Nurture your database with Connected Recruiting
The recruitment lifecycle doesn’t stop with the end of a contract. While attracting and engaging with new candidates is essential to recruitment, many agencies are sitting on an untapped goldmine: their existing talent community.
By focusing on nurturing candidates even after their placement, agencies have an opportunity to flip the script, boost their referrals and redeployment, and bring talent back into the recruitment lifecycle again and again.
We sat down with Wayne Barclay, Director at Barclay Jones, and Andy Simpson, co-founder of Hinterview, to shed light on key trends and strategies for nurturing candidate relationships and how video, automation, and AI can make all the difference.
Check out a recording of our conversation here, or read the recap below.
What talent wants
Bullhorn recently surveyed over 1,000 global contingent workers in our GRID 2023 Talent Trends report, and the findings underscored the increasing importance of providing candidates with a better and more consistent experience. Respondents identified speed and accuracy as top priorities within their recruitment experience; they expect to find the right job quickly and secure a placement within a month of their search initiation. Communication also played a pivotal role, with candidates expressing a desire for frequent updates — at least once a week.
Providing a quick and easy recruitment experience isn’t important just when attracting and engaging with talent. Agencies need to ensure speed, accuracy, and ease from the moment candidates join their talent community to well after their placement. This emphasis on an incredible experience contributes significantly to building candidate loyalty.
When it comes to candidate communication, frequency isn’t the only factor. Agencies need to consider the range of communication channels that are available – and leverage those channels that their candidates use the most. While emails and phone calls remain crucial, additional channels like social media, text messaging, and video communication are gaining prominence, especially for younger generations.
In order to cut through the noise, agencies need to adopt an omnichannel communication approach to meet candidates where they are. An effective omnichannel communication strategy isn’t just about communicating frequently and through the right channels, though. Authenticity is key, Simpson noted: “You’ve got to do it in a patient, consistent, and credible way.”
The power of video
One form of communication can be especially powerful when nurturing candidate relationships. Because email, which was once a dominant channel, is facing challenges of oversaturation, video presents an opportunity for recruiters to convey authenticity and build trust.
Simpson highlighted the underutilisation of video in recruitment, with only a small percentage of agencies incorporating it into their outreach strategies as compared to other industries. The human-to-human storytelling aspect positions recruiters to deliver authentic messages that resonate with candidates.
Simpson noted that video is poised to become a crucial tool in the industry. Beyond its application in traditional recruitment, video is evolving to cater to project-based work. He highlighted its potential in building client relationships, presenting a gallery of profiles, and positioning recruitment as more than just a recruiting service.
A foundation of data
When it comes to any effective nurturing strategy, data needs to be the foundation. Recruitment agencies have databases full of valuable candidate information, but they need to leverage that information effectively in order to best understand how to build relationships.
“I don’t think recruitment organisations – or even recruiters themselves – see themselves as data analysts and data collators,” Barclay said. He noted that crucial agencies need to input their activities into a database where that information can be monitored, managed, and used to better engage with your talent community.
Simpson also emphasised the critical role of data in the success of automation and nurturing strategies. The implementation of technology like automation and search and match needs a solid foundation, and that begins with clean, structured data.
AI, automation, and redeployment
“You can’t physically keep relationships going with everyone on the database,” Barclay said. “That’s where AI and automation will kick in to keep nurturing relationships for you.” Recruiters can lean on automation to send check-ins and reminders, ensuring that no candidate slips through the cracks. “Automations add significant value to that nurturing process, which takes away the headache for recruiters to manage that,” Barclay added.
AI and automation can also help agencies looking to boost their redeployment rates. Barclay noted that recruiters can send automations reminding contractors of their expiration date and potential options for their next placement. By leveraging automation, recruiters can proactively manage the end of contracts, ensuring a smoother transition for candidates and reducing the burden on recruiters.
Success, according to Simpson and Barclay, lies in the effective use of data analytics tools integrated with automation. Tools like video outreach not only engage candidates but also provide valuable insights into their preferences and readiness for contact. Success, therefore, is measured by how well a business optimises its technology stack and nurtures relationships based on data-driven strategies.
Looking to the future
The industry continues to buzz with talk of AI, but it’s time for agencies to consider how they can leverage it in their day-to-day operations. Barclay emphasised the need for recruitment organisations to consolidate their position using AI to match candidates with jobs more efficiently and shorten the recruitment lifecycle. Simpson, in agreement with AI’s transformative potential, stressed the importance of maintaining the human element in recruiting. He predicted that video, coupled with AI, can empower recruiters to focus on storytelling and narrative crafting.
“As AI develops, hopefully, it will allow recruiters to really focus on the narrative crafting, helping customers magnify their message to the market,” Simpson said. “That is the future for recruiters, without a doubt.”