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What to do when a candidate goes dark

As a recruiter, one of the most important aspects of the job is keeping candidates interested in the opportunity. Every so often, a candidate goes dark – all communication stops out of the blue and when this happens, it feels as if all progress that has been made has been lost.

What can be done on the recruitment end to alleviate the stress that comes when a candidate goes cold?

Emphasize the importance of communication and set deadlines for response time. It is important to begin the relationship through various methods of communication; if the candidate does go dark, a call to “check up” is routine rather than desperate. While establishing the relationship, understand how active the candidate is in their search and their timeline to transition into a new opportunity.

Gain their respect and trust. Guide the candidate as an advisor in their search, helping steer them in a direction you believe to be the best move for their future. A candidate is far less inclined to go dark if they trust who they are talking to and have faith in the system.

Should you execute these tips, but to no avail, run into a candidate where all communication has stopped, you must then evaluate if the candidate is worth the time. Should you change gears and move on to a candidate that would be more than eager to be given the opportunity? You may begin to spend more time trying to connect with a lost connection rather than building a relationship with a zealous one.

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