Managing a relationship with candidates is essential for keeping them actively engaged during the interview and hiring process.
Candidate relationship management strategies help you stay ahead of the competition by keeping potential hires excited and confident about the position they are pursuing. Strategies such as open communication ensure that candidates stay hopeful and engaged.
A recruitment process designed to strengthen candidate relationships makes candidates feel valued and eager to present their best qualities. This way, you can accurately assess whether they are a good fit for your role while losing fewer candidates to your competition.
What is candidate relationship management?
Candidate Relationship Management Definition: Candidate relationship management is the process of identifying potential talent, introducing them to the position that’s right for them, and maintaining candidate’s ongoing interest in said position.
Attracting and retaining the best talent is the name of the game.
Candidate relationship management is all about building strong and long-lasting relationships that develop into successful hires. To gain and retain the interest of potential hires, you will need a well-oiled recruitment process, efficient communication, and a consistent promise of a bright future in your company.
Use communication best practices
When exploring candidate relationship management strategies, communication comes into play at every stage of the relationship building and nurturing process.
Strive to maintain constant communication. Strategies such as weekly newsletters via email is one easy way to do this, but may come off as impersonal or overbearing. Contacting candidates directly can prove to be more attractive to candidates and more effective for creating human connections.
Schedule events, phone calls and interviews with potentials so that they know you are interested in their skills. Candidates want to know what they are getting themselves into, and maintaining a constant connection will allow them to assess whether they want to be a part of your company’s mission.
Company performance metrics are a sure-fire way to prove that your organization presents a sizable opportunity to candidates.
Items to consider sending their way:
- Company successes
- Pertinent industry news and trends
- Any metrics to inspire confidence in the organization
- Key benefits to working at the company
- Problems that the role will help solve
Communication should go both ways. Relay information to your candidates while also providing channels for feedback. Your candidates may have questions or ideas, and giving them the opportunity to provide feedback will strengthen the bond that candidates feel with your company. Encourage them to share metrics they’re most proud of as well or once you recognize that would be beneficial to have move the needle at your own company.
Practice total transparency
Communication also comes into play with practicing total transparency with applicants — and transparency is essential for managing candidate relationships effectively.
By clearly communicating expectations of your applicants and being fully transparent about the role and your company, you start to build a bond of trust that is essential for managing candidate relationships.
Another way to introduce the job in an honest way is to give applicants a true taste of what’s to come. For example, sharing recent events put on by the company or descriptions of ongoing company projects demonstrates what being a part of the team is really like.
Keep candidates engaged in the hiring process
Candidates understand that your company is looking at multiple prospective applicants. They expect that it will take some time to get a final answer. That being said, you need to keep candidates engaged in the process or they might take a job elsewhere.
The internet provides increased accessibility to job opportunities, which means that your candidates have no shortage of options. It’s important that your company keeps careful track of candidates and keeps them updated on their progress in the hiring process. When candidates feel lost in your hiring process, they are likely to lose confidence in your company and pass on the offer you extend them.
The hiring process is a candidate’s first experience with your company: streamlining recruitment is the best way to create a quicker, easier and overall more enjoyable experience. If this first experience is positive and professional, then you are setting yourself up for success with candidates. If this experience is uninspiring or inconvenient, then your chances of successful relationship management decrease dramatically.
Stop and ask yourself: is this a hiring and application process that I’d enjoy? Surprise and delight candidates with what makes you and your process unique.
Creating targeted job advertising campaigns will help reduce the volume of applications received while ensuring that candidates are more suited to the position. With prospective applicants narrowed down, it will be easier to prioritize relationship management for top candidates and provide a greater number of candidates with a more personalized application experience.
To ensure that candidate relationships are being nurtured, connection must be the focus for all events, interviews, and follow-up phone calls in the hiring process. Beyond learning what a candidate’s skills are, you want them to feel like you are getting to know their personality and aspirations at work. When candidates feel that you are taking the time to learn more about who they are and what their goals are, they are more likely to remain engaged and be a valuable addition to your team.
Passive candidate relationship management
For roles that are hard to fill, one of your best chances of finding a good fit is creating a select pool of passive candidates that are perfectly suited to your most important specialist roles. There are vastly more passive than active candidates out there for you to choose from, but relationship management is even more important for hiring these people.
Passive candidates are candidates that are not necessarily looking for a job right away, so sources like online job boards may not be the right place to look. Employee referrals are a great way to source potential talent, because you already have a connection to these candidates through your referring employee. Your trusted employees know the true nature of the job and are more qualified to determine who will be a good fit for positions that require tricky or specific talent.
Passive candidates often require that you bring the opportunity to them! Social media sites like LinkedIn are an easy way to reach out and find users who seem suitable for the job.
Final Thoughts: Managing candidate relationships
Offering clear expectations, keeping applicants up to date on progress and being honest and open are all great strategies to successfully manage candidate relationships. As with any relationship, the strength of your candidate relationships will depend on your ability to communicate well, your ability to keep them engaged and the trust you can build. To see how Lever helps you build and nurture relationships with top talent, you can schedule a demo here.