10 Things Your Candidates Hate About You

84% of agency leaders state that the most important thing candidates will care about in 2024 is base salary, closely followed by career progression, with 71% of leaders putting it in second place.

Knowing what candidates care about allows you to tailor your messaging and structure marketing campaigns that are impactful and get results, instead of going in blind. As recruiters, you know how vital it is to understand your candidates and build trust – without it, you will just keep wasting money and time, never building a warm database of candidates who feel respected and understood.

Similarly, knowing what to avoid in these relationships can save you a lot of headaches…

To ensure your database stays warm and candidates love working with you, it’s good to keep in mind these 10 things candidates hate about you – just so you know exactly what to avoid this year.

The Way You Don’t Know Who They Are

It’s no secret that nobody likes to get irrelevant messages and emails that have nothing to do with them. The same goes for candidates – the second they get an update from you about a new role that doesn’t fit their interests, experience, or expectations, they tune out (and likely won’t open any other messages from you in the future!).

Make sure you keep your candidates segmented into talent pools based on experience, industry, salary expectations, and more so that all your communications can be easily split out and sent only to the relevant groups of people.

The Way You Only Speak to Them When You Need Something

Communicating with your candidates only when you have a new role that you’d like to place them in means you are always going in cold.

84% of people say that being treated like a person, not a number, is the key to winning them over – so make an effort to check in with your candidates even if you don’t have any new role for them. Send CV tips, market advice, and insights, that will keep you at the front of their mind and make them feel like you care about them.

The Way You Forget Their Birthday

84% of consumers say they will stay with a brand that surprises them with a nice message, gift, or offer – because it shows that you care about them more often than when you have a new role to fill.

Whether it’s a Christmas message, a birthday text, or some other occasion, remembering little things like that can boost your retention rates, keep your candidates engaged and loyal, and increase your ROI – because the more warm candidates you’ve got sitting in your database, the easier it is to find someone for your new roles without spending hundreds on marketing and searching externally.

The Way You Don’t Make Them Feel They Can Trust You

Trust is at the heart of any relationship, including professional ones. If you don’t show your potential candidates why you’re the agency they can trust and count on, why would they decide to work with you?

92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from others more than any other form of advertising – so make sure you utilise social proof in your strategy, showcasing how you helped different types of people get their dream roles. When a candidate sees that you already dealt with someone in their position – and won – they’re more likely to trust you.

The Way You Don’t Remember Their Name The Next Day

There’s nothing more annoying than having someone send you a follow-up email or text and it starts with “Hey there”. To most candidates, it’s a clear indicator that you didn’t even bother enough to remember their name – so how would you remember their experience, their needs, their goals for their careers?

75% of consumers are more likely to invest if the brand recognises them by name or recommends services relevant to them – and with the right automation tools, it doesn’t take long to segment your candidates into talent pools of different interests, sectors, expectations, and experience, so each communication they receive is tailored to them.

The Way You Didn’t Call

Do you follow up with your candidates regardless of the interview results? If you place a candidate and then forget about them, all that’s left is a distaste for them – they will feel like you were nice and attentive only until you got what you wanted.

But the second you make the effort to set up a follow-up email a week or two into their new role to see how they’re settling in, you’re not only making them feel better, but also investing in the long-term relationships that can then bring you further candidates to place - and a great name in the industry.

The Way You Don’t Give

Relationships are a two-way street – and this means that if you want something from your candidate, you need to be prepared to give something in return. An easy way to do that – and keep nurturing and engaging your database – is to provide valuable insights, offers, and tips outside of your regular new job alerts most recruiters stick to.

Start by creating a welcome email sequence that introduces the candidate to your agency and provides them with some tips and insights about the job market in their industry of interest. This kills two birds with one stone – shows them that you know who they are, so they feel valued and heard, and keeps you at the front of their mind. Then touch base with them at different times – whether it’s with a new relevant role or some insight into industry trends that position your agency as the experts.

The Way You Take Too Long

With 60% of applicants quitting the job application in the middle due to a drawn-out process, it’s vital that you ensure you value the candidate’s time. It’s never pleasant to be left in the dark – especially if you’re waiting to hear about a role you were excited about, or you’re in desperate need of a job.

Make sure your recruitment process is as straightforward as possible, so the candidate has a clear understanding of all the steps and knows what to expect. And when you set deadlines, such as providing a response about the next stage within 2 weeks, make sure you actually keep it!

The Way You Ghost Them

Even when unsuccessful, 94% of professionals still want to hear feedback – so don’t leave them hanging after they went through multiple stages of interviews and tests.

Providing candidates with some feedback will make them feel respected and help them understand the reason for not getting the role – but if you can’t provide that, make sure to at least send an email informing them of the results. Setting up an automated mailshot to unsuccessful candidates is the best way to increase your efficiency and stay respectful at the same time.

The Way You're Not Prepared 

The worst thing you can do during and interview (or even an informal chat with your candidate) is shifting through paperwork, trying to find the information about their experience. Even worse, if you simply mix them up with someone else! This is a sure-fire way to lose their respect and trust - and probably make them choose a competitor. 

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Martha Kosmider

As a Senior Marketing Executive, Martha keeps all our written content on point, sharing the latest tips and updates from the recruitment industry.

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