In the thrilling world of recruitment, recruiters are the unseen force driving business growth and transforming careers, connecting top talent with their dream jobs.
But let’s not sugarcoat it – playing matchmaker is a tough, often stressful gig. It can be overwhelming and might even push you towards burnout, especially when it comes to candidate communication.
But here’s the silver lining – effective communication can not only streamline your process but also be the rocket fuel for scaling your recruitment business! Here’s how.
Why transparent communication with candidates is so important
Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful recruitment. Yet, it’s a stark reality that a whopping 52% of candidates find themselves in a communication blackout for two to three months, or even more, after applying.
This is an alarming statistic that needs urgent redressal.
If you’re among those who have been neglecting candidate communication, it’s high time to pivot. Elevating your communication game is akin to unlocking a new dimension of growth and satisfaction.
Here are some compelling reasons to put communication at the forefront of your recruitment strategy:
- Sets the right expectations: Clear communication lays the foundation for a mutual understanding between both parties.
- Provides clarity: It eliminates ambiguity, creating a straightforward path for all involved.
- Drives next steps: Effective communication nudges candidates towards the subsequent stage of the process.
- Promotes transparency: Open communication fosters trust, a critical element in any relationship.
- Meets deadlines: Streamlined communication helps keep hiring processes and business projects on track.
- Creates a positive experience: Good communication cultivates a satisfying recruitment journey, enhancing your employer brand.
- Fosters lifelong relationships: It encourages repeated business and builds enduring partnerships.
In essence, clear, timely, and personalized communication is a triple win – beneficial for your recruitment agency, your candidates, and your clients.
Now, let’s delve into how we can revolutionize your recruitment approach through the power of effective candidate communication.
8 cardinal rules for highly effective candidate communication
When it comes to connecting with job applicants effectively and in style, we swear by these 8 golden rules:
1. Map out the touchpoints:
You will be in touch with the candidates for the entire duration of their job placement experience and, most likely, even after that.
Every such interaction should be viewed as an opportunity to facilitate open communication, ensure transparency, and provide clarity on the next steps. Let’s break it down into phases:
- Pre-application phase
Your pre-recruitment process is often the one that sets the tone for the experience that follows. Once the client confirms the vacancy details and terms, an attractive job announcement is in order.
And what better way to do this than a well-timed email to the identified pool of candidates, followed up by an SMS sharing quick details?
With a solid email tool like Sender, you could set all of this up on complete automation, all the way from the sign-up form to sending them a welcome email.
You can make use of many readily available email templates to craft quality emails for this.
- During the application phase
Your candidates are likely undergoing a lot of stress and pressure while applying for multiple jobs across weeks if not months.
For example, candidate A could be juggling multiple job offers, while Candidate B might be grappling with recurring rejections.
No matter the case, it is crucial that you stay in active touch with all the candidates in a non-intrusive yet available manner at all times. For most staffing agencies, emails are the preferred channel to manage this communication at scale.
- Interview phase
The interview process is where the candidates likely need you more than you need them. Stay communicative of the ongoings, provide timely status updates, and enable full knowledge of the next steps.
- Post-application phase
After the selection process, once decisions have been made and communicated to the successful candidates, you enter a delicate phase where managing the expectations and emotions of those who didn’t make the cut is critical.
When communicating with rejected candidates, the hiring team should prioritize timely replies expressing gratitude for their interest and efforts. Include personalized feedback if possible, and encourage them to explore future opportunities, all while maintaining a respectful tone and professional stance at all times.
When refined and mastered, these rules will amplify your recruitment processes, making them more engaging, effective, and, ultimately, successful.
2. Communicate timelines
Always make it a point to provide clear timelines for each and every activity that the candidates experience through the talent acquisition process.
Communicating in a lucid and timely manner ensures that candidates come to you well-prepared at all times. Moreover, they come with clear minds since all they must do now is focus on presenting the best version of themselves in the following phases of interaction.
Doing this lucidly and well in advance ensures that the candidates come to you well-prepared at all times because now there are no nasty surprises stemming from a lack of clarity.
This in itself can play a huge role in ensuring higher job placement chances for the candidates, more satisfaction for your clients and hiring managers, and, ultimately, better profitability for your business.
3. Provide regular status updates
Keeping candidates informed about their progress can dramatically uplift their morale. It will also kill their desperation and allow them to stick to and trust your process till the very end.
Sharing regular updates also helps to reduce the chances of your candidates flipping to other competing staffing agencies.
4. Answer every question
Most of your candidates have tens if not thousands of questions running through their heads at any given time.
If you can communicate with them in a way that relieves their fears and boosts their trust in you, they will more often than not ensure a positive brand image of your business, which, in turn, will get you ‘free’ word-of-mouth candidates.
While the most common approach would be to set up a “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” section on the website, we encourage you to set up a sequence of automated emails that answer their most common doubts, queries, and objections in a step-by-step manner.
5. Personalize your messaging
Your candidates are real people and would like to be treated as such. When using emails and SMS to communicate with them, use features such as ‘Segmentation’ and ‘Personalization’ to ensure deeper bonding and better business.
Most email marketing tools allow for this to happen very easily.
‘Segmentation’ allows you to group like candidates together, say, for instance, all the candidates applying for a particular job opening. Think of this as a mini-list.
