For the New York Giants, it’s Eli Manning. For Rachel Ray, it’s EVOO. And for recruiting and staffing industry professionals, your most valuable resource is your talent pool.
And much the way Ray devotees (yes, we exist) rely on the Food Network star to provide fresh, quality(ish) 30-minute meals on a regular basis, your clients consistently rely on you to provide quality candidates to fill positions.
The problem is, those qualified candidates aren’t always so easy to come by if you haven’t worked to build relationships with them through effective and frequent communication – even during those times your clients don’t have any openings for which they would be a match.
Communication: The Ultimate Candidate Relationship Builder
All you have to do is browse the self-help section of any Barnes & Noble for five minutes to understand that communication is key to building and sustaining long-term romantic relationships. The same is true of professional relationships – particularly those between you and your candidates. Consider the following (relatively painless) ways maintain frequent, effective communication with your candidate pool.
Newsletters: Simple, easy and effective, weekly or monthly email newsletters help keep you on your candidates’ radar without dumping too much information on them. Keep the content brief, but informative and relevant to their needs, such as information about upcoming training or certifications, candidate success stories (to keep them motivated), industry employment breakdowns and trends (to keep them informed), resume tips and career or job search advice. Over time, they will come to rely on these newsletters (and you) as a valuable source of information.
Contact people: Another popular method for communicating with candidates is assigning a “buddy” or contact person to a number of candidates in your pool. The role of the contact person is to call or email their assigned candidates – even the ones already placed by your firm – on a weekly or monthly basis. Not only will you maintain open communication with your candidates, but you will also be able to gauge your candidates’ needs and current career situation.
Emailed job recommendations: In addition to – or as part of – regular newsletters, send out daily or weekly (depending on their preferences) emails containing job opportunities that are relevant to candidates’ industries, experience, skill levels and interests. Segment candidates in a database by these qualifiers beforehand so you can quickly email those groups when new job opportunities become available.
Mobile devices: As an alternative to emails, let candidates opt-in to receive custom job opportunities via text message as well. Inavero research found that over 50 percent of smartphone users are interacting with staffing firms via text and email, as well as reviewing job opportunities – all from their mobile devices. The increased mobile activity underscores the opportunity for recruiters to connect with candidates anywhere, at any time.
Social media: It’s impossible to overemphasize the opportunities social media provides to keep candidates informed and engaged. There are a number of ways to utilize social media as a recruiting tool. For example, you could invite them to follow you on Twitter, become a fan of your Facebook page or connect with you on LinkedIn. Then use these platforms to do everything from push out helpful career information and advice to simply converse with candidates in real-time.
Yes, building relationships with candidates through consistent communication takes work, but working to foster loyalty with candidates will pay off in both the long-term (nearly 40 percent of staffing firm clients say they worked with a staffing firm before as part of their job search, according to CareerBuilder and Inavero’s Opportunities in Staffing guide) and in the short term (the same survey found that, on average, candidates tell eight people about their experiences – both good and bad – with their staffing firms).
When it comes to successful recruiting, what goes around comes around: take care of your candidates, and they’ll take care of you.Related
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