Candidates are the fuel that keeps the engine running. They’re also people—people entrusting you with one of the most critical aspects of their lives. If you want to build a pool of qualified candidates, you’ll need to meet their needs as applicants and as people. This means focusing on finding candidates, engaging them, and keeping them satisfied once they’ve decided to work with you. Follow this checklist, and you’ll be well on your way to building a reliable database of qualified, satisfied candidates.

Study Up On Sourcing

Building a candidate pool starts with finding candidates. Recruitment professionals say the top four sources of quality candidates are. 

A candidate database is only as good as what you put into it, so leverage the capabilities of a good ATS to build a database you can rely on.

Social media has become an increasingly popular choice for recruiters looking to find qualified candidates. Familiarise yourself with the best practices for reaching out to candidates across all the major social networks.

Great employees tend to know other great people. Give them a reason to recommend you to their colleagues.

It’s hard to top job boards when it comes to the volume of candidates available to recruiters and sourcers. Because of their access to candidate resumes, job boards are a great fit for recruiters targeting specialised roles or keywords.

Develop an Online Presence

It’s not all about finding candidates—you want to make a good impression when they find you as well. Take these steps to make your website a welcoming resource to anyone who visits.

Does your website look like it was developed in 1995? Seek out the services of a marketing agency specialising in helping recruitment agencies or using a service with pre-made templates that fit your company.

More and more people access the internet exclusively through phones and tablets. Test your site on a mobile device to ensure candidates can navigate it easily.

You have a lot of knowledge that would benefit your candidates. Create resources on your website, such as an interview prep checklist or tips for writing resumes. It’ll help candidates find you and establish you as a trusted expert.

Master Social Media

Recruitment is built on relationships, and social media is one of the best ways to create new bonds and strengthen old ones. Use social media to network, find candidates, and engage with existing connections.

Social media is an essential platform for establishing your firm as an industry leader and sourcing candidates. If your social media presence is invisible or outdated, candidates may have difficulty trusting your services.

LinkedIn is the leading social media site for recruiting, with more than half a billion registered users. Research sourcing techniques to find tips for making the most out of LinkedIn’s extensive database.

Recruiters increasingly use Facebook, Twitter, and many other social networks to find qualified candidates. Develop a social presence on these sites and dig into the sourcing intricacies of each network.

Make the Most of Your Database

Your database can be one of your most significant assets or your biggest nightmare. It all depends on how you grow and manage it. Use these tips to build a database that sets you up for ROI down the road.

Spreadsheets aren’t built for relationships, and they aren’t proactive. A good ATS will automatically capture your data, provide structure to your workflow, find new candidates, and strengthen relationships with existing ones.

Just because a candidate wasn’t right for one job doesn’t mean they won’t be a great fit for a different position. Plus, it communicates your commitment to a candidate.

The placement shouldn’t be the end of your relationship with a candidate. Keep in touch, and if the candidate eventually decides to look for a new opportunity, you’ll be top of mind.

It may be tempting to import huge lists of candidates from a third party into your database, but these often contain worthless data. A database clogged with unqualified or mislabeled candidates will waste time in the long run.

Focus on Candidate Experience

The demand for qualified candidates is at an apex. Providing a so-so candidate experience won’t cut it. Create an experience your candidates want to rave about with these steps:

Is improving the candidate experience an initiative at your agency? Happy candidates don’t happen by accident—you’ll need to take proactive steps to enact real change. Build it into your agency’s DNA. If you have two priorities, you have none.

No candidate wants to read an email that starts “Dear applicant.” Personalise every message you send to candidates. Every detail you remember about a candidate helps strengthen your relationship.

At the end of the placement process, ask every candidate what they liked and what you could’ve done better. You can’t improve if you don’t ask.

Avoid Bad Habits

Part of delivering a great candidate experience is avoiding the things that lead to a bad one. Here are some of the most frequently cited complaints from candidates.

Nothing is more frustrating than a complete lack of response. Always follow up with candidates, even when the news isn’t good.

It’s not enough just to communicate; your conversations should be constructive, too. Provide the candidate with helpful advice that will help them land this position or a future one.

Is it difficult for the candidate to apply? Is it difficult for them to get started when they’ve got the position? If so, they’ll remember and be less likely to work with you in the future.

Do you work with a specialised field of candidates or candidates in various professions? Either way, it’s critical to be knowledgeable. If you don’t know what the candidate does, how can you help them?