How to Close the Recruitment Process Correctly

Closing the recruitment process correctly means that you preserve your brand and minimze efforts for future roles. Here's how.

Recruiting is a field that modernizes continuously. Companies use ATS or Applicant Tracking Systems, highly effective automatized processes and Artificial Intelligence. Systems like this make it easier to be more efficient. When you’re dealing with high volumes and a heavy desk, that can be the difference between staying one step ahead of the game or sleepless nights. But still, automation doesn’t mean you can sit back. You still need to bring your very best in order to find the right talent and close the deal. In our series on how to avoid mistakes that can cost you the right talent, this is the third and last one on the mistakes to avoid as a recruiter – read our previous editions here and here. Today, we focus on how to close recruitment process correctly and save you work. Let’s dive into it.

1. Re-inventing the wheel

During the course of the search for talent, you’ll talk to more candidates than you’ll need for the position. Not all will be good – some you talk to will not fit the company’s culture or lack the skills needed. Others you talk to, may be suitable for other positions. Some are even good for the role but just weren’t selected because another candidate had that something extra. Those candidates make a next search easier. But they do require a little bit of work.

If you have a portfolio of candidates, why would you open a search again? If you have a pool of candidates to choose from, it is easy to dive into that pool and selected the candidates that fit the role and the team. Instead of posting the role again, waiting for applications to come in, hope the right candidates apply (again), do the whole selection process once more, or, you can go though your stack of resumes of candidates you’ve already vetted. It saves time, effort, and it will build your brand as a pro-active employer.

Make sure your systems and processes allow for a portfolio of candidates. Think of ways to search for candidates so you can easily search and find, and update your processes to ensure compliance for applicable privacy legislation at all times.

2. Failure to close the process

In an “employer market” and roles where there is no shortage of candidates, the need to close the process may not be apparent. There will be enough candidates for next roles anyway. But following up and going through all the steps – including those for unsuccessful candidates – will help your brand. Here’s how.

First and foremost, it’s a show of courtesy. Rewarding the candidates that put in effort to apply for positions will appreciate getting a return of that investment with you sending a short note confirming not being included in the process. It helps the candidates get closure and takes away uncertainty about the process. Secondly, it strengthens your employer brand. If you have the systems in place to follow up and deal with these messages, it shows that you have your things in order and you value it enough to close the requisition. It comes across as professional, and shows you care about all candidates. Thirdly, it will make it more likely – or less unlikely – that the perfect candidate will apply for a position next time around. If there is no response, it may be seen as a lack of interest, and that may be seen as a telling show of the company’s culture.

3. Not keeping your candidate pool ‘warm’

A pool of candidates require attention and communication to keep ‘warm’. This doesn’t apply to all positions, but if you regularly search for senior, critical or leadership positions, it helps to keep a pro-active approach and build in time to periodically reach out and network with your candidate pool. Keeping in touch ensures the candidates maintain a positive feeling about the company and opportunities, your culture and your approach.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult exercise. A quick call or even a personal email to check in, can be enough. In that case, it will be easier when you reach out to that candidate to discuss an opening. You will not have to convince as much about the company.

4. Failing to check for references

No matter how good your interview skills are, I recommend you also do due diligence and check references. The purpose of the interview is to convince the recruiter how good the candidate is. You leave out elements that may jeopardize that, and you emphasize elements that may not have been as big or significant as explained. A check of references may provide helpful and needed context on the work, performance and results of the work of your candidate, and is too valuable to look over.

On the other hand – don’t rely to heavily on them. Although they are helpful, useful and needed, they should offer context and extra clarification to the candidate’s experience and background that you have already found out. You may hear significant red flags of a candidate that painted a completely different picture and you can dodge that bullet. But that is only an exception. You should hear what you already found out, and you should be able to define whether that means the candidate is a fit for the role or not.

5. Not listening to members of the panel

When you interview, you will presumably interview with a larger panel and not just by yourself. That’s good, because it limits the risk of a couple of recruiting biases (wait for a post on this topic) and minimizes blind spots. You get different questions and answers and a different view of the candidate. Make sure you plan a formal follow-up after the interview to discuss and agree on the outcome.

You can use a voting system to define next steps but be careful using a consensus system. You may miss out of a perfectly adequate candidate if one of the panel votes no, preventing moving forward with that candidate.

Not listening to the panel members is equally dangerous. As the hiring manager and budget holder, it will likely be your responsibility to select and hire the best candidate, but that shouldn’t mean that the well-intended and often-times correct feedback and concerns are irrelevant. A bad hire costs a lot of money and damages reputations. Make sure to listen. After that, follow our steps to close the process in the correct way, and save yourself work in the future.


You can easily minimize these risks by applying the appropriate automation in your process. At AskAway, you can use video interviews in your process. You can easily review and share your videos with a broader panel. Implementing a sound process will make it easier to find and recruit the right talent. Give AskAway a try – risk free, with a free one-month trial. Check out our offer here.

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