4 Life Changing Tips to Managing Candidate Expectations

4 years ago


We see it all the time, where ever we go, inside and outside of the workplace. Someone promises the world, and when it comes down to it, falls short of all they have promised.

Why does this need to happen? In this article, I’ll explain the 4 main points to managing expectations.

So why manage expectations? What is the point?

In an increasingly candidate-driven market, where job seekers hold all the cards, it’s more important than ever for talent to have a great experience when they interact with your organisation. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the candidate really is king – see our other article on this here!

A prime example that I hear far too often, is when candidates are put forward for roles, then never hear from the agency/hiring manager again. Ensuring that candidates are kept in the loop throughout the recruitment process and any feedback, whether good or bad, is relayed in a constructive manner is crucial to managing that candidate’s expectations and in this day and age- exceeding them.

So here are my top tips for managing expectations.

1. Keep everyone in the loop

If you can’t interview someone for two weeks as you are on holiday, tell them. If you can’t work to the company’s terms on this occasion, tell them, and if you aren’t looking for someone anymore as you’ve recruited internally, tell the person you’ve just interviewed, or any other parties involved.

It’s important to keep candidates in the loop throughout the recruitment process so that they know exactly what they are working with. It saves a lot of time and hassle and stops people chasing you for information that is now irrelevant.


2. Set Realistic Goals and Follow Through on Your Word

This is good advice to follow in every aspect of life. Set realistic goals, communicate these goals and ensure you can follow through on them. Before saying that you are going to do something, think, do you have the time, energy and resources to commit to this task?

If you say you will provide feedback by the end of the week, is this feasible? Will you realistically have three interviews booked by the end of the week?

If not, communicate this to all parties involved so that no one feels ignored, or thrown by the wayside. Or just make sure your goals are realistic and achievable in the time you have available.

Once you have communicated these goals, make sure that you follow through on these. There is little more frustrating than being let down by a person or company that promises to have completed something by a set time, only to not deliver. Which leads me to my next point…


3. Under Promise, Over Deliver

I know, it sounds like a millennial buzz phrase, but hear me out. If you tell someone you are going to get them a huge fancy birthday cake and then end up giving them a tray bake, they may be a bit upset. Tell them you will get them a small cake, nothing special, and give them a tray bake, they will be thrilled. Same product, different expectations.

A good example of this is how our Talent Manager speaks to our candidates. She explains that we can never guarantee that we will find them the perfect role, but that we will try our absolute hardest.

Then, when we place them in their dream job, we have exceeded their expectations. Which is a much nicer feeling than failing to live up to a promise.

How does your recruitment process line up with this? Do you promise the world, fantastic salaries, exclusive benefits and career progression to entice the ideal candidate in, then under deliver on your promises? Or do you tell is as it is?


4. Be Honest!

My final point, above all else, be honest. If someone or something isn’t right for you, or they failed at interview/tender stage, give them constructive feedback, and let them know. If it’s because they wore ripped jeans to an interview, or failed your computer test, tell them. How can they work on their flaws if they don’t know where to improve?


So there are my tips on managing expectations, following these simple suggestions could really change your life, imagine not being hassled for things constantly and getting the candidates you want, first time around! This is not an exhaustive list and you have any other advice, feel free to get in touch!

Maria LeylandAmy Hutcheson
Senior Recruitment Consultant
[email protected]

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