When it comes to selecting a candidate for a role you’ve been tasked to fill, you are likely to consider multiple applicants. Some will be qualified and some will not. Some will be a good fit for the position, while others may have attributes that make you wonder, despite their qualifications, if they would fit well into your work environment.

Whatever the case may be, whether you select someone for a role or send them packing, it’s important to maintain a good relationship with every candidate you consider for a job, or even just interact with. You never know when that person might be a good fit for a different role down the road. And remember, whether or not a person is selected, if he or she has a good experience during the interview and selection process, the applicant will be more likely to speak highly of your company, and potentially even send other qualified candidates your way in the future.

Be Relational

When it comes to recruiting and interviewing these days, there are a lot of technological advancements like applicant tracking systems, video interviewing technology, automated emails, and so on. However, it’s important to not get so caught up in the technological capabilities that we lose the personal touch that allows us to leave a lasting good impression on candidates. While technology can be impressive, human interaction is more important. A personal touch, whether through face-to-face interaction or a phone call, lets you get to know a candidate more comprehensively. It also helps the candidate get to know your company better than any video or piece of technology could.


When a candidate is treated respectfully as an individual throughout the process, it softens the blow of not receiving a position, and leaves your company looking good despite the candidate’s rejection, as described in this article by Lotus Yon on LinkedIn. Things like communicating effectively and in a timely manner, having respect for the applicant’s time, and treating him or her as a valued individual, whether in small or grand ways, can go a long way toward keeping the whole experience a positive one.

Your Brand

Just as your company is branded, your recruitment and hiring processes should reflect the culture and image you want to project. Recruiting is an aspect of your company that directly faces the public. In HR, you deal directly with lots of people who can share their experiences, both positive and negative, with countless others. Before people have their first interview or even apply, you need to imagine what you want the process to look like. Do you want to appear welcoming and respectful, or rigid, cold, and distant? Think about the environment you’d like to portray, and how you want potential candidates to perceive your organization through their interactions with you. From there, it will be easier to figure out what needs to be done in order to create that kind of perception, so you can start building that good reputation and attracting high-quality talent.

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.


  • Avatar Melinda Larson says:

    Choosing the best, most appropriate person is always difficult. Sometimes you plan to interview ten people, but you decide to choose the best person in the middle of the list. Half of the people on the list are still waiting for an interview, and here it is important not to show that you already have some preferences.

  • Avatar Cindy Zimmerman says:

    A new position is always a desirable thing, especially when it is a higher position. Different people would like the advantages it can give, but not all people estimate the burden they want to accept. Try to show the position from both sides, and don’t raise its value. If you speak with clever candidates, they will see whether or not this position is what they need.

  • Avatar Claire L. says:

    During a discussion with a candidate, try to help them find their way. Give a precise assessment of their skills, and explain which of these will be suitable for a position you offer and which will be more useful in some other field.

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