In the world of recruitment, first contact is everything. Irrespective of the channel used, how recruiters initially interact with candidates informs the entire relationship from then on.
While in the past recruiters might have introduced themselves and mostly communicated with candidates over the phone, candidates now have their own preference of multiple different communication channels. Channels such as social media, mobile phone, tweets, texts, email and IM have all become great ways for recruiters to reach their prospective candidates, but as we know, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. With this in mind we have compiled a list of tips for recruiters to help them understand which channels work best for target candidates.
Think about your target audience
Don’t attempt to engage with candidates via a communication channel they don’t use or, worse still, dislike being contacted through.
In this respect, you need to determine the most appropriate method(s) of contact. In our list of tips for recruiters we advise establishing initial contact with candidates via email, as email is immediate, professional and most importantly, unobtrusive. But before you type up your email and hit send, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Be friendly, but professional – It’s your introductory message, you want to be as professional and as approachable as possible. Once you’ve established the tone of your conversation, you can then decide on maintaining formalities or not.
- Introduce yourself – Self-explanatory, but by introducing yourself, you present yourself as an approachable human being. In the age of automated email, the personal touch can go a long way in helping the candidate feel at ease and be themselves, which in turn will help you represent them more effectively.
- Clearly state your reason for emailing – You need to provide something of value to your candidate, so clearly explain the position you are contacting them about. If you have a job opportunity, now’s the time to mention it.
- Make sure you ask their preferred method of communication and what times are best – This is one of the main objectives of your initial email. Ideally, you want to obtain a more personal method of communication, one where you can contact them if needs be and they won’t be unreceptive. Additionally, ask them what time(s) are best to engage with them!
The above is just to get you started. Think of email as the bridge which joins the gap between you and your candidate. It may not be their ideal method of communication, but you have no way of knowing that until you ask them and that’s what the email is for – and once you have that, you should move on to what they prefer.
Recruiters: you’re only ever as good as your word.
One of the most important tips for recruiters is to make sure you follow through on your promises. If you promise to keep in touch or update candidates on their progress, ensure you do.
For any candidate, what’s truly disappointing is never receiving feedback on an application. By failing to articulate feedback to both parties, whether the candidate turns the job down, or the client declines the candidate – you need to make sure everyone remains informed. By proving yourself as someone who provides concise, accurate feedback, you’ll establish yourself as someone who puts the needs of both candidates and clients first.
This becomes even more relevant as you work your way up through the seniority levels, from graduates to senior management to CEOs, you should be consistent throughout. Cultivating strong, professional relationships with all of your contacts will enable you to secure more opportunities in the future. If you take these tips for recruiters on board and implement them as standard practice, no matter what medium you choose, your candidates will be confident in your ability to represent them.