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How to Manage Candidate Relationships and Keep Talent Interested

Every day, recruiters and human resources staff find themselves on the receiving end of thousands of resumes and job applications. The number of online applications has increased steadily thanks to major shifts in the way job seekers and companies interact. While the level of interest continues to go up, job seekers are often disappointed with the lack of engagement in the process. Many skilled candidates apply to jobs through company career sites or via referrals. However, the majority of applicants may never receive a response or hear from the hiring company after submitting an application.

Companies that are not able to utilize modern applicant tracking methods and don’t have effective recruitment CRM capabilities in place waste resources and hiring budgets, by failing to interact with interested prospects and managing candidate relationships. Whether employers choose to adopt modern recruitment software or pursue alternative methods to access quality candidates, below are some best practices to keep attracting top-notch applicants into your talent pipeline.

The Importance of Company Branding

The fact is that your ideal candidate is exploring interest in your competitors as well—and they are just as prepared to make an offer. Is your hiring team able to keep your candidates engaged and interested in your organization through the entire talent acquisition and hiring process? Does your website or your branded career site invite candidates to interact with your company via social media and express their interest in the company? Are your company’s employees sharing your open jobs with their networks on social media platforms?

Job hunters share information and word gets around quickly. Candidates can easily find business information online, and quickly decide if the company culture appears to be a good fit. Monitor the web to track your company’s reputation often, and engage with your audience via conversations. Implement an effective recruitment system to manage candidate relationships so interested applicants can interact with your brand directly, whether your jobs are promoted directly by your company or an external recruiter.

Key Differences: Recruiters vs. Companies

Whether talent is sourced via external recruiters, referrals or through other campaigns, does your company handle candidate relationships with all candidates effectively? Today’s savvy job applicants are no strangers to online research. Many people choose to deal directly with the hiring company, instead of working with an external recruiter. These candidates commonly assume that compared to an outside recruiter, a company’s internal talent acquisition leader or hiring manager can more accurately assess their skills and ensure they’re a good fit.

However, recruiters are also able to share information with candidates when internal HR in unable to do this efficiently. For instance, a recruiter can provide candidates with information about your competitors, what your company looks for in a candidate, salary range, known company quirks, and much more – all in a short conversation.

Whether the candidate’s initial interaction is with company staff or external recruiters, it is in the company’s best interest to pay attention to the company’s employer brand and ultimately own the relationship with the candidate. Good recruiting technology with candidate relationship management tools helps to make sure that your recruiting process is engaging and your company is positioned to attract top talent. This makes life easier for external recruiters as well as internal staff, while allowing you to capture and build relationships with the talent that is attracted to your company.

Nurture Your Candidate Relationships

Maintaining positive relationships with candidates showing interest in your company is not just good practice, it’s a necessity. Can your company locate the top candidates that have applied in the last 90 days or longer? Many companies and recruiters alike, fail to respond to the majority of applications from motivated job seekers. Resumes are quickly deleted, trashed, or thrown into the archives—never to be considered again. Simultaneously, candidates begin to complain about your company and the lack of follow-up, while looking for jobs with your competition.

It truly is in the company’s best interest to respond to interested candidates who took the time to apply; especially those who were interviewed. Tapping into the elusive pool of highly-qualified talent is no easy task, and companies utilizing good candidate relationship management techniques are able to tap this community of qualified and interested talent the next time they look to fill a new position. Providing a positive first impression to every candidate who finds your company is more important now than ever before.

Hiring success is largely dependent on attracting talented candidates who are interested in your company culture and work environment. With modern recruiting technology and the ability to manage candidate relationships, companies can improve their interactions with all candidates while capturing meaningful data and aggregating potential candidates from various sources into a talent pool, a highly qualified resource that can be tapped for future openings.

Companies without a recruitment management system in place to manage candidate relationships are unable to capture these interactions. As a result, they waste valuable opportunities and are unable to draw this talent back to their company.

Image: Courtesy Boston Financial

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