifecycle, each stakeholder must already understand the protocol for doing so.


Paving the way for a great candidate experience

Creating and maintaining a positive experience for hiring managers is essential to a successful recruitment program. The payoff is that informed and engaged hiring managers set the stage for keeping candidates informed, engaged, and satisfied too.

We’ll discuss ways to do that in Part 2 of this blog series. In the meantime, visit to learn more about IBM Talent Acquisition Optimization.

TAO Webpage

Portfolio Executive

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