It’s more than a ‘one time thing’

It's more than a 'one time thing'- it's about candidate relationships

Written by Rosie Skinner

Rosie Skinner is a recruitment expert, speaker and Director of Mployable - Talent Strategy and Recruitment on Subscription, also known as the Outsourced In-House Recruitment Team. She's been in the recruitment industry for almost ten years, in recruitment agency (yes, high street agency) roles in her early days, through to in house recruitment and HR managerial roles in the latter part of her career. Rosie is CIPD and REC qualified and has spoken at prestigious industry events such as 'Disrupt HR' and 'Inspire Recruitment' as well as numerous business events and workshops.

Creating long term relationships with candidates.

The most overlooked area of the recruitment process is the candidate relationship… Sure, we talk a lot about the ‘candidate journey‘. The ‘candidate experience’. But the candidate relationship?  Not so much.

What I’m definitely not talking about here is ‘back door hiring’.  That process some underhand recruitment agencies embark on, by placing a candidate in a role, ensuring the candidate passes the rebate period with flying colours, and subsequently luring said candidate away from that business with the temptation of pastures new with another employer, thus making a success fee for the recruiter on the same candidate twice (if not more times).  Dastardly.

No.  What I’m talking about here is not seeing candidates as one-off transactions but building engaged pools of talent for years to come. Building lifelong candidate relationships that can add value to your business and coming together when the timing is right.  Understanding that the path to building incredible teams isn’t linear. Nor is it done without some forward-thinking, incredible networks, planning and strategy.

Your pool of potential talent extends far beyond the pile of CVs that land on your desk. Who knows – maybe you’ve already met the perfect candidate for your job.  You just don’t remember it.

It’s not what you know – it’s who you know

That old saying has never been truer than when it comes to hiring and building outstanding teams.  It’s never a bad idea to look back through your little black book of contacts as soon as you have a new role.  People can surprise you, and even your gold dust of recruitment – passive candidates – can appear from places (and people) you would never expect.

Tap into your referral network and see who knows who.  Build a strategy around attracting people who might be closer than you think.  The reality is that there are plenty of talented workers, who would tell you they aren’t looking for a job.  But put the perfect opportunity in front of them at the right time, and you might be having an entirely different conversation.

And the reason these candidates are so valuable? 

They aren’t looking for a job.  They want to work for you.

And by being a part of your wider network or a friend of a friend, they have had the opportunity to come in contact with multiple touchpoints within your organisation – and have already undergone the ‘like, know and trust’ early courting phase of the employer-employee relationship.

Talent Pooling

Words that will strike dread into many internal recruiter’s hearts.  Generally found in the dark dusty corners of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), a forlorn collection of forgotten CVs from once hopeful applicants – now irrelevant, out of date and long moved on.

But creating a strategy for pro-active talent pooling can be a complete game-changer when it comes to candidate relationship management. 

First and foremost, find an ATS provider that allows you to separate out candidates that apply speculatively, and candidates you choose to ‘bank’.
Next, make sure that you’re making the best possible use of keyword searches and tagging facilities. Ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to making the candidates you bank as easy to find again as possible.

Also, consider creating a proactive contact strategy.  Assuming your ATS is GDPR compliant, candidates will have made their choices when opting in – to use this opportunity to keep them engaged with not just your latest jobs – but practical advice to help them in their job searches, industry news and generally interesting content about what it might be like to work for your business.

At the end of it all, good recruitment is about building a network and nurturing relationships.

When it comes to building a world-class team and finding the best people – Relationships matter.

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