It’s a candidate-driven market out there, and attracting the best of them is not easy. It takes a strong recruitment brand reputation backed by exceptional candidate reviews to set yourself apart from your competition. As a staffing firm, this is the ideal recruitment marketing strategy for you, but it’s not an easy feat to execute. It entails being fully aligned with your applicants and delivering a great candidate experience each time, which requires excellent communication in the hiring process.
Research shows that when candidates experience clear and timely communication in their candidate journey, they maintain a positive impression of your firm and client company even if they don’t get hired. So, keep this in mind: those short calls and updates you’re making (or not making) have a significant impact on the success of your recruitment strategy and talent pipeline in the long haul.
If you want to set yourself as the recruiter of choice in the market, you can’t disregard the power of a good candidate communication strategy.
Why Communication in the Hiring Process Can Make or Break Your Brand
Earlier, we said that good communication is necessary to deliver a great candidate experience. Here are some reasons why:
- 65% of applicants expect a notice that their application was received.
- 72% of applicants will share their experience on review platforms, friends, and professional networks.
- 69% of candidates will not consider applying to companies with bad reputations.
One main takeaway from this is that bad communication in the hiring process can harm your reputation. One unsent message or missed update can reflect on the quality of your candidate experience and result in negative reviews.
This is why stepping up your game when it comes to how you communicate with your candidates is crucial. As a recruiter, you have complete control over what you can do to communicate better throughout your hiring process. Recruiter responsiveness should be timely, consistent, and continuous.
Great recruiters don’t keep candidates waiting unnecessarily—they go ahead of the game and keep them updated at every step of the candidate journey.
What You Can Do to Improve Recruitment Communication
Improving communication is definitely challenging if you don’t know where to start, so here are four things you can do to level up your communication in the hiring process.
1. Prioritize feedback management and data collection.
If you’ve put feedback gathering on the back burner, it’s time to change that.
You need to know what your candidates think for you to identify which parts of your communication strategy need recalibrating. Checking email timestamps is not enough to measure the quality of your recruitment communication because recruiter responsiveness isn’t just about the frequency but also the approach and method of communicating with candidates.
- What if the time you made the call wasn’t the best time?
- What if how you delivered the application made the candidate feel bad?
- What if the candidates expect to be updated by call and not just by email?
When you think about it, these are basic questions. However, these basic questions are the very things that often get easily overlooked when you don’t intentionally align your approaches with candidate expectations.
So, ask them what they think, gather reviews, and start making data-driven decisions when optimizing your recruitment strategies. Leveraging information is one of the staffing world’s best-kept secrets to regaining control of recruitment brand reputation.
2. Practice transparency to manage candidate expectations.
At every stage of the candidate journey, your candidates must be aware of the responsibilities, expectations, and requirements of the position they are applying for. Communication in the hiring process isn’t just about structures and timelines; it’s also about managing candidate expectations. If anything, this probably has the most effect on your reputation since how candidates perceive your brand’s authenticity and credibility is developed from expectations.
As a recruiter, it’s essential that you communicate what will happen at every point in the recruitment process and help them understand the criteria where their evaluation will be based. As much as possible, be accurate and transparent. Also, don’t glamorize the job role or your client company—this is a sure-fire way to gain a negative review because reality can catch up with them once they’re onboarded.
If you want to avoid confusion and unnecessary tension, clarity is the way to go. Candidates will then appreciate your truthfulness and authenticity in improving their candidate experience.
3. Automate, so you don’t keep candidates waiting.
As a recruiter, your inbox probably receives dozens of applications every day, creating unnecessary room for delay. Manually wading through files isn’t just time-consuming but also counterproductive; your time is better spent dealing with strategic tasks at hand.
This is where automation makes a difference. You can use recruitment technology to automate email responses each time an application is submitted and when candidates move through each phase of the recruitment process.
But it’s not just the response rate that automation improves. It can also help you better communicate relevant information that the candidate needs to know by crafting your email responses purposefully. This could be specific role requirements, your client’s company culture, or recruitment schedules. You can diversify your tech stack based on what you need—that’s the beauty of technology.
4. Implement clear guidelines on recruiter responsiveness.
One most common complaint that candidates have is the phenomenon of recruiter ghosting. In fact, 60% say that they’re left in the dark after the interview.
Whether this is because of recruiter error or a lack of proper structure, setting guidelines is a great way to streamline your communication in the hiring process. This will help guide your recruiters on the best practices that should be implemented, and the action plans they can take to reach their KPI.
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Based on your gathered data, identify which stages of the hiring process will benefit more from a written (email or text messages) or verbal (audio or video) communication.
- Establish concrete timelines for responding at every stage of the recruitment process. You can even consider adding their response rate in their KPI and assigning specific timelines with an equivalent performance rate. For example:
- Less than an hour = Excellent
- 1 day = Ideal
- 2 – 3 days = Needs improvement
- 4 or more days = Unacceptable
- Ensure that delegation of work is properly communicated, so tasks don’t overlap. If you don’t have one in place yet, consider delegating for better organization.
Keep in mind that improving communication in the hiring process doesn’t stop with implementing proper guidelines. Make sure to closely monitor implementation and track their progress, so you can consistently improve recruiter performance and candidate experience.
Gain Better Understanding of Candidates with Feedback Management
Great Recruiters understands the need the importance of meeting candidate needs and expectations. With our experience management platform, feedback gathering is made easy and efficient. You can get access to a goldmine of information that will help your team accurately pinpoint response gaps and improve communication. Moreover, it provides a sustainable and effective way to optimize your candidate experience continuously so that you’re always ahead of your competition.