As a recruiter, your relationship with candidates is one of the contributing factors that will determine the effectiveness of your recruitment drive. Unfortunately, this is often not given the proper consideration it deserves, usually due to time constraints, rather than a lack of desire. According to these statistics from Glassdoor, the average cost of hiring a new employee is £3,000 and 75% of hiring decision-makers find attracting candidates one of their main challenges. Therefore, it pays to nurture candidates and build positive relationships with them. Don’t just consider candidates in the here and now, but also for your future recruitment needs. 

Building relationships with your candidates doesn’t need to be time-consuming though, these are some ways you can adjust your recruitment strategy to improve relationships with your candidates.

1. Provide Feedback

One of the main issues’ candidates have with recruiters is a lack of feedback. In many cases, they feel that their application has fallen into a black hole and disappeared, never to be seen again. When you fail to acknowledge candidates or provide feedback, it leaves a bad impression of the way you value people’s time. It can also leave candidates feeling anxious that you haven’t ever received the application. It isn’t always possible to respond to every application, however you can automate this using an ATS. Most applicant tracking systems will allow your organisation to configure specific email templates which can be automatically triggered at certain stages of the recruitment process. These templates will populate with candidate data and when configured correctly, can provide a personal touch to  support your relationship with them, and improve their perception of you, your organisation and your employer brand.. If a candidate has been invited to interview, there is no excuse not to provide them with feedback. Candidates take a lot of time with preparation and travelling to interviews, it can be a nerve-wracking experience and the least any recruiter can do is provide feedback, even if the interview didn’t go particularly well.

2. Honesty is the Best Policy

Interviews are a good opportunity for candidates to learn more about themselves. Even if they haven’t been successful, it is important to provide them with honest feedback, while also ensuring the feedback you give is within the legislation. Don’t just tell them the other candidate was better, drill down a bit on any constructive feedback that may help them improve for other interviews. Even something as simple as turning up late could have put the interviewer off, and feedback like this can be improved upon in the future. Candidates will always respect you more if you are honest with them, and they are more likely to apply to your jobs again in the future. 

3. Listen to their Needs

Candidates can become quite disheartened with recruiters if they are contacting them about roles that are not within their skillset, or not what they desire. You must listen to and take note of candidate’s needs, otherwise, they will feel like they are simply a number, and you haven’t really given much thought to what they want. You do not need to be put off entirely if you have a role that doesn’t quite tick all the boxes for the candidate, but you can address the conversation like ‘I know you wanted a job working remotely, but this is close to your home’, rather than just informing them about the role. This shows that even though you have listened and appreciated their desires, you also wanted to inform them about the role.

4. Automate Tasks

There is also the option of automating your tasks by using an ATS, which is most common for in-house recruiters. An ATS can manage the entire recruitment process with automation at every stage of the recruitment process, allowing you to focus primarily on nurturing relationships with candidates. Recruitment agencies often find CRM’s most useful as they can take care of the sourcing and basics of managing the candidate relationships. This gives you time to focus on filling roles and business development, with the addition of a personal touch with candidates. Recruiters are finding it increasingly difficult to manage candidate relationships without some form of recruitment tech as it is an investment for their brand.

5. Keep in Touch

Most recruiters use LinkedIn and other social media platforms to connect and engage with candidates. A good way to manage relationships with candidates is to reach out to them every so often to check how they are and what their situation is. This helps you to nurture relationships with candidates and it can also help you to identify candidates that are available for work. A simple ‘hello’ can go a long way to making candidates feel valued, and you can bet you will stand out to them if you use this approach.

We hope you found this article useful for managing relationships with candidates in the future. If you are considering introducing an ATS or Recruitment CRM, we provide a unique recruitment technology comparison service. Get in touch to find out more.

Our sophisticated tool, Retec Comapre, will help you to find the right recruitment technology to suit your specific business needs, helping you to buy with more confidence and avoid costly mistakes. Best of all, there is no fee for this service, so you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose!

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