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Your recruitment communication strategy can have a huge impact on your Candidate Experience. How?
In a fiercely competitive recruitment market,  good candidates are hard to attract. A huge part of their decision-making process during the recruitment cycle is dependent on how their experience is during the hiring process. 

Talent acquisition leaders across the board also emphasize the importance of offering a compelling Candidate Experience. Having a robust understanding of the Candidate Journey and effective communication is the foundation of great Candidate Experience. 

To understand the importance and complete impact of the candidate communication process, consider the following statistics: 

  • As many as 72% of applicants publicly share their recruitment and job application experience online or with friends or colleagues
  • Almost 84% of candidates agree that the employer’s reputation is critical to know when they are applying for an available position
  • For 81% of candidates, the one main thing that would greatly improve their overall Candidate Experience is employers communicating status updates to them on a continuous basis
  • 52% of candidates don’t receive any communication in the two to three months after applying
  • 63% of job seekers are likely to reject a job offer because of a bad experience

The numbers above clearly highlight how important timely and consistent communication is for candidates when they apply for a job. The bad experience can not only spread bad word of mouth but can also have negative implications for your brand image and reputation.

Recruitment Communication Strategies To Improve Candidate Experience

Building a robust candidate communication strategy largely boils down to understanding what your candidates want to know, and when they want to know it. As a recruiter or staffing agency, it is, therefore, important to strategize the process and think about the overall application experience from the candidate’s perspective to ensure smooth and productive communication.

To enhance your Candidate Experience, it is important to decide which communication platforms will be most effective to reach your target audience. Since the channels you use to engage entry or mid-level employees may be different from the tools used for seasoned talent, you need to choose the communication strategies based on your target audience.

In the next section, we will explore some of the best channels you can use for candidate communication. It's important to know that the majority of candidates prefer to be contacted through multiple channels.

1. Email

Incorporating email campaigns in your recruiting event communication plan is one of the best ways to tailor the messaging for each of your target audiences. In fact, according to 2016 data, 79.2% of candidates selected emails as their preferred method of communication. You can also make use of a CRM system to build branded communications and segment audiences.

2. Text messaging

Today's generation prefers to have speedy communication and candidates of ages 18 to 44 rank text messaging as their top recruitment-process communication method. To leverage this opportunity, make sure to schedule text reminders before the event, and also send links or your company culture video post the recruitment cycle.

3. Leverage automation

To be able to consistently hit different communication touchpoints for every candidate you interact with, leverage various recruitment automation tools available such as chatbots, CRMs or candidate relationship management platforms, and other scheduling tools. You can also include various live engagement touchpoints such as live chat, 1:1 chats, and group chats, including polls. 

4. ATS or applicant tracking systems

Use applicant tracking systems or recruiting software systems to make your communication efforts easier. An ATS allows you to automate correspondence with your candidates, especially initial correspondence regarding resume and application receipts.

5. Videos

Channels like videos enable you to communicate with candidates who wish to find answers in their own time. It is an excellent channel that allows them to research outside their own working hours. 

Using Technology to Communicate with Candidates During Different Stages of the Hiring Process

Your recruitment communication strategy should see you build a powerful communication channel with candidates and this kind of responsive communication requires recruiters and hiring managers to be on top of their game in terms of confirming, scheduling, and gathering information throughout the interview and hiring processes.

For effective candidate communication, there are several pieces of information that recruiters must deliver to job applicants (using the above-mentioned channels) at various stages of the hiring cycle and some of these are listed below.

a. Confirmation of the application receipt 

An email confirming the receipt of the candidate's resume or application should be sent to each of the applicants, ideally immediately, or within 2 business days.

b. Application rejection

A text message or email should be sent to let applicants know that they were not chosen for an interview after reviewing their application.

c. Hiring process overview

Texting can be used to touch base with the candidates, keeping them informed about the process and also for providing frequent updates that keep candidates engaged and enthusiastic about the process.

However, make sure that you do not use text messaging:

  • As a creative channel to get candidates' attention
  • For making initial contact
  • To replace phone- or in-person interviews

d. Scheduling the in-person interview

For candidates who live too far away, use phone calls or video calls to conveniently schedule an in-person interview. However, if a candidate is being brought in for an interview, it is best to call or email them to schedule an interview and help them with all the information, including directions, timeframe for the interview, and other logistical details.

e. Screening candidates

Chatbots are becoming a quite common feature for recruiting websites as a means to offer value for recruiters. They can be used to collect candidates’ responses for screening questions and gathering more information that recruiters can review before reaching out to candidates. Additionally, chatbots can also be used to answer candidate queries at the screening stage and offer assistance 24/7.

f. Post-selection update

Once the selection process is complete, you owe the candidate an update regarding their status. If the candidate is not selected to be further considered, you can provide either a general rejection email or communicate more specifically using live chat or ATS regarding why they were not selected.

g. Offer letter

For selected candidates, extend a call to them to offer the position and follow-up with an offer letter with details such as position, compensation, location, start date, and more. 

h. Questions and answers

Throughout the process of hiring, it’s important to be consistently available to answer applicants’ queries. The best way here is to use chatbots or a live chat option to let them know that you are available to answer any questions or concerns and respond to them in a timely and professional manner.

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