How your tech stack can help nurture candidate relationships

How your tech stack can help nurture candidate relationships

You’ve found a great candidate, submitted them for jobs, and placed them in the perfect role – but the recruitment lifecycle doesn’t stop there. The time during and even after a placement is the ideal time to ensure your talent feels seen, heard, and appreciated. 

According to research from the latest GRID Talent Trends Report, candidate loyalty increases to 80% when recruiters reach out to them with a new opportunity before their last assignment ends. Plus, candidates are 73% more likely to keep working with a firm if they find their recruiter to be attentive and responsive.

The data is clear: firms that proactively nurture and build a relationship with talent are poised to have higher redeployment rates, better reviews, and stronger candidate loyalty. How can your tech stack empower you and your team to make the most of your existing database, leverage reviews and referrals, and build a talent community?

To find out, we spoke with David Folwell, President of Staffing Referrals, and Adam Conrad, Founder/CXO of Great Recruiters, both part of the Bullhorn Marketplace. Below, read their thoughts on how staffing firms can build an authentic brand, the role automation and AI play in connecting with candidates, and the steps recruiters need to take to build a talent community.

Plus, check out our previous interviews with Marketplace partners on the three previous stages of Connected Recruiting: attracting, engaging with, and onboarding candidates.

Responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Can you tell us a little bit about your organization?

David Folwell: Right now, differentiating your services is harder than ever. At Staffing Referrals, we believe staffing agencies’ biggest asset is their talent network. That’s because your talent community is entirely unique to you, and the people in it are connected to millions of others. When you nurture these candidates correctly, and create great experiences for them, you can tap into these connections to further expand your community and your business.

We help agencies turn their talent network into a competitive advantage by transforming their database into a talent community. We do this by automating the entire referral process and giving every candidate a unique referral link to share online, along with real-time referral tracking.

This meets candidates where they are: a recent survey we conducted showed that 77% of candidates expect to be able to track their referrals online or in a mobile app. The majority of talent say the number one way they want to refer people to staffing agencies is by sharing a unique link. This also helps agencies access passive talent that their competitors can’t reach on job boards, improves the candidate experience, and reduces administrative workload. 

Adam Conrad: Great Recruiters helps staffing firms and recruiters accelerate their growth. We do this by maximizing the ROI on their reviews, their referrals, their reputation, and, ultimately, their recruiters. 

We fall into two buckets. The first is all-around experience management. We’re a total experience management platform that helps to get real-time feedback, not on the organization but down to the desk level of your recruiters, your compliance team, and your onboarding process. During any moments that matter, we have the ability to help our clients capture real-time feedback from either their candidates, their clients, or their placed talent. That experience management side allows people to be able to take action and see who had a great experience. 

On the other side, it’s all about active reputation management and brand promotion. What’s the sense of getting all that great feedback and reviews if you really can’t do anything with it? Through Great Recruiters, we provide our clients with a host of digital assets that they can use to help promote themselves in the digital space, such as company profile pages, recruiter profile pages, and website-embedded widgets, where they can embed testimonials, reviews, ratings.

We’re in the reviews economy. We all rely on reviews, and we rely on what other people think about services and products. We’re helping staffing firms proactively capture feedback at the most meaningful moments and then give them ways to help promote that to prospective candidates. 

How can recruiters continue to build upon their relationships with candidates even after placement?

Conrad: Check in with them. At a minimum, a recruiter should be picking up the phone and calling their placements on at least a quarterly basis, maybe even monthly, depending on the duration of that assignment. Some people just want to know you haven’t forgotten about them; a quick text goes a long way. The biggest thing is keeping that line of communication open and consistent through the means that make the most sense for that individual.

The other thing we do through Great Recruiters is we send the placed candidates the chance to review their experience at the end of their placement. We can automate that process and send it at a key moment. It serves as a data point and a check-in to let them know you care not just about placing them but also about ensuring that the experience is good. 

Folwell: Agencies should nurture talent throughout the journey, with the placement simply being a pivot in terms of what type of communication they’re sending. Reach out to candidates a few days into the job to check in and see if there’s anything you can do to help or support them. You should also connect with candidates mid-assignment or a few weeks in. This is a great time to remind them about your referral program and ask them about their plans for their future well before the contract end date to set yourself up for redeployment success. 

