A candidate communication strategy is something every hiring manager, HR professional and recruiter should have in their arsenal. How so? Well, often it can mean the difference between losing a prime candidate or signing them to your company.
See, depending on the nature of your business, the hiring process can be quite a lengthy one. Even if you have great recruitment software to help you keep track of everything while you consider your options, there will be times that it takes a little longer than expected. This is when things (AKA fantastic potential employees) can slip between the cracks - unless you have a rock-solid communication strategy in place.
According to recent statistics, almost 60% of job seekers have had a bad candidate experience, and 72% have shared their unsatisfactory experience on online employer review sites like Glassdoor.com and informal industry hubs like The Resource Creative Forum Facebook page. This is really bad for that all-important employer brand.
Here are the main things that candidates want from you when they apply to fill a position at your business:
● Acknowledgement of receipt of their application
● A timely notification if they have not been selected to proceed
● Clear, regular communication if they have been selected to proceed
● A timeline of how the hiring process will unfold
● Contact with a real human who can answer their questions outside of a FAQ page
These are the basic high notes you have to hit whenever you engage with a job seeker who expresses interest in your business. However, there are some other details you can finesse.
How to Tailor a Candidate Communication Strategy That Keeps Talent Engaged
1. Consider the Process from the Applicant's Perspective
What would you want if you applied for a job? How would you like to be treated? Consider this while you create your strategy and bear it in mind whenever you engage with a job seeker, even (or perhaps especially) when you're short on time and dealing with an overflowing inbox.
2. Identify All The Most Important Touchpoints Along the Candidate Journey
Know when and where you are engaging with potential employees. In some instances, the candidate journey could begin even before you post a job opening, for example, in the case of prospective applicants who have signed up to be notified of new job listings. Keep tabs of the most important times when you need to reach out, and make sure that you do.
3. Cultivate A Customer Service Mindset
One of the best ways to keep your employer brand blemish-free and remain attractive to top talent is to treat job applicants with the same level of respect, consistency, and expediency than you would a paying client. After all, it's just good manners.
4. Find A Way To Be Available
Time is in short supply in the HR game, but if you want to keep talent engaged throughout the application process, you need to find a way to streamline operations in order to be available when someone has a question.
Some companies opt-in on SaaS-based solutions to help them manage communications to ensure timeous responses to candidate queries, which is a very effective way to streamline proceedings.
5. Create User-Friendly Templates
An effective way to save everyone on the recruitment team a lot of time is to create communication templates that can be copied, pasted and suitably altered in response to regular queries. Naturally, the key to using templates well lies in using it in a way that does not make it apparent that you are doing so. As such, know that the content of a template should only ever serve as a helpful guideline.
6. Stick To Writing Best Practices
Always keep your candidate communication short, smart, and to the point. Take care to use sincere, professional language with a personal tone, and remember to provide constructive feedback when you need to let someone know that they have been unsuccessful in their application.
7. Always Ask for Feedback
Feedback is your friend when it comes to creating a solid candidate communication strategy, and the good news is that there is an infinite pool of people to involve. Current employees, company alumni, and, of course, candidates themselves, can all be polled to gain insights into the effectiveness of your approach.
Use this to your advantage by asking for feedback regularly and putting this data to good use.
Tailoring a candidate communication strategy that keeps talent engaged does not have to be an insurmountable task. Start by considering the process from the applicants’ perspective and identifying the most important touchpoints along the candidate journey. Cultivate a customer service mindset, find a way to be available, and create user-friendly templates. Round it off by sticking to writing best practices and always asking for feedback.