Winning Over Passive Candidates

If we break recruitment down to its most basic level, there are really only three elements that matter.

  1. How easily can we identify strong candidates for a particular role.
  2. How successful are we in persuading those strong candidates to consider the opening and put themselves forward for consideration.
  3. Do those strong candidates go on to accept an offer should they make it through the hiring process?

What is fascinating about the evolution of the recruitment market over the last years is the degree to which these elements have been impacted by new technologies and the adoption of new best practices . When it comes to identifying strong candidates for a particular role, we are essentially talking about advertising that vacancy or sourcing to find the most suitable candidates for the role. One very noticeable change in the last years has been the significant shift from companies advertising roles and selecting candidates, to instead researching markets and sourcing candidates through direct approaches.

This topic alone would warrant a lengthy blog post, but suffice it to say that if you are experiencing any shortfalls in being able to find or attract enough strong candidates, turning to ContractRecruiter for some additional resource and expertise would be one very clear way of addressing this.

Improving Your Conversion Rates

One key element of whether or not a candidate is willing to consider a role – and ultimately to accept that role – is clearly the role itself, the remuneration, the challenge, the quality of the team they be joining … Is your value proposition for potential employees strong enough? Ask those who joined your company recently what it was that made them choose to join? Then ask your existing staff – in a lighthearted way – what would be some of the things that would make them consider joining another employer? Recognise your appeal and your shortcomings in the market and then see how your own employee value proposition can be transformed to be more of an asset in winning over potential candidates.

The problem with focusing on your employee value proposition alone is that you may only have limited scope to change this yourself. Doing so in a way that has a major impact may well take a long time and prove to be an uphill struggle. But there are other things you can do that are much more within your control and that can similarly have a significant impact.

Ask yourself this question: do the candidates we’re approaching already know our company, think highly of it and have they already had some favourable interactions either with the business or our staff?

Clearly if the answer to these questions is yes, the likelihood of your approach to a candidate being well received is far greater than if they’ve never heard of your company and have never interacted with anyone there before. That’s why there’s been increasing emphasis placed on employer branding over the last years, with the social media presence of your recruiting team being particularly significant. What’s more, these impressions of your company will also impact the outcome of your hiring campaigns. At an aggregate level, you will have more candidates ultimately accepting your offers if they came into the process already in a positive frame of mind about joining – with that impression then further enhanced by the interactions and exposure they’ve had to your brand throughout the hiring process.

Are You Positively Influencing Candidates on Social Media?

So the follow-on questions from this are

  1. How visible is your recruitment team on social media?
  2. How engaged is your recruitment team on social media?
  3. If you think about your target candidate audiences, are they likely to regularly see your employer brand on social media throughout the working week?
  4. Are increasing numbers of people in the industry re-sharing your messages and getting you in front of a larger audience, giving your brand their social endorsement along the way?
  5. Are there growing numbers of potential candidates in your market who have had some interactions with your team on social media – and therefore have already warmed to your business to some degree?

It’s well worth you taking the time to research your competitors on social media – and benchmark the visibility and interactions that they are achieving relative to your own business. If there are other businesses in your sector enjoying far greater visibility – and prompting far more interactions with potential candidates on social media – this is a particular concern. It means all their conversion rates are likely to be getting a boost relative to your own. Even if your own performance is on a par with your competitors’, the chances are there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Why not take the lead and be the most visible and most engaging recruitment brand in your sector? The payback will not be instantaneous, but you’ll look back on the decision a couple of years from now and reflect on the growing successes you’ve had in converting candidates who previously you might have found would not have been open to your approaches or wouldn’t have stayed the course through the interviewing process.

I hope this has given you some good food for thought. If you’ve any follow-on questions, you’re very welcome to reach out to me on @tonyrestell

About the Author

This guest post was contributed by Tony Restell, Founder of social media agency Social-Hire.com. Tony is a guest lecturer at business schools on the subject of how social media is impacting the recruitment landscape and a respected commentator on recruitment industry trends.