Following Up: The Key to Reaching Your Job Candidate

You’ve finally decided; through countless interviews, resumes, and emails, you have nailed down your ideal job candidate. The person is qualified, has a good attitude, and is ready to work. As a job recruiter, it’s a ton of weight off your shoulders to find someone who’s perfect for the position.

However, now comes another tricky situation: reaching out to the job candidate.

It isn’t intuitive to think responding to the winning candidate is a pivotal part of the process. But it is. Despite giving them what you believe to be great news, following up – or the lack thereof – typically makes or breaks whether the person will take the job.

Fear not! There are ways to ensure you crush the follow-up and get that person through the door and into the position quickly and effectively. In this article, I’ll go over why following up is so important, the many tactics you can use to reach out to a job candidate, and how to lock up that candidate for the position.

If you’re ready, let’s get started!

Why is Following Up So Vital?

The company you’re hiring for needs to be seen as the premier career choice for your ideal job candidate. Presenting your company as the best landing spot is an art, one that you start to divulge in the initial interviews while recruiting.

While you did your due diligence in those first instances, that doesn’t mean your part is complete. You still need to court this candidate throughout, from interview to announcement of getting the position to the process of setting them up for their new job.

Your presentation of the company, beginning to end, is their main representation of the culture. It’s proven that how well you treat this person mirrors how they’ll feel starting out at the company.

This is especially important in 2018 and beyond. With AI having a stranglehold on some low-end jobs, recruiters are looking for more of the soft skills in candidates. Therefore, if you interview based on how people can assimilate into a team and work harmoniously with others, you better be reciprocating this approach too.

Plus, 33% of recruiters believe the future of recruiting depends on company mission. Using the mission as a differentiator means you as the job recruiter needs to exemplify said mission for the entire process.

It is absolutely critical to follow up correctly the first time. This is really prevalent when you consider 63% of recruiters said “talent shortage” was one of the biggest problems in 2017. You want this job candidate, so make that blatantly obvious.

What are the Ways I Can Reach Out?

Seeing as 70% of the global workforce consists of passive talent holders who aren’t actively job searching, it only makes sense to reach out to your perfect candidate the same way you contacted them in the first place. They were passive from the start, so they’ll still be passive until you contact them with the news that they succeeded in getting the position.

People change jobs for one major reason: career opportunity. Show them that what you are offering is an opportunity to create an amazing, rewarding career.

There are three ways to do this:

  • Call and leave a voicemail
  • Email
  • Ask for a meeting in person

Let’s go in-depth on each of these.


This tactic is quickly becoming outdated. Nevertheless, if you decide to go this route, you have to make sure you leave the best voicemail possible to get called back.

As 90% of first-time voicemails result in the person not returning the call, the odds are stacked against you. But there are tips you can use to up your chances with voicemail:

  1. Know that this is the best way to communicate with this job candidate. Context is everything; ensure this person will appreciate a call or voicemail.
  2. Establish company culture immediately (again). You want them to feel comfortable, which is tough through a voice-recorded message. Smile while you talk; this will help with how your voice sounds. If you can pull this off, you’ll be in good shape.
  3. Get to the point and start the follow-up process. Voicemails are not for small talk. Tell your candidate what you want to tell them in 30 seconds or less. Like an elevator pitch, but instead, you’re pitching for them to switch careers.
  4. End the voicemail confidently. Don’t simply trail off. Continuing with company mission, sound off with a sincere goodbye and hope that this voicemail finds them well.

Again, this is an antiquated type of communication and shouldn’t be your #1 option.


By far the most widely accepted form of follow-up, email is king.

The key is to get your job candidate to respond to your email. Thankfully, you probably reached out to them the first time through cold email. If this is the case, then you already have a warm touch through electronic mail. This will help you tremendously when you contact them again saying they got the position.

However, that doesn’t mean all of the hard work is done and over with. You still require a positive response, and a timely one too – you want this position filled as soon as possible. So there are tricks to use for following up successfully.

First is to be positive in every sentence. You should begin your email by stating the good news that they got the job. If you want to offer feedback from the interview or for their resume, do so in a polite, respectful manner. Even if you’re reaching out to the unsuccessful candidates, you’ll want to get to the point and then offer constructive criticism or ask questions.

Second, give them the specific reasons why they were selected (or not selected). This is the best kind of feedback because then candidates can see what their strengths are in the workforce and for the company.

