HR professionals and recruiters complain about stalker candidates who won’t let go.
I get it — except I hate the word stalker.
So what do you do as a recruiter or HR leader when someone won’t stop texting you, calling you or hounding you mercilessly in other ways? Well, first things first. You have to check yourself. Have you been clear on your intentions that you will never — under any circumstances — hire this candidate? Does the applicant know that she has no chance of working for your organization?
You need to make this clear in multiple forms. I suggest an email, a letter to the home and a phone call or voicemail. Candidates like that don’t pick up when the number is blocked. They think it’s a bill collector. So block your number and leave that message.
Then ask someone with a strong voice (an older man who sounds like Clint Eastwood, perhaps?) to follow up with another voicemail message.
If you have been crystal clear and the candidate still doesn’t get the message, you need to determine if this is a threat. If it’s a threat, or if this person is calling you at home, call the police. The earlier in the process, the better. If it’s not a threat but just an annoyance at work, get your legal counsel involved.
Far too often, HR forgets that we have colleagues and peers who can help.
And however you decide to address this situation, you need to ignore this person once the other mechanisms are in place. Just like an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend who can’t let it go, you need to stay strong and stop acknowledging this candidate’s existence. The more they hear from you, the more you offer hope.
And for all of you candidates who contact a company more than three times and don’t hear anything — the job, at least right now, is not yours. You may be desperate but you also have some dignity. Stop calling that recruiter.