How to Keep Candidates Engaged Without Seeming Desperate

For recruiters, getting the communication balance right can make the difference between keeping a candidate keen and utterly annoying them. We’ve put together a blog outlining some optimal communication methods to keep you at the front of their minds without turning them off to your agency...

Send Them Valuable Content

How to Keep Candidates Engaged Without Seeming Desperate.jpgSpamming candidates with job ads and job alerts will never score you any points, so we need to be more creative when it comes to the kind of information we send.

Valuable content is the kind of content they’ll find useful: this can include tips for interview prep, CV advice, or ideas around how to prepare for moving jobs. You have so much knowledge and advice to offer – why not put together a series of candidate how-to guides? This is a positive way to keep candidates engaged using information that will really benefit them. (I find setting up talent pools for different roles really effective, as this makes it nice and simple for me to send out my weekly e-shot.)  

Share Expert Industry Knowledge

When candidates are looking for a move, it’s often because they want to progress. They’re so much more likely to nail that interview if they’ve got top industry knowledge.  But who would be a great source of information of this kind...?  How about you?! In the same way you use industry information to develop business with prospective clients, you can also use it to retain great candidates. 

Changing up your weekly email content to include specific industry information will set you apart from those other recruiters who only send them details of not-so-relevant jobs.  An excellent way to get this kind of content out to your candidates is to have a company blog, and make sure you share your articles out to your social channels.  Get all that good stuff you’ve got stored in your head in front of your candidates and they’ll keep coming back for more! 

Create a Group

Speaking of social, have you set up a company LinkedIn page, or your own Facebook group which you invite your candidates to join?  This is a great way to share information, be seen as a leader in your niche, and also keep an eye on who’s potentially hiring or looking for a move.  Don’t stop at LinkedIn though – follow your candidates on Twitter, and add them to a list with a really flattering name such as ‘top talent’ so they know you think they’re great without you having to tell them.  Find out where people in your market hang out online and go join them! The more activity they see from you, the more memorable you’ll be without blowing up their inbox. 

Keep in Touch

For hot candidates (or “wee hotties” as we used to say at one company I worked at!) aim to send an email each week with some helpful information and call fortnightly.  If you recruit temps, it’s important that you know who’s ready to work, so they’ll accept and even expect you to get in touch more often than that. A weekly check-in call or email is all good for temps, but just make sure you offer them work sometimes – asking if they’re free each week but never giving them an assignment is a sure-fire way to get your number blocked! 

When calling candidates, don’t just ask for an update on their job search – candidates who are bought in to you are a fantastic sounding board.  If you’re working on a position in their sector, there’s a good chance they might be able to recommend someone, or might even be interested themselves.  It’s flattering when someone trusts your opinion, so why not ask your “wee hotties” for their advice: gain some referrals and build that relationship at the same time. 

Build Rapport

Another great reason for contacting your top candidates was to suss out which networking events would be best for recruiters to attend.  For events you haven’t been to before it’s handy to know if it’s actually worth going along.  Chatting with your candidates lets you gauge which events would be most beneficial, and you could arrange to meet them for a coffee and catch-up either before or after.  If you spot an event that suits a specific candidate or one which candidates might fancy going to, inviting them along can work wonders in building rapport and gaining their trust.  Even if they couldn’t make it, it’s always nice to be asked!

One last piece of advice: There’s a simple yet often forgotten trick to knowing how and when a candidate likes to be contacted: ask them!  Ask the question, set expectations… just remember to set your reminders in your system so you get in touch when you said you would!

When it comes to contacting your hot candidates, how often and in what way works best for you? (I’d love to hear what you think – let me know in the comments!)

Managing Candidate Job Offers

Vicki Moir

After spending almost a decade in recruitment, Vicki joined Firefish in 2013. As Head of Happiness, she's responsible for all things talent and culture.

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