Your candidate database has a lot of financial value. Each good candidate in there is worth £5k or more for every time you place them. The trouble is that money is falling out of your database and into other recruitment agencies’ pockets. But how does it happen? And, more importantly, how can you stop it from happening?
There are three key weaknesses that cause candidates to fall into the hands of another agency:
1. Disputable candidate ownership
Proving candidate ownership is a huge problem for agencies up against spray-and-pray tactics from the competition.
When you’re dealing with so many candidates, how do you remember which candidates you spoke to or what exactly you discussed?
Even harder, how do you prove to a client that you were dealing with a candidate before another agency forwarded the CV?
Software can be a massive help with this. Most recruitment software has some functionality to help you record emails and calls, meaning you’ll have concrete dates, times and details to support your claim to a candidate in those inter-agency disputes.
2. Bad candidate experience
The majority of candidates only deal with a recruitment agency a handful of times in their careers. It’s not surprising that when they come back on the market, five years after you last placed them, they don’t remember you. Or, worse, they do remember you, but for the wrong reasons.
If you want your candidate to remember you when they come back on the market, you need to provide outstanding service. It’s easy to get caught up in providing the best possible service to clients, and forget that the service you provide to candidates is at the heart of your ability to make money too.
Start with the basics: can you honestly say you respond to every applicant, even if they’re not qualified? “We don’t have the time,” isn’t good enough. At the very least, software can provide customisable, automated responses.
Do you follow up with placed candidates to find out how they’re doing? Be honest! The good news is, a lot of your competitor’s aren’t, leaving the door open for you to stand out as an exception.
3. Low candidate engagement
Not all candidates are going to remember you five years down the line, even if your service was awesome. The best way to keep someone coming back is by staying in touch. This doesn’t mean badgering happily employed people with whatever job you’re working on in the hope that they’re ready to consider a move right now; it means maintaining contact with useful, relevant resources.
Offer as many different options as possible to keep passive candidates engaged: email newsletters, an industry blog, a calendar of relevant events, useful tutorials, social media accounts – anything to keep your agency’s name fresh in the mind.
Candidate management doesn't need to be time consuming though. Follow the nine habits in this eBook to become a more effective recruiter that candidates come back to time and again.
Ailsa is a technical writer and solutions engineer working at Instructure in London.