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Best Ways to Improve Response Rates from Candidates

Candidate response rate

It is a candidate’s market; let no one tell you otherwise

Thus, getting the candidate to respond to your initial reach-out and stay with you for the entire hiring journey is crucial. There is no surefire way to achieve this, but HR Managers still have a trick or two up their sleeves. Read on as we give you pointers on how you can improve the response rate from the candidates.

Personalize the message

It can be enticing to generate and send across an initial automated reach out; DON’T. This is among the most common mistakes HRs make. There are multiple issues- your message could be filtered out as bulk automatically, or the candidate could ignore it. Think of the candidate as people. Using their name and a sentence or two enquiring about their well-being, and a thoughtful message tailored to the specific job opportunity and interests can help you get a response.

Shortlyst personalizes reach outs using auto-generated templates. What is better, you can even find the missing names, email addresses, or phone numbers to connect better with the candidates.

Be clear and concise

More than half the emails you send out get lost in translation- it’s a fact. We know using business jargon can be enticing- PRB, NRN, EOD, EOW; might even save you precious ‘seconds’; but some people can find it difficult to comprehend. Ensure your message is clear, concise, and to the point. Also, add the complete job information and include the subsequent steps and assessments the candidate needs to complete if they are interested.

Use the preferred method of contact

The candidate may prefer phone calls, or they may be more comfortable over texts. It is usually not mentioned in the CV, but you can ask for this in the initial reach out if not mentioned. This ensures that the candidate is comfortable and more forthcoming when talking to you.

You can find the candidate’s preferred method of contact explicitly in the candidate profile on Shortlyst, along with the contact details. It gives you an upper hand over your peers still hiring via job portals.

AI-Sourcing Tool from Shortlyst to find the right candidate & their accurate contact details.

Check the candidate’s availability

Reaching out to candidates when they are free increases their chances of replying. You can enquire about their schedule in the first interaction or ask for the right time to contact them.

Also, you can find the right time to connect with candidates via schedulers. Shortlyst connects with Calendly to find the perfect time to connect based on the availability of both parties.

Offer incentives

This is one of the best ways to encourage people to get candidates to respond. HRs vouch that they have successfully hired candidates by offering referral or joining bonuses. Incentives and perks make the deal sweeter, thus improving the response rate.

Ensure you follow up

Reaching out is not enough; you must follow up with candidates. A friendly yet professional message about the delay and their interest can be helpful. Also, you must maintain regular interaction with candidates during the entire course of the hiring journey.

Shortlyst keeps track of the candidate’s progress across various touch points. You can create a customized journey and maintain & monitor it to ensure a successful hire.

Engage with the candidate

This is closely related to the point above. It is vital to handhold candidates throughout the hiring journey. Ensure they are constantly updated on progress, interview schedules, and decisions relating to their candidature. Peppering this with inquiries about their well-being can also help improve the relationship and reduce ‘candidate ghosting.’

Shortlyst provides a window to the candidate’s progress with updates on every interaction with you and your team. It helps maintain candidate engagement throughout the hiring journey and can be instrumental in ensuring a successful hire.

Avoid multiple reach outs

It is common for hiring firms and HR departments to send multiple emails to the same candidate. However, this can be embarrassing and cause the candidate to lose trust. It usually happens when there are overlaps and duplications in the database. Thus, it is imperative to clean your database regularly.

Shortlyst can be an empowering tool for an HR department in such a scenario. It eliminates the chance of double reach outs by storing past candidate interactions with you and your team.

Here are 4 more methods for the HR department to enhance their hiring strategy


They ask you ‘to not burn bridges’ in the corporate world; it cannot be more accurate. This applies equally to the candidate, as well as the HR manager. So, whether the candidate is hired or not or chooses to turn down your offer, make sure to part on a good note. Thank them for their time and consideration. This simple action can help build positive relationships for the future.

Shortlyst, with its multi-channel compatibility and easy integration to existing CRMs and productivity suites, it can eliminate bottlenecks and significantly improve the hiring journey for the candidate and the organization. Also, it offers a bird’s eye view of the hiring progress and team performance, allowing real-time analysis and tweaking capabilities to the management. Finally, the easy learning curve, ease of operation, intuitive database, and robust AI make it an excellent alternative to manual hiring. Talk to our team to understand how it can fit into your hiring process.

Written by

Shortlyst Team

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