Written by Chris Russell
2nd September, 2020
Best Practices for Recruitment Communications
In the age of instant gratification among consumers and the next generation workforce, it’s all about ease and speed when it comes to your recruitment communications. These are the keys to keeping prospective candidates engaged and responsive while inside your hiring process.
The three most common ways recruiters typically use to communicate were email, text and phone. Now we can add two more channels to the mix, AI recruiting chatbots and video. With technology changing the way we communicate so rapidly, let’s review some of the best practices when it comes to chatting with and keeping your applicants in the loop.
Every recruiter should have a great signature that not only contains their contact info but also your company’s social media links and potentially your logo and calendar link. Using that space as a promotional tool will help you get more followers and encourage them to reach out when needed.
In addition your ATS probably comes with a set of templated emails that get triggered when the applicant workflow changes. If you have yet to customize those templates to reflect your company brand, now is a good time to revamp that messaging. Take a look at the employer branding and words used to communicate the message. Make a point to personalize them and soften the tone so that it doesn’t sound like a robot wrote it. In short, put some thought into what it says.
TEXT RECRUITING SOFTWARE
If your company isn’t using text recruiting software to communicate with candidates yet, then it should be at the top of your shortlist of things to implement next. Millennial job seekers want ease of use when communicating about a job and texting is their preferred way to do that. It’s also attractive for recruiters as well since the response time is almost immediate. According to a CTIA study, the average email response time is 90 minutes, but only 90 seconds for a text message. Plus text recruiting is a better option when it comes to reaching people at work. They are much more likely to reply to a text than answer your call since an SMS is private and let’s them engage on their own schedule.
The speed of a text recruitment message is such a killer feature in today’s job market. Remember also to first get their permission, keep all text messages professional and consistent with your employment brand and have a clear objective in mind when sending them.
RECRUITING CHATBOTS & AI
AI Recruiting chatbots are an important feature offered by top tier recruiting software vendors (Emissary included), especially those focused on recruitment automation. A number of studies have indicated that a majority of job seekers like interacting with them because it makes the process more efficient and puts the candidate in control. Plus a recruitment chatbot is available 24/7 and never takes a day off. If a candidate visits your career page at 10pm at night, they easily ask an AI chatbot a question and get an answer instantly. When it comes to the wording inside your recruiting chatbot, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be as brief as possible with the answers to the preset questions that you create… remember that efficiency enhances the candidate experience. Two, avoid asking for open ended responses, unless it’s truly necessary and three, set expectations that it’s an automated process, not a real person. Think of your chatbot as an AI powered automated recruiting assistant that acts a bit like an ATM in that the user should prefer the automated tool over live assistance, at least for basic transactions. Recruiting process automation can be a major boon to your recruitment communication strategy when implemented with care.
When it comes to the phone we are mainly referring to the phone screen. That time honored tradition of qualifying a resume that looks interesting. Best practices start by making sure the candidate knows what to expect. Let them know how the process will unfold and set their expectations up front.
A typical phone screen should last no more than 20-30 minutes. Therefore you’ll want to focus on the most important questions such as;
- Why are you leaving your current role?
- What type of opportunity would make you switch jobs right now?
- How did you hear about this opportunity?
- Which core skills are you really good at?
- On a scale of 1-10 how would your last boss rate your performance?
- What are your salary expectations?
- Any questions for me?
As video interviewing takes hold during the pandemic some recruiters have struggled to use it properly. In my experience it just takes repetition and some attention to the small details that will make you look good on camera.
You’ll want to have good lighting and a camera that fills the screen with your face and shoulders. I have seen too many people on a Zoom this year with half the video feed showing more of the ceiling than the person. That is easily corrected by tilting your camera down until you fit in properly. Also invest in a good microphone and be sure to wear your company swag or have a backdrop with a company logo to provide an employer brand boost.
Remember that every interaction with a job seeker is a candidate experience that can’t be redone. Make all your recruitment communications, no matter the channel, a good one so every candidate experience is delightful.