What Candidates Want: The 5 Recruiting (Love) Languages

Amanda Palczynski | February 13, 2020

If you’ve ever hit a relationship road bump, you might have consulted The 5 Love Languages® – a self-help enterprise of books and quizzes created by Gary Chapman. Communication clashes with your partner or parent can be attributed to more implicit reasoning that you convey deep love differently – according to Chapman, there’s a way to remedy it.

As a hiring manager or recruiter, you might wonder how the concepts in these guides could serve as a way to understand your candidates and what they are looking for during the interview experience. So, with a nod to the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here is our spin on the 5 Recruiting (Love) Languages:

#1 Acts of Scheduling

Sounds silly, right? Getting your candidates on the calendar promptly for multiple interviews, sending out timely invites, and syncing up (especially when there’s been any type of change) are effective but simple methods to make their lives (and yours) a whole lot easier. Small efforts, with a little automation, can lead to rewarding payoffs.

#2 Giving Constructive Feedback

If only there were candy hearts that could express everything you might wish to share with a candidate. But “You Are #1” or “U R Perfect” don’t always get that info across, especially for the candidates not selected for the job. 

I’m going to share a personal experience from 10 years ago: I was interviewing for a junior graphic designer role at an electric company. I soared on my first interview – the President even took me on a tour of the facility. Excited, I arrived for a second interview with a panel of several senior managers. Unfortunately, nerves welled up and I had difficulty fielding questions about why I had left my last job. To say it flopped is, well, putting it lightly.

I was shown out kindly, but the mood was crestfallen. The President warmly thanked me for coming – little did I know, that wasn’t all he had to say. I received a personal phone call from him days later firmly but encouragingly delivering feedback on how to approach tough questions the next time I encountered them.

#3 Taking the Time for Transparency

Nothing speaks more strongly to a candidate than telling it like it is. When hunting for the right position, details about the job requirements and benefits are a few of the things that your candidates need to know before the interview. Here are a few examples of what might be helpful transparency for a candidate in the interview process:

  • Your company is implementing a major new software system that will change the way everyone works and will be important to the role they are applying for 
  • Culture: describe what a “day in the life” could be like or a brief overview of the pillars and principles drive your employees’ goals
  • Be very clear about work-from-home policies or pre-tax commuter programs, especially if you’re located in a large city

#4 Staying in Touch

Job seekers appreciate timely check-ins when their candidacy is on the line. Having an open-door policy is great, but a personal message will resonate more. Also, sending thoughtfully-written e-introductions or requesting video submissions can move the interview process along, and all it takes is a little prep time.

If you prefer sending a LinkedIn message, candidates will know that you’re keeping professional tabs on them even if there isn’t a role for them at your company presently. Maintaining these connections will prove powerful when you have an opening, especially for skill-based or technical positions.

If you’ve built a list of strong candidates who haven’t been placed yet, try to avoid frequent automated emails. E-blasts are not conducive for getting a pulse on your candidate pool.

#5 Sending “Swag”

If you work for a large staffing agency, you’re bound to have access to the swag vault. If your candidate is having a rough time of it, prepare them a little bundle: a calendar and a lip balm, or a notebook and a pen. When they land a role, they’ll likely use their goodies at the new job and even their co-workers will notice.

When it comes to hiring, there are many recruiting “languages” that will go a long way with your candidates. Some may not look or feel very conventional, but all of them can have a positive impact. Whether you start with one or a mixed bag, make sure you choose those that will enhance your candidates’ experience in landing their next job (that we hope they’ll love!).

About The Author

Amanda Palczynski is the Brand Program Manager at interviewstream. She is a perfectionist for accuracy; loves getting crafty with hand lettering and typography; and can speak strictly in quotes from The Office for any occasion.


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