Relationships are the foundation of staffing. Even as the recruitment lifecycle finds more use for automation and AI, building and maintaining strong relationships with candidates is the bread and butter of any decent staffing firm. As with any other part of running a successful staffing business, strategy is essential. Here’s how you can build a candidate relationship management strategy to keep your candidates happy and keep your agency growing in 2024 and beyond.
What is candidate relationship management?
Candidate relationship management (CRM) is a strategic approach used in staffing and recruitment to build, maintain, and enhance relationships with potential candidates. It involves managing interactions with candidates throughout the entire recruitment lifecycle, from sourcing to onboarding to redeployment. According to our most recent GRID Talent Trends Report, a positive candidate experience at each stage of the recruitment lifecycle, from initial search to onboarding, can improve candidate loyalty by as much as 57%. Therefore, your candidate relationship management approach should aim to establish a positive candidate experience while also ensuring effective talent acquisition and efficient placement.
Importance of candidate relationship management in staffing and recruitment
Attracting top talent all comes down to candidate relationship management. By building strong relationships with candidates, staffing agencies can build a true talent community and even improve the quality of placements. In today’s competitive job market, where skills shortages are a common challenge, an effective candidate relationship management strategy can help your agency attract, engage, and place high-quality talent – and gain a competitive edge.
Using candidate relationship management software
Candidate relationship management (CRM) software can be a powerful asset for your firm. This software streamlines candidate communications by consolidating communications and candidate information in a single location, automating reminders and follow-ups, and even personalizing certain messages. With CRM software, staffing agencies can ensure timely, consistent, and accurate communication, all while delivering a personalized candidate experience. Bullhorn sees a 53% increase in redeployment rates for staffing firms that automate their processes, according to the GRID 2023 Talent Trends Report. Leveraging the right CRM software as your single source of truth helps your recruiters to work more efficiently, all while improving the overall candidate experience.
Building a talent pool
When it comes to finding the right fit for your jobs, you’ll want a pool of the very best candidates. Building a talent pool – or, better yet, a talent community – requires both identifying and consistently engaging with candidates. Here are a few ways to ensure your firm works with top-tier talent.
Identifying potential candidates
To identify potential candidates effectively, it is crucial to leverage technology and stay connected with their career progression. By tracking candidates’ career trajectories through platforms such as LinkedIn or other social media channels, staffing professionals can gain valuable insights into their experiences, skills, and potential fit for future roles. Additionally, maintaining regular contact with candidates through a mix of both personalized emails and automated reminders ensures that talent remains engaged. Moreover, utilizing advanced software solutions designed for candidate sourcing and identification can streamline the process further, allowing professionals to efficiently source and identify potential candidates based on specific criteria. These strategies maximize the efficiency of candidate identification and contribute to building a robust talent pipeline.
Leveraging passive talent
Passive talent refers to individuals who have previously applied for – or even been placed with – your agency, but haven’t been engaged with or placed in a while. These candidates still have potential and are worth engaging with for future job openings. By leveraging CRM software, staffing agencies can track and engage with passive talent on an ongoing basis. Proactive identification and outreach to these candidates when relevant job opportunities arise can result in quicker and more successful hires.
Utilizing employee referrals for candidate sourcing
Employee referrals are a valuable source for candidate sourcing. Staffing agencies can tap into their current employees’ networks to identify potential candidates who may be a good fit for open positions. Employee referrals often result in high-quality hires and can help build a positive candidate experience. By leveraging CRM software, agencies can efficiently engage with potential candidates referred by employees, ensuring a smooth and personalized candidate journey.
The recruitment process
Candidates want an easy, frictionless recruitment process. According to Bullhorn research, most candidates expect to be placed within one to four weeks, and they want to be matched with the right jobs for their skillset. Though meeting these expectations might be easier said than done, here’s how you can build a seamless recruitment process.
Designing an effective recruitment process
An effective recruitment process all starts with its design. This includes incorporating the expectations of candidates and establishing recruitment metrics from the start. By creating a well-defined and transparent process with clear goals, staffing agencies can set clear expectations, foster trust, and maintain open lines of communication. This ultimately leads to a positive candidate experience and increases the success rate of candidate relationship management strategies.
Using technology and automation in candidate selection
Technology and automation play a crucial role in candidate selection. By utilizing CRM software, staffing agencies can leverage valuable hiring data to analyze and optimize their recruitment process. This includes identifying bottlenecks, streamlining workflows, and implementing AI-driven capabilities for candidate matching and predictive analytics. Automation not only saves time and resources but also ensures a fair and efficient selection process, enabling organizations to make data-driven hiring decisions.
Enhancing the candidate experience during the hiring process
Providing a positive candidate experience is paramount during the hiring process. By delivering personalized, branded, and mobile-optimized content, staffing agencies can create a memorable and engaging candidate journey. Maintaining regular contact with candidates post-hiring, sending thank you notes after interviews, and sending surveys for feedback are effective strategies to enhance the candidate experience. Utilizing CRM technology enables agencies to make personalized recommendations and tailor communication, further enhancing the candidate experience.
Developing positive relationships with candidates
Candidates rely on past experiences and reviews when deciding which firm to work with – so developing a positive relationship with candidates is crucial. A positive relationship goes deeper than sending a birthday message once a year (though that’s part of it!) – it involves building trust, managing expectations, and tailoring communication to suit their preferences.
Establishing rapport and trust with candidates
Establishing rapport and trust is crucial when developing candidate relationship management strategies. By nurturing positive relationships, communicating effectively, and keeping candidates engaged with company updates and culture, staffing agencies can build strong personal ties with candidates. It is essential to maintain a positive employer brand image and demonstrate a commitment to candidates, even if they are not selected for a job. Building bridges with candidates can lead to referrals, positive word-of-mouth, and a larger talent pool for future opportunities.
Providing personalized communication and interaction
Personalized communication and interaction are vital components of successful candidate relationship management strategies. By utilizing recruitment CRM software, staffing agencies can send timely updates and responses, as well as seek feedback, nurturing a two-way communication channel. Tailoring communication to candidates’ preferences and needs also creates a positive impression and strengthens the relationship. Does your candidate prefer email over text? How often do they want to be contacted? Learning these preferences – and sticking to them – can go a long way.
Managing candidate expectations throughout the recruitment journey
Setting and managing candidate expectations is critical to the success of candidate relationship management strategies. Clear and transparent communication, setting realistic job role expectations, and providing regular updates on the recruitment process all contribute to a positive candidate experience. By exceeding candidate expectations, staffing agencies can enhance their employer brand positioning and improve candidate perceptions. Ultimately, this leads to successful candidate relationship management and continued growth for your agency.