Whether you’re on the hiring or job seeker side of the talent acquisition process, both parties have a common enemy: the abyss of resumes and interviewed candidates that are neither progressing forward nor rejected, otherwise known as the applicant black hole. It occurs when the hiring process stalls for specific individuals, leaving candidates in limbo and unsure of where they stand with the company.

Sending job applications into the dreaded “black hole” can lead to poor candidate satisfaction, damage your company’s employer brand and result in a painstakingly slow hiring process. But with so much HR technology available, achieving a more candidate-centric approach is more attainable than you may think. Here are a few components to have in your talent acquisition tech stack to ensure your candidates aren’t sent into a black hole.

Save Resumes in an ATS So They’re Searchable

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is the well-known backbone of any modern talent acquisition tech stack. Nonetheless, it warrants a mention because lots of companies are still manually downloading resumes and saving them to desktop folders only to have no way to easily find a particular candidate’s resume again. ATS software streamlines the application process by collecting, storing and organizing applicant information within one searchable database. Using the search feature in your ATS is especially helpful if you have hundreds of resumes to look through but are targeting candidates with specific qualifications. There are countless ways to search for qualified candidates within your ATS, such as keyword search, boolean queries, radius search and more. An essential element of your talent acquisition tech stack, an ATS takes a good deal of manual organization off your plate so you can move more quickly to make the right hire and ensure that no one gets lost in the shuffle. Examples of ATS include JazzHR and Greenhouse.

Automate Capturing and Sharing Interview Insights

After screening or interviewing candidates comes the time-consuming administrative work of summarizing the conversations and sharing them across different teams. Then, this process is repeated as the candidate progresses through multiple interviews with different team members. A scenario that plays out all too often is that one team member has other tasks that take priority, delaying the sharing of information about the interview and bringing the hiring process to a halt. By the time they return to writing a synopsis of the conversation, they can barely remember what was discussed. Not to mention, a team member’s impression of a candidate’s performance during an interview is just that–an impression. Unconscious bias plays a role in the outcome of all person-to-person interviews, as does how the interview is structured.

Interview intelligence solutions simplify and expedite the post-interview analysis and documentation portion of the hiring process. These tools use AI to extract an intelligent synopsis of the conversation, including data on both the candidate experience and what topics were discussed. This technology is becoming increasingly robust in its ability to interpret conversations, even highlighting potential strengths, concerns, teamwork qualities and other attributes. Some solutions can also flag whether the interview may have contained questions around age, gender, race or other categories that could indicate potential bias. The intelligent synopsis can be automatically sent to all of the hiring stakeholders, who can use the data to augment their decision-making process. When it’s time to make a final hiring decision, you can easily pull content from the interview to support why the candidate would or would not be fit for the role. With interview intelligence in your tech stack, you’ll have significantly more searchable data on which to find previous applicants that may be a good fit for the role. Examples of interview intelligence solutions include BrightHire and HireLogic.

Building a Talent Acquisition Tech Stack That Doesn’t Send Applicants into a Black Hole

Example of AI-generated Interview Intelligence

Automate Communications With Candidates

Automating communication with your company’s candidates ensures that job seekers have the latest updates on their application status available, keeping them out of the abyss of the black hole. Automated progression or rejection emails can be set up within your ATS or customer relationship management (CRM) platform and you can add the option to customize the message, or even automatically pull relevant information from interview intelligence notes as discussed in the previous section.

It’s also worthwhile to keep applicants engaged beyond just sending application status updates. For example, you can send updates about your company’s open positions, culture and employee testimonials to pique potential candidates’ interest in working for your company. When more opportunities arise, you’ll have a dynamic talent pool at your disposal. With an ATS you can include automation capabilities in your tech stack.

Gather Feedback From Candidates

Once you’ve selected the candidate to extend a job offer to, the easiest route is to breathe a sigh of relief and move on from the talent search. But you left behind what is likely a very compelling talent pool that includes candidates who are disappointed and in the dark as to the reason why they didn’t make the cut. It’s in the best interest of your employer brand to keep in touch with them. Not only may you want to return to some of the potential candidates for a future job opening, but some of them may be inclined to share their experience with your company’s hiring process online. It’s best to give candidates a chance to share their feedback directly with your company rather than with the Internet masses–which they will. Many job seekers read company reviews before even applying to a role and 55% report avoiding certain companies after reading about negative candidate experiences.

Gathering feedback from candidates using a recruitment feedback solution is useful in a few ways. First, it allows you to build relationships with talented people who are interested in working for your company by engaging with them directly even after the hiring process has concluded. It also gives you an opportunity to evaluate any bottlenecks or biases that may exist within your talent acquisition process. Third-party candidates can sometimes make observations that are hard to see internally. You can collect quick feedback over text or email by asking for a rating, or you can solicit additional insights by sending out a more detailed survey about the candidate experience. Examples of candidate feedback systems range from HR-focused solutions like Trustcruit to more general survey solutions like Qualtrics.

Maintaining a balance between taking the time to find the right candidate and hiring quickly to fill a talent gap is already a sensitive process; it shouldn’t be needlessly drawn out by manual processes. Employers invest their invaluable time and resources into finding the right candidates. Likewise, job seekers pour lots of hope and effort into researching potential workplaces, crafting the perfect resumes and cover letters, and preparing for interviews. For both parties’ sake, consider expanding your talent acquisition tech stack to enhance communication with your candidates and keep the hiring process moving forward. Unless you’re recruiting astrophysicists, black holes have no place in the talent acquisition process.

Richard Mendis

Richard Mendis is the CMO at HireLogic. He has more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry and is using it to help companies hire smarter and faster.