While ‘Personalization’ enables you to talk to a mass audience of prospective new hires using personal data such as their first name, location, and any other custom information that adds value to the conversation.
For instance, use first-name personalization to call out your candidate by their name in your email subject line. This simple touch can significantly increase the chances of your email being opened and read.
Talk to people relevantly (segmentation) and personally (personalization), and they let themselves get more absorbed into the conversation.
6. Leverage text messaging
Did you know that 9 out of 10 people prefer SMS over phone calls?
Combine this with the fact that over 95% of SMS texts are read within the first 3 minutes of sending them, and you will start to wonder why you are not using SMS texting as a means of powerfully communicating with your candidates and clients.
SMS texts are non-intrusive, do not need internet on the receiver’s phone, are extremely low-cost, and have very high candidate engagement.
But SMSes are still extremely personal, and people feel about them differently.
So, it’s crucial to ensure that your popups and forms asking for the job seeker’s mobile number mention that they will receive correspondence from your desk and seek their consent for the same.
Even if you’re not tech-savvy, with user-friendly communication tools (like Sender), you can easily integrate text messaging into your recruitment process at every stage.
7. Construct rejection letters
Up to 70% of job candidates receive no feedback after being rejected post-phone screening.
This is a missed opportunity. Rejection emails and letters, if crafted thoughtfully, can positively shape the overall candidate experience.
Rejections are difficult to handle, and as such, we advise to:
- Personalize your rejection letters;
- Lay out the identified gaps without making them personal;
- Keep it concise and professional;
- Sum up the good and the great;
- Offer opportunities to work together for future vacancies and requirements;
- Encourage them to take up skilling programs or workshops to work on identified gaps.
As a rule of thumb, write your rejection letters like the ones your former self would have liked to read, and you’ll be all set.
8. Ask for feedback
Feedback is almost always a two-way street.
As much as the feedback you convey to the rejected candidates, you can only build better experiences for the same candidates coming through again or for others by understanding the candidate’s real experience from their perspective.
Genuinely try to learn what they liked and didn’t like about working with you. Improve the processes you have overwhelming feedback about and simply make it better for the next lot.
This sets you apart from other hiring agencies and recruitment partners who think of recruitment as the next ‘gold rush’ and are simply happy making a quick buck.
To sum it up
The recruitment industry might not be for everyone. But then, you are not “everyone.”
You are here to meet the challenges and keep your promise of delivering a better tomorrow to the candidates who cross your path.
Better candidate communication can allow you to create highly robust and lively recruitment processes, ensuring win-win outcomes for your organization and all the candidates, even if all of those do not lead to jobs every single time.
P.S. If you’re looking for an AI-powered ATS + CRM solution, then check out Recruit CRM. Book a demo now to see it in action!
Frequently asked questions
1. How do you communicate effectively with candidates?
Effective communication with candidates involves being clear, concise, and transparent. Begin by setting expectations and outlining the hiring process. Regularly update candidates on their application status to keep them engaged and reassured.
Personalize your interactions, showing your understanding of their unique qualifications and aspirations. Leverage various channels like email, SMS, and even social media for a multi-faceted approach.
Lastly, always encourage and be open to feedback, turning the recruitment process into a two-way conversation.
2. What are the five tips for effective communication?
Firstly, clarity is key; ensure your message is straightforward, avoiding ambiguity. Secondly, consistency promotes reliability and trust. Ensure your information stays the same across all platforms.
Thirdly, personalization enhances connection and engagement. Tailoring your communication to the individual can make a substantial difference. Fourthly, timeliness is critical; rapid responses demonstrate respect for the candidate’s time.
Finally, feedback is invaluable. Always ask for it and be prepared to act on it to improve your communication strategies.
3. What are the 10 strategies of effective communication?
Here are ten stellar strategies to bolster your communication game:
- Clarity: Keep your message precise and understandable.
- Consistency: Maintain uniformity in your communication.
- Personalization: Cater to the individual needs and preferences of your candidates.
- Timeliness: Prompt communication shows you value your candidates’ time.
- Feedback: Seek feedback and act on it for continuous improvement.
- Active listening: Show genuine interest in what your candidates have to say.
- Empathy: Understand and acknowledge the candidate’s viewpoint.
- Positive tone: A positive and encouraging tone can make your communication more engaging.
- Multiple channels: Use various modes of communication to reach out to your candidates.
- Follow-up: Regular check-ins demonstrate your commitment to the process.
4. What are three communication methods that you would utilize to reach out to applicants?
To reach out to applicants effectively, consider these three powerful communication methods:
- Email: Email communication is standard in recruitment. It’s an excellent platform for sending detailed messages, updates, and documentation. Plus, it’s easy to personalize and automate.
- Text messaging: In this digital age, SMS is a quick and convenient method to communicate brief updates or reminders. It’s non-intrusive and boasts a high engagement rate.
- Social media: With its wide reach, social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are becoming increasingly valuable in recruitment. They allow for casual interactions, job postings, and updates, keeping your candidates informed and engaged.
Skirmantas Venckus is a writer by day and a reader by night. He hates talking about himself in the third person. He is also the growth hacker at Sender.net – the email marketing provider that is focused on user-friendliness, affordability, and utility.