How to Effectively Communicate with Candidates

February 16th, 2018 Posted by Candidate Engagement, HR, Recruiting

How to Effectively Communicate with Candidates

In 2015 a survey from CareerBuilder asked CEOs of companies with over fifty million dollars in annual revenue what they believed were the three biggest challenges their HR organizations faced. The top three challenges they reported were a lack of skilled candidates, an inefficient recruitment process that takes too long to fill jobs, and an unengaging candidate experience that lost talent to competitors.

Recent data from companies including CDW, thredUP, and Sodexo suggests that focusing on improving candidate to recruiter communication will improve talent pipelines, quicken time-to-hire, and differentiate your employer brand.

Improve Talent Pipeline: Don’t Leave Candidates in Radio Silence

75% of candidates who apply for a job never hear back. This is leaving value on the table. For any role that you post, there will inevitably be an influx of candidates, many of whom may not be a good fit for the position they are applying for. This doesn’t mean, however, that the best route is to ignore them. These candidates may be a good fit for future open positions. It’s important to have built a relationship with these candidates should the right opportunity arise. But how do you create personal relationships with high volumes of candidates?

There is a simple way to do this without eating up your time. Make sure that communication flows two ways when the candidate applies and when the position gets filled. This simple exchange may seem menial, but it’s enough to establish a relationship and connection that be utilized in the long-term. Meanwhile, their resume remains in your ATS and should the opportunity arise, you can rely on the work you already put in to fill the job right away.

CDW creates two-way communication by using text messaging to establish relationships with hundreds of applicants. Jared Bazzell of CDW says, “Having that ability to have that back and forth conversation is the thing that separates TextRecruit because you cannot believe the number of people who end up responding.” Through creating two-way conversations via text message, Jared’s team was able to build better relationships with candidates. The result was a better candidate experience throughout the entire hiring process.

Reduce Time-To-Hire: Open up the Feedback Loop

Problems or inefficiencies are sometimes invisible to you and your team. This is no one’s fault in particular, but sometimes tunnel vision can be a symptom of a group working together to achieve a common goal. Occasionally, taking a step back and gaining an outside perspective can be just what you need to take a critical look at your recruiting process.

Fortunately for recruiters, there are constantly new perspectives walking through the door as new hires. There’s a wealth of information they can provide you about which aspects of the hiring process are working and which parts aren’t. You can identify areas for improvement, find out where you are losing candidates, and discover out how to optimize your candidate communication.

thredUP gains feedback about their recruiting process by interviewing a group of 20-40 hires one month after their start date. thredUP’s recruiters ask questions about candidate communication style and ease of application to learn what made candidates choose to work at thredUP. Natalie Breece, Director of Talent Acquisition at thredUp, said, “I asked 40 of our new hires why they decided to join our team. The response was overwhelmingly because of the ease of the interview process and the ease of communicating with our recruiters via texting.” The goal as a recruiter should always be continuous improvement in the hiring process. Gathering feedback from new hires is crucial to improving the speed, cost, and efficiency of your hiring process.

Differentiate Your Employer Brand: Make Candidate Communications Personal

Almost every employer out there right now is using email to communicate with prospects and candidates. At this point, this is just noise. The open rate of emails for recruitment and staffing purposes sits at a low 20.73%. You need to communicate in a different and more personal way to build trust and likeability among candidates.

The best way to make communication personal is to move to mobile. It’s casual, intimate, and it’s where your candidates are spending their time anyway. Not to mention, it’s way faster. If you are pursuing a candidate that is working during the day, you can get them moving down the talent pipeline much quicker if you are waiting for a text back as opposed to an email which most likely will not get sent until the end of the workday. Recruiters are finding that text message recruiting is the preferred method of communication for workers whether they are on their feet or behind a desk.

Sodexo tried using text messaging when they were struggling to reach candidates over the phone and email. Heather Thomas, Recruitment Manager at Sodexo, said, “I tried texting [candidates] from my phone and got a 100% positive response with around 50-60% response rates. That’s when the lightbulb went off and I realized I needed to systemize this.” Response rates went up while touch points to schedule interviews went down. Text messaging is a faster and more efficient form of candidate communication for recruiters and candidates alike. 

Candidate communication is critical for creating a fast hiring process that engages candidates and makes them more likely to pursue a job with your company. The candidate communication best practices we shared will help your employer brand stand out in a vast sea of emails and phone calls. To improve your time to hire, conversion rates, and talent pipeline be sure to get feedback whenever possible, make communication personal, and not leave candidates in the dark.

Interested in learning more about candidate communication?

Here are the 5 Innovative New Ways to Attract Talent


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