Your candidate recruitment strategy can no longer be set it and forget it when it comes to applicant tracking and job postings.  As increased competition grows for qualified job seekers, companies must learn how to foster and build a long-term relationship with a job seeker.

Candidate Relationship is a New Approach for Employers

This long-term relationship called candidate relationship management is one of the most misunderstood and under-utilized strategies today in my opinion.  A 2012 Aberdeen research study called TheFuture of Candidate Relationships found that on 2% of companies surveyed are focused on a long-term approach to this initiative.   Instead of being a half glass full kind of girl, I see opportunity and the fact that the market for creating and build a strong candidate relationship is wide open in that nearly 98% of companies are not focusing on an area that is one of the solutions to fulfilling a company’s long term talent acquisition goals. 
But the question remains, how does one actually focus on candidate and job seeker relationships, here are 5 ways to get you started on building and engaging the passive as well as active job seeker. 

How to Drive Engagement and Relationships in Candidate Recruitment

  •       Provide Feedback.  The job search process can be a long and frustrating process.  Job seekers are often left with unanswered questions which lead to anger and aggressive behaviors.  Take Taylor Grey Meyer who after being rejected 30 times by the San Diego Padres wrote a counter offer where she asked the prospective employer to “Suck Her Dick.”  The story went viral with many criticizing the Padres organization and their recruitment process.  Imagine how frustrating a job seeker like Taylor must be to send this message.  Taylor’s milking her 15 minutes of fame her story appearing on national television and in most publications. 

  •       Personalize Your Message. Thirty-three percent of companies fail to provide any type of response to the job seeker according to the 2011 Candidate Experience Report.  Those that do take the time to personalize the message can stand out from the crowd.  Companies who put in the effort build their employment brand positively.  I recommend providing the job seeker with recommended tips or suggestions in the form of an e-book or blog post. 

  •       Build a Collaborative Network.  Relationships are like gardens and are only as good as the time and effort spent cultivating them.  Truth is that your prospective workforce has options, which makes developing a candidate relationship of the utmost importance. Build a talent network that goes beyond an email distribution list and create a conversation that is sure to make you stand out from the rest. 

Grow Relationships through a Talent Pipeline

Like any consumer relationship, job seekers want to be recognized, rewarded, and engaged.  And with only 2% of companies creating a meaningful dialogue with their prospective talent pool, the bar is set very low.  But for employers who are looking to build talent pipelines and networks for the long haul, this is a chance for you to really shine. 
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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