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Creating a candidate experience that speaks for itself

 

I am fortunate to be able to speak with many different businesses about how they manage relationships with candidates. Often there is an aspiration to be less ‘process’ and more ‘experience’ when it comes to recruitment, but teamed with a frustration around the tools available and often a lack of resource.

The value of creating a connection with candidates can’t be underestimated. From supporting candidates to select themselves in or out of applying, through to keeping them warm during the process, the way candidates experience your business has the power to create advocates for your brand. And this has an impact on the bottom line.

Your people are an incredibly powerful asset. Getting your graduates to engage with would-be graduate recruits, hiring managers to paint a picture of life in their team and connecting resourcing leads with apprentices (and their parents) gives a unique opportunity to share some honest dialogue.

Using the concept of real-time online chat to connect your people to candidates at different stages of the process is a simple and accessible way of presenting the human side of your business. Your careers website and all of the great content it contains is a great reference point (and the more interactive the better) but the opportunity to ask questions directly provides an additional layer of information and context.

Here are some examples of the ways different organisations are using our moderated online chat platform, to engage candidates:

 

1. Attraction and self-selection

Launch chats to attract and engage candidates, sharing information and insight around the process, organisational culture and roles. For graduate recruitment, these chats could be per stream, but also general chats about the business and the recruitment process. This helps candidates to self-select, resulting in a more engaged, brand-aligned applicant.

Each chat should have an objective – do you want candidates to join a talent pool? Or apply for a role immediately? Do you want to share a link to an online scenario tool to help the candidate to continue the self-selection journey?

We have clients launching chats for degree specific students at target universities and using the platform as a tool for pre and post-event engagement. Think about who influences your target market – for apprentices this could be careers advisors, schools and parents so invite them to chat with the right people from your business.

 

2. Engagement with the process

Launch chats at different stages of the recruitment process defined by previous trends (e.g. candidates for a particular scheme / business area drop out pre-assessment centre) and shape this around the specific campaign requirement.

 

3. Candidate care and support

Aside from Group Chats, the platform has a 121 chat function. This tool can be used to support campaigns where you experience a high rate of phone and email enquiries. Ensuring one of the resourcing team is by their desk and ready to answer 121 chat questions means that candidates have a quick and easy way to access the team and ask a question. Despite the chat being live and responsive to candidates, the member of the resourcing team is still able to get on with their day job. Online chat is increasingly something we’re all familiar with in the consumer space, use it to create a great candidate experience in real-time instead of a burgeoning recruitment queries inbox.

Using 121 confidential chat is also a good way of engaging with passive experienced hires, who might not be comfortable in a Group Chat environment. The expectation isn’t that you will conclude the hiring process in a chat, but it’s an opportunity to say ‘we’d like to talk’.

 

4. Keeping candidates warm

It is possible to use ‘invitation only’ Group Chats to keep candidates warm at different stages of the process – both pre and post-offer. We have clients using the platform to run peer-to-peer keep warm programmes with their current graduate cohort. Great responsibility for the current graduates, an authentic way to engage for those who are joining the business and a win for the resourcing team who have a watching brief but can take a step back.

 

5. Feedback

We all love feedback and our platform enables you to use a flexible suite of tools to gather insight around what candidates think about your sector, your business and the process that they are part of. Use the insight to shape your process as well as considering what the feedback means for your messaging strategy.

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