- Candidate experience and engagement are a direct function of good candidate communication during recruitment.
- Mapping the recruitment process, marking the touchpoints, and sharing the timeline with the candidates can help to keep candidates in the loop and well-engaged.
- Automations like Chatbots can be a great fix to upholster several aspects of candidate communication.
Suppose you are in the last phase of your recruiting cycle for your company.
You are thrilled about the talents you discovered. You are proud that the recruitment process went smoothly, without any hiccups, and you are sending offer letters to the selected candidates. Out of the 10 selected candidates, only four accept your offer letter and arrive on the boarding day.
What went wrong? Why did the candidates ghost your company? How would you look at this case scenario?
The answer may lie in the communication gap and the effectiveness, urgency, and personalization a candidate might expect during recruitment.
Research suggests the significance of candidate communications is a top priority for talent acquisition today. Still, 1 out of 3 talent acquisition leaders feel their organizations aren’t communicating with candidates effectively.
Moreover, 84% of candidates expect some communication early in the hiring process. It has become more crucial than ever for talent acquisition leaders and recruiters to prioritize candidate communications and use them to engage candidates effectively.
This article explores the five key strategies HR leaders can leverage to build candidate engagement and robust communication during hiring.
Why is Candidate Communication Critical?
To understand the criticality of candidate communication in the talent acquisition process, let’s first delve into the definition of candidate communication.
Candidate communication refers to any touch points the hiring team or talent acquisition manager has with the talent.
It may be via a chatbot, email, phone call, or text message.
Every candidate is a valuable drop in your talent pool, and hiring managers should realize that. Communicating with potential and selected candidates in a timely and helpful manner can help build long-term relationships.
Good communication is also crucial to the success of your recruiting process. The lack of a well-balanced rapport and clarity of the channels can lead to losing the top candidates to your competitors.
The recruitment market is largely candidate-driven today, and recruiters should consider treating candidates as their clients to establish conversations and keep them in the loop during the hiring process – from application submission to onboarding.
5 Strategies for Candidate Communication
Here are five ways for talent acquisition leaders to build strong communication with the candidates:
#1 Map all the touchpoints
During the entire recruitment process, there may be several instances when you would feel the need to contact or inform applicants. All these touchpoints should be mapped out in advance for you to have clarity on when and how to communicate with the candidate at that touchpoint.
Once you can mark the milestone in the candidate hiring journey, it gets easier to strategize communication for a better candidate experience and engagement.
While the touchpoints may be different for different organizations, a few of the common touchpoints in the recruitment pipeline include the following:
You should send email replies to candidates who subscribe to your notification alerts or contact you for more information.
Once a candidate applies, it’s prudent to send an acknowledgment mail, followed by a follow-up mail a week later to let them know their application is still under process.
- Change of Status:
Whether a candidate’s application moves ahead in the application process or gets rejected at a certain stage, ensure to keep the candidates informed. Automated emails can be a great way to establish communication during this time.
Inform and confirm the candidate of the date and time of the interview before scheduling one. This stage requires bi-directional responses in the communication thread.
Notify the candidates about the hiring decision made in time to close the communication or take it forward to the next level.
#2 Automate your messages
Automating certain aspects of candidate communication can be a game-changer for organizations looking to quicken up the recruitment process. Getting done more with less effort can help recruiters focus on more imperative aspects of communication, such as communicating during the pre-boarding process.
Chatbots can be an excellent way to automate conversations strategically in some instances, like answering user queries, communicating meeting schedules, or other generic responses.
Chatbots can easily amp up candidate experience. The companies with the highest-rated candidate experience use 30% more than regular companies.
Conversely, you can also employ talent engagement partners that integrate with your ATS to deliver one on one messages and provide exceptional candidate experience to the prospects.
Read – 10 HR Chatbot Benefits
#3 Personalize responses and diversify communication channels
Customization and a bit of personal touch to emails, text messages, or phone calls can make candidates feel significant and more engaged during the process. However, the level of personalization must depend on the stage of recruitment.
Tailor communications to avoid generic responses and anonymous communications. When a candidate knows who they are talking to, they feel comfortable and can easily approach the talent acquisition leader with their queries and feedback.
To engage candidates, don’t restrict yourself to just emails. Emails are the most widely used mediums of communication and bring professionalism and formality to the process.
However, complementing channels like phone calls, text messages, social media chats, etc., can help ease out the candidate during the recruitment process and build long-standing relationships that convert into great commitments as the candidate is brought into the organizational frame.
#4 Time and optimize your responses
When you have a built-in roadmap for the recruitment pipeline and have decided on the touchpoints, it’s necessary to build templates to serve timely information to the candidates. Templates can be useful for preparing quick responses and follow-up emails for the candidates.
As soon as you receive feedback from the interviewing team, inform the candidates after each interview stage. There are many recruitment software that collects interviewer feedback in real time. Since the feedback is immediate, the hiring team doesn’t need to waste time waiting or molding responses.
80% of job seekers consider faster response time from recruiters as the best way to improve candidate experience.
Whether a candidate is moving to the next interview stage or getting rejected or put on the waiting list, make sure to prepare appropriate responses and let the candidates know about the status of their application.
#5 Make room for feedback
Surprisingly, 75% of the potential candidates are never or rarely asked for feedback on their experience during the recruitment process.
There’s no communication complete without honest and healthy feedback. For candidate communication to be a successful affair, talent acquisition leaders should create opportunities for candidates via anonymous surveys, questionnaires, or one-on-one communication over the phone, email, or text.
68.5% of candidates feel happy to share feedback with the recruiters. Candid responses from the candidates can be a great medium to continuously improve and evolve the communication process and, ultimately, optimize the recruiting cycles.
Candidate communication can build the first impressions for your brand and company even before the candidate sets foot in the organization, besides helping in the recruitment process and increasing candidate engagement.
Today, communication shouldn’t be restricted to a few formal channels but extend to social media and other mediums to keep the candidates in the loop at every step in the recruitment cycle.
Effective, relevant, and timely communication can go a long way in strengthening relationships and building talent pools for your organization and help to build consistency in the recruitment process.
FAQs on Candidate Communication
What is candidate communication?
Candidate communication is a crucial part of the talent acquisition process. A good candidate communication strategy must help in effectively communicating with candidates to keep them engaged and provide them with a better candidate experience. It also helps to speed the recruitment process and build a good employer brand.
How do you communicate with candidates?
Candidate communication shouldn’t be a random process. Recruiters need to recognize the touchpoints during the recruitment process before strategizing and building communication with the candidates.
Communication should start from the job description phase, application acknowledgment, follow-ups, and interview scheduling, to the final offer letter and beyond.
The information should be disseminated promptly, and opportunities should be created for candidates to give their honest feedback.
Why is candidate communication important?
Candidate communication is important for the smooth running of the recruitment process. It also helps to build candidate engagement and candidate experience. It makes the candidate feel a part of the recruitment process and earns you the reputation of a credible employer.
How do you write an email to a candidate?
A job-related email to a candidate must include a thank you note to the candidate for their time and appreciation of their skills and talent that made them stand out. The email should also include the details about the decision regarding the application process and information regarding the next steps in the hiring process.
How do you write a good recruitment message?
A good recruitment message must begin with an introductory note where you explain the context and motive behind your reaching out to the candidate.
This should be followed up with what stands out in the candidate and how they will thrive in the organization.
The candidate should be given the right reasons why they need to bank on the job opportunity and how it can be a great push to their career.