Building relationships has always been at the heart of recruitment, and now tech and automation are giving recruiters back the time to focus on the human touch and deepen connections. It puts communication and candidate engagement high on the agenda for recruiters and at the forefront of trends shaping recruitment in 2023.
Continuous and unambiguous communication with candidates and clients is critical for a smooth and efficient hiring process. Effective engagement with candidates is essential for attracting top talent and turning quality leads into successful applicants.
Recruitment comms and candidate engagement are evolving. As we hit mid-2023, this blog examines emerging trends.
The State of Staffing Report 2023
Staffing Hub regularly surveys recruitment professionals and job seekers to gain insights into the recruitment industry’s top challenges and opportunities. Staffing Hub’s State of Staffing Report 2023 uncovers the latest thoughts from over 400 staffing professionals and more than 500 members of the general public about their job search plans.
The report offers excellent insights into the world of recruitment and tells us exactly what recruiters are thinking. Technology and automation, building relationships with candidates and clients, and expanding into new markets were revealed as the top opportunities for recruiters in 2023. Finding qualified candidates and getting candidates to respond were the main challenges.
Significantly, recruiters reported that hiring new talent and finding new business is getting more difficult. A tight job market, economic uncertainty, and the great reshuffle (employees re-evaluating what is important to them) have combined to make the talent search harder.
As a result, communication and candidate engagement strategies are getting a tech-enabled overhaul.
Building Better Relationships
Candidate relationship management is a primary focus for recruiting teams today. Fostering stronger relationships with candidates and clients was reported by Staffing Hub as one of the most significant opportunities for recruiters this year. And, as the great reshuffle continues, candidates and businesses (clients) are leaning more toward recruiting agencies than they have done in the past.
There is renewed energy in the recruitment space to advocate more passionately for candidates and clients. Strengthening existing relationships is now critical. Recruiters are keen to develop a deeper understanding of job seekers and clients and are working harder to foster exclusive relationships.
Job seekers are re-evaluating what is important to them; they need help finding roles that meet their preferences and needs. In a tight job market, business owners and HR leaders also need help to connect with job seekers and meet their expectations.
Despite economic uncertainties, the recruitment agency market is reasonably buoyant – according to Staffing Hub’s survey, more than half of recruitment industry leaders (56%) expect double-digit growth in 2023, while 32% expect fast growth. Competition is fierce, so recruiters must work even harder to maintain existing relationships and build new ones.
Candidate interviews and the hiring process look different today than before the pandemic, and engaging with candidates in a new way is helping recruiters understand them better. Video interviews, for example, enable recruiters to assess a candidate’s body language, facial expressions, and appearance and compare candidates to find the best fit for a client’s work culture. The better recruiters understand candidates, the easier it becomes to match them with the right firm.
Watching back recorded interviews, recruiters can offer valuable advice on interview skills to help candidates nail their perfect job. By better understanding a candidate’s soft skills, recruiters can also advocate more confidently to clients.
Bringing More Human Empathy
Human empathy is an integral part of building better relationships, and right now, candidates want more from their hiring experience. Recruiters must meet new candidate expectations, and they can more easily achieve this by including empathy in recruiting strategies.
At face value, automation through technological advancement is taking us away from the human touch, not closer to it. But automating tedious tasks gives recruiters more time to speak to people and build real connections.
So, how does showing greater empathy help recruiters?
A Staff Reporter article explains why incorporating empathy into a recruitment strategy is essential for attracting and retaining top talent:
“Recruiting with empathy means showing your candidates … that you understand their needs and are sympathetic to their current situation.”
There is no great secret to be uncovered here. Empathy in recruitment relationships is important because it demonstrates care for people. Job seekers and companies with positions to fill will naturally be more attracted to recruiters who show respect and interest.
Incorporating empathy into the hiring process makes engagement with candidates and clients more authentic and effective. This ties into transparency, authenticity and trust. So, for example, this means avoiding telling candidates they are perfect for a role when they may not have all the required credentials. Setting expectations on both sides (with the client and the candidate) is essential and avoids disappointment. Empathy doesn’t mean telling people what you think they want to hear. It means listening and responding with honesty.
Empathy opens the door to more meaningful and honest conversations. Ultimately, people, whether candidates, company directors or HR professionals, respect that. Straight talking doesn’t have to be unkind or blow a deal. It can be empowering for all involved.
Connecting with Passive Candidates
Capturing the attention of top talent is becoming more complex, and recruiters are constantly looking for new ways to find the best person for unfilled roles. Passive candidates are a pool of untapped talent, especially since employees are starting to re-evaluate their lives and work. Work-life balance, fresh opportunities and challenges, and better support in the workplace increasingly matter to employees.
The fact that employee priorities are changing means there are many warm passive candidates out there who might consider a new role. While they aren’t actively looking for a new job, they may be open to a conversation.
Don’t just take our word for it – statistics by Zippia found that 73 per cent of potential candidates are passive job seekers who are currently employed and open to hearing about new job opportunities but also too hesitant to apply.
The passive candidate market has traditionally been underutilized, but this is beginning to change. Savvy recruiters are connecting with the passive market through social media, employee referrals and online resume platforms.
Capitalizing on Tech Automation
There is little doubt that recruitment automation is reshaping the hiring process. Tech is enabling many of the tedious daily manual tasks to be automated, giving time back to recruiters to focus on the more important human aspects of their roles.
A whole bunch of processes run more consistently and efficiently with tech, and the use of data has become much more powerful and meaningful. A decent Applicant Tracking System (ATS), for example, will usually include a reporting feature so recruiters can quickly and easily review critical information across the business and processes. Time-consuming tasks like job board posting and searching, skills profiling, and resume checking and ranking can all be automated.
The recruitment tech stack looks mighty impressive, and according to Staffing Hub’s survey, recruiters rate all technologies as more valuable compared to last year. However, survey respondents also reported overwhelmingly that their technology challenges are worse this year and that finding and implementing the right tools is getting more complex. (Tracker makes it easy – find out more about transitioning to a new ATS here.)
In terms of communications and candidate engagement, automation enables a consistently better candidate experience. Everything from the initial outreach to staying in touch, requesting assessments, and scheduling interviews can be automated and personalized, improving the candidate nurturing process.
Personalization and Message Sequencing
Communications between recruiters, candidates, and clients are becoming more responsive and personalized. As well as automated message sequencing, which triggers customized text messages or emails at specific touchpoints or from completing tasks, recruiters are reaching out to candidates and clients more to ensure the personalized human touch isn’t lost.
Continuation of a Mobile-First Approach
Hiring no longer takes place exclusively at a desk. Today people expect to be able to do almost everything on their mobile. Mobile-first recruiting – the strategy to attract, engage, and convert candidates via mobile devices – is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s essential.
Engaging with candidates via text over mobile offers a significant opportunity for recruiters to engage with clients. According to texting stats, texts have a 98 per cent open rate, and nine out of ten people read the texts they receive within three minutes!
Tracker: Helping Recruiters Skyrocket Candidate Engagement
Tracker’s fully integrated Applicant Tracking System (ATS) enables recruiters to source candidates, nurture and match applicants, and make more placements. With a fully integrated CRM, Tracker helps you build better client relationships and generate and qualify better leads. And you’ll rocket boost your activity with our awesome automations, giving your recruiters more time to focus on what they do best.
Don’t delay, get a demo today!