Third, list out the details of the position. Include specifics of what the job entails, projected salary range, things that they previously mentioned they were looking for in a position, and whatever else seems relevant at this point.

Lastly, just be smart about how you structure the email itself. Be personal, including a personalized signature at the bottom, perhaps a short and sweet inside joke, staying professional where you need to, and being overall friendly. Whatever the equivalent of smiling while you leave a voicemail is for email, do exactly that.

In Person

This option is also a bit time consuming and old-fashioned, but it’s still effective. Of course, there are some positions out there that demand or suggest an in-person follow-up interview.

Pulling information from the first two choices, how you should conduct this follow-up interview is obvious.

Be friendly, establish company culture and mission, and cut to the chase. These keep coming up as tips because they are mainstays. Keep your job candidate in mind while radiating positivity and excitement.

If I were a candidate who got a position and was dealing with a job recruiter that didn’t seem in the game, would I actually be ecstatic about jumping into this new position? Probably not.

For all three communication techniques, the key is to communicate clearly and kindly. People respond to a positive reach.

How Do I Entice a Job Candidate?

Hopefully, the job description alone should spark an interest in the job candidate. But, like we discussed in the previous section, how you relay the development that they got the position matters just as much.

Enticing your ideal candidate is still important, all the way to them sitting at their new desk at their new job. They have expectations, especially entry-level candidates. They have student loans, house payments, and bills to pay.

They have goals and dreams for their career trajectory. They have family and friends and a life outside of their job. Acknowledge these concerns and they’ll know you have their interests in mind and at heart.

It’s also prudent to look at previous communication to see what really resonated with this particular candidate. They passively came to you and they responded to you originally because something you said made them believe in your efforts and services. Figure out what that was and use it again in this instance.

Another way to entice a job candidate is to follow up is to provide them with even more value. How can you do this? By creating more of a report between you and the candidate.

While most think after you deliver for the company and the candidate, the relationship is over. This is far from the truth; your relationship should remain strong with this candidate, as well as the other ones who didn’t score this job.

Why is a continual relationship important? Because you never know how long they’ll stick with this position. If they were to quit or get fired from this job in under a few months, you’ll want to be there to offer your services once more to find a new job. Plus, for those who didn’t get the career opportunity, they’re still out there searching. Opportunities for them equal opportunities for you.

Make Following Up a Strategy

You want this process to be just as fluid as the other parts. Create a strategy for how you normally follow up with a job candidate and you won’t have to deal with this conundrum for the most part. (There will be those random jobs or candidates that require other means of follow-up or communication, but for the most part, this can go into a template.)

Have a stored follow-up email or voicemail script waiting in the wings for when your ideal candidate lands the position. Then it’s all a matter of timing. You want to hit the sweet spot by not taking too long while also giving the company and candidate a day or two to prepare.

Once you have a strategy template for follow-up emails, all you have to do is tweak your language or tone to mimic the company or to cater to the person who you’re responding to.

Follow-up contact might appear like a daunting, unnecessary thing. I mean, the company will communicate with the job candidate eventually and start the process of hiring them. But you still want to be in the conversation.

Don’t let them forget that you were the one who set all of this up in the beginning. Take both the company and the candidate by the hand until they’ve formed a partnership. This shows the two sides exactly how much care you have for your clients and how much value you bring to the table.

Following Up is the Key to Landing Your Perfect Job Candidate

If you want constructive feedback exchanged between you and your job candidate, as well as a continuous relationship and good reviews on your recruiting efforts, following up is vital.

No matter how you follow up – voicemail, email, or in person – make sure you’re sincere, symbolize the company’s culture, and develop a longstanding trust with this person. Take into account their concerns and priorities in life; use these as leverage by showing them how this position opportunity solves or fulfills them.

And when push comes to shove, entice them to the nth degree by giving them all of the pertinent information, job details, career possibilities, and added value for down the road.

Your perfect job candidate can be found easily. The key is to follow up with this person and see them through to the final destination. Hopefully, now you know how to successfully follow up with ideal candidates.

If you’re having troubles as a recruiter to even get in the door via cold emails, MeetToby is to the rescue.

Manage your email outreach, automatically follow up with candidates, see when a contact becomes warm, and have access to multiple effective email templates by joining the MeetToby waitlist today.