Keeping candidates interested ahead of an assessment day

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Keeping candidates interested ahead of an assessment day

When it comes to keeping candidates interested pre-assessment day, regular communication is key.

But what do you keep in touch with them about? And how often do you touch base? Both questions we’re about to answer.

Why contact is important
It works both ways, but the initial stage of recruitment is all about first impressions. If you invite a candidate to an assessment day and then give them the cold shoulder, it doesn’t exactly give them the feeling you’re keen.

Another important consideration is the timeframe. Realistically, candidates will be applying elsewhere too, so if you leave it too long between the invite and the assessment, there’s a good chance they’ll get another offer in the interim, so try and keep your timeframe tight.

How to keep them interested
There are two elements you need to keep candidates keen on; the business and the role itself. So, your efforts should be split between the two.

It’s up to you whether you decide to touch base over the phone or via email, but the latter might be more convenient for them if they’re in current employment. Without further ado, here are four simple ideas and tips to help maintain the momentum:

Make it personal: Assessment days might be a group process, but treat applicants as an individual. Don’t send out mass emails that aren’t tailored to their name - at the very least, and make the effort to build a rapport by dropping in comments about things they’ve shared with you.

For example, if, during your initial call with them, they mentioned they were doing a half marathon at the weekend, ask them how it went!

Subtly sell yourself: A day or two after they’ve been invited to the assessment day, send them an email along the lines of ‘we’re looking forward to meeting you’, point them in the direction of some of your business’ perks, and give them a flavour of what your culture’s about.

Prepare them for the day: You don’t have to give everything away if you want some of it to be a surprise, but give candidates an idea of how the assessment day will flow. Will they be doing a one-to-one interview on the day? If so, it’s only fair to let them know so they can prepare.

And don’t forget the basics, like how long it’ll last for, what (if anything) they’ll need to bring with them, and whether or not food will be supplied (if it’s an all-day event).

Last but not least, give them directions for by car, bus or train. Yes, they can easily do this themselves, but it’s a nice gesture that’ll show them you’re attentive.

Touch base one last time: This one’s just a quickie and might be best to do over the phone, but check in with applicants one last time the day before the assessment to check they’re still coming.

This’ll give them a gentle reminder, and you a better idea of numbers if people end up dropping out.

Here at Cactus, we specialise in call centre recruitment. To see how our experts can help you fill your vacancies with top notch candidates, give the team a call on 01905 330 790, or drop them a line on