The Do’s and Don’ts of contacting job candidates

Posted by Toby Conibear | December 6, 2016 |
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Recruiters contacting job candidatesResearch undertaken on behalf of Bond International Software has set out to discover the current state of the recruitment market – from candidates’ job search preferences to the ways in which individuals now address a change in career. In the third instalment of this four part blog series, Toby Conibear, European Business Development Director looks at the job candidate preferences for recruiter interaction.

A proactive approach

When it comes to contacting potential job candidates, recruitment agencies are certainly being proactive – with over half of respondents having had contact from recruitment agencies in the last 12 months.

While the favoured method of communication tends to be via email (73%) or phone (51%), one in five were also contacted via text message. It appears that recruiters are receptive to candidates’ preferred methods of communication, as 76% of candidates are receptive to being approached via email.

With such a large proportion of candidates being receptive to email communication over other methods, we ask ourselves why. Email is largely unobtrusive – and certainly preferable to methods that may cause problems with a current employer.  It is no surprise, therefore, that the least effective methods from the candidate’s perspective and those that they would be unreceptive towards are Facebook (55%), Twitter (56%) and calling on the phone at work (56%).

Love it or hate it

The dominance of the online search in attracting potential candidates has significant ramifications for recruitment agencies, especially given candidates’ growing preference for skills and/or industry focused recruitment activity – as demonstrated by the use of specific job boards. However, get the communication right and candidate trust will be built, in fact, 20% of candidates have used an agency after being contacted by a recruiter.

While getting the method right when contacting clients is important, it is also important to fine tune the frequency with which the recruiter reaches out – especially considering changing attitudes to career changes. While our research confirmed that over a quarter of office workers have looked for a job in the last six months and a massive 72% have looked for a job within the last three years, the younger generation is even more proactive. The Institute of Learning & Management reports that 19% of new recruits in the UK are actively looking for a new role and 11% plan to leave a job (30% in total) within the first 12 months – creating clear opportunities within this demographic for recruiters to build stronger, more frequent relationships.

It is, therefore, interesting to note that our research has shown that nearly half of respondents (47%) have been contacted more than once by a recruiter in the past year, with 21% being contacted four plus times in the past year.  

Ultimately building relationships with candidates is key for recruiters. Given the challenges which are now being faced in attaining and retaining staff in the current market, there are clear opportunities for recruiters to improve candidate relationships, and in order to do that, recruiters must ensure that they are using logic where possible and reaching out in the preferred way to candidates. Doing this is the difference between filling a job vacancy with the best candidate or losing out to a competitor agency.

To download the full market research report click here.

Category: Recruitment

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Toby Conibear
Toby has worked for Bond since 1996. His career started as a Technical Support Consultant, then worked as an Account Manager, then Head of European Sales. Currently, Toby is responsible for driving growth of the EMEA business region, specialising in large scale multinational deployments. Working as Group Business Development Director, Toby is part of the Bond board leadership team.


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