Make sure you’re building your employer brand as well as setting yourself up for a successful redeployment and referral. At any candidate touchpoints where you’re providing a great experience, ask for referrals so that you can expand your talent community. 

Keep your agency’s referral program top of mind. Provide transparency into the referral process by making sure your recruiters have practices in place to keep people informed on their referrals.

What are some benefits you see in nurturing candidates and building a talent community?

Folwell: Nurturing candidates and building a talent community gives you access to the highest quality talent. That’s why many of the fastest-growing agencies are hyper-focused on referrals. They increase the revenue you can get from your existing network and processes, and referral candidates can improve deployment rates and increase contract length by up to 70%. Referrals also consistently rank as the highest-quality source of talent. As they say, “Good people know good people.”

Conrad: As recruiters grow in their careers, their dependency on using job boards or postings should all go away. When I ask top-rated recruiters on our platform what their number one source for candidates is, it’s either their Great Recruiters profile or referrals. You should be constantly talking and expanding your network and nurturing the candidates you’ve placed and the ones you haven’t because that should be the first place you go when new opportunities come up. Plus, from a client perspective, when you present a candidate who’s been referred by another candidate, there’s instant trust and credibility, so your likelihood of success for your submittal should shoot through the roof. 

When you’re nurturing candidates, you should have more placements, faster placements, and better placements, and your reliance on third-party sites should go way down. The most successful firms that are growing the fastest and have the best recruiters are the ones that are focused on that relationship and nurturing it from a genuine standpoint.

What role do automation and AI play in building a talent community?

Folwell: Recruiters are already overwhelmed with the number of daily tasks they have to complete. Automation, when used correctly, can free them from some of the mundane activities and help them focus on the human part of recruiting: relationship building. 

AI is going to play a big role in helping recruiters do more with less time, but it is important that all AI and automation is designed to either feel human or to be very transparent that it is not human. Candidate trust is an incredibly critical part of the candidate relationship, and it can be eroded by bad experiences with automation. 

Conrad: From a nurturing perspective, determine what that meaningful timeframe is to check in with the placement. We can bring those recruiter reviews back into Bullhorn, and we know who the recruiter is and who the candidate is. That’s also a way that you can leverage existing automations from a marketing standpoint to create those touchpoints and stay in touch.

What role does branding play in nurturing candidates?

Conrad: Relationships don’t exist at the company level. Candidates and even clients trust the people on the other end. That’s why it’s so important that you measure the satisfaction and experience that each individual is having with team members because that ultimately is what your brand is. Your brand is what other people are saying about you. We want to make sure that from a branding perspective, we’re helping to build that through the voice of the candidate. If you have somebody you trust, then you have a strong brand. And those folks are going to come back to you time and time again.

On the personal branding level, each recruiter has their own profile. We’re giving each individual recruiter their personalized brand powered by the reviews that they’ve gotten through the people they’ve worked with. That’s what resonates, and that creates a stronger sense of trust through that transparency. 

Folwell: Your agency’s brand is more important than ever, and from my perspective, that comes down to a few things. First, your online reputation – monitor what people say about you online. Most candidates will not apply for a job after reading negative reviews. It also comes down to trust and credibility. Candidate nurturing via content marketing is also one of the most effective ways to keep your agency top of mind. This way, the next time a candidate is looking for a position, they’ll call you.

What’s one thing every recruiter should be doing to nurture their candidates but aren’t?

Folwell: Nurture silver and bronze medal candidates. Communicate directly and honestly with candidates who don’t get a job. This builds rapport and sets you up to help them find their next job. It’s also the right thing to do.

Conrad: Add value every day. Whether or not I can help you, I can still add value. When you add value, it becomes something meaningful to the other person. If you’re focused on creating a valuable experience, regardless of the outcome, that’s where the basis of nurturing starts. Find ways to add value, find something personal, and find a connection you can leverage through that next conversation. If you add that value to every conversation, I guarantee you’ll be well on your way to a successful recruitment career.


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