The ever-changing recruitment industry now includes new, innovative technologies and communication channels that lead to securing a better workforce. Artificial intelligence, automation, and communication transformations have significantly impacted recruitment.
As candidates and employees increasingly rely on online communication, the following questions arise:
Which channels should you optimize for recruiting communications?
Will your communication methods meet candidate expectations?
Does your candidate communication negatively impact your recruitment metrics and KPIs, and how?
The following article unveils major communication pain points and offers solutions for each one, as well as examples of what an impeccable communication strategy should look like.
Communication is Key
In today’s highly competitive recruitment industry, communication is essential if you want to attract and retain the right talent. Depending on how well you communicate with your candidates, they choose to take you up on your offer or look elsewhere.
An unforgettable candidate experience is only possible when the recruiter understands the candidate's journey and offers seamless, optimized communication throughout every stage of the recruitment process.
Recruitment Communication Options and Candidate Experience
A compelling candidate experience starts and ends with great communication. Almost all candidates (81%) want employers to keep them updated on the status of their applications. Naturally then, a lack of communication can damage a company's reputation and employer brand.
According to research, job seekers prefer engaging with potential employers via phone (74%) and email (73%), but these are definitely not the beginning and end of your recruiting communication channels. For example, nearly one-quarter of job seekers (24%) also use texting to communicate with a company during the interview process.
Emails are the go-to communication channel for most recruiters. They are fast and allow interaction to be as frequent as needed without seeming invasive. Phone calls often find candidates at work where they are unable to speak freely for fear of being overheard or are just too busy. Emails don’t have this pitfall.
Another benefit of this type of written communication is that it allows recruiters to evaluate their candidates’ written communication skills and send assessment tests. A well-crafted email can also be templatized and used for multiple candidates, as long as it is personalized. This is essential in automated recruitment processes where a candidate enters an email cadence.
Regarding negatives, here is why emails can only go so far:
- Email is not suited for more complex discussions.
- Emails can lack human touch and warmth, depending on the style of writing.
- Miscommunication can happen when emails end up in the candidate’s Spam folder.
2. Text messaging (SMS)
A lot of good recruiters integrate SMS into their talent scouting strategy because it’s fast, reliable, and does the job when other tools fail. You can easily miss an urgent email or a call. An SMS, however, will be read instantly and can shorten the recruitment process significantly.
Pre-written recruitment text messages are a huge help when contacting multiple candidates.
Here’s how a simple SMS can upgrade your recruitment process:
- Can be easily personalized to show genuine interest in a specific candidate.
- It shortens the hiring process significantly as candidates always have their mobile phone at hand, and a text message is less intrusive than a call.
- SMS messages drive substantially higher response and open rates compared to emails. In fact, reports show a 97% SMS open rate compared to a 14% email open rate for recruitment communications.
- An automated recruitment process including automatic SMS follow-ups significantly reduces interview no-shows.
3. Video Communication
Video messaging can help add a human touch to your recruitment process, especially at this time when face-to-face interactions have become almost obsolete. Video outreach also has a 30%-50% reply rate, which makes it three times more effective than candidate outreach via email.
Video interviews and conferring tools can also be used to screen remote top talent. These tools include scheduling and sharing functionality, which removes a lot of back and forth from the hiring process.
4. Direct Phone Calls
Phone calls are used less and less by recruiters, but is still an effective means of recruitment communication. 57% of millennials prefer to be contacted via phone call or email, granted that this statistic is five years old. Still, calls offer direct replies to your queries if the candidate is available for the conversation.
But it’s not foolproof:
- If you need to close an urgent vacancy, calls are the go-to method. The downside to a phone call is that some candidates might find it too intrusive, so make sure not to overstep.
- Another consideration is accuracy. If you are not recording the call, there is no unbiased record of what the candidate said.
5. Applicant Tracking Systems
An applicant tracking system allows you to source candidates, automate your hiring processes and improve collaboration with your potential employees. Companies use this type of software to automatically screen resumes, often using integrated AI. This means the human factor is excluded from the first part of the hiring process, but initial screening can happen a lot faster.
In a case study, TextMagic used a collaborative applicant tracking system called Recruitee to automate the hiring process from first contact to a final offer. With this ATS, over 2,000 candidates were screened, 1,000 interviews were held, and 44 extremely valuable hires were made for the engineering team.
Online recruitment tools help talent-seekers get rid of repetitive, time-consuming manual tasks.
You can easily automate entire workflows and increase recruiter productivity in the process. Automating repetitive communications also reduces your cost per hire and improves the overall recruitment process because it simplifies the following processes:
- Talent sourcing
- Job posting
- Talent outreach
- Interview & appointment scheduling
- Talent assessment
Candidate relationship management tools (CRMs) are ideal for automating the recruitment process, but it’s hard to come across one that covers all of the specifications above. Among popular options, we have SeekOut, Paradox, Fetcher, and Loxo.
How Communication Tech Affects Candidate Experience and Recruitment Conversion
Technological advancement has moved the focus from tangible candidate references (CVs, cover letters, etc.) to every digital imprint a candidate leaves behind (social media, website, etc.). The volume of information you need to go through before hiring someone has increased, bringing new challenges for HR professionals.
Metrics to measure recruitment efforts are crucial for evaluating the success of your communication strategy. Use them to pinpoint weak spots and estimate ROI for each recruitment effort.
These KPIs are mostly related to popular HR performance metrics but are not limited to them. Some relate exclusively to recruiting, like hiring process duration and hire source. Important KPIs you should consider when assessing how communication impacts your recruiting process include:
- Application completion rate;
- Hire quality and time input;
- Number of interviews it takes to hire;
- Candidate satisfaction rates.
Pain Points in Recruitment Communication
Let’s take a closer look at the main problems that may appear due to bad communication during the recruitment process.
Manual Interview and Assessment Scheduling
Valuable recruiter time is lost on tedious, repetitive tasks like scheduling interviews, sending assessments, and exchanging documents. The easiest way to fix this is by using interview scheduling software that automates processes. These tools help any recruiter achieve the following:
- Send automated text confirmations
- Manage RSVPs and invitations
- Perform follow-ups
- Allow candidates to schedule events themselves
These types of platforms accelerate and automate processes to offer recruiters more free time and flexibility in their roles. Having a single dashboard where you can check everyone’s availability and cutting back on back-and-forth communication is the key to perfecting your hiring process and easily securing candidates.
Lack of Qualified Candidate Applications
This often happens when a recruiter is looking for a rare skill set. It can be easily solved using talent pools. People who previously applied for a job in your organization constitute untapped talent pools. These applicants might not have been the right fit for a role in the past, but they showed interest in your organization and might be the ideal fit for a role that has just come up.
Many recruiters struggle with building talent pools, but it’s easier than you think. If you work within an ATS database, it is simply a matter of adding the candidates you found during external searches with the ones who were rejected for previous roles.
You can take communication a step further by creating a special page where candidates can add themselves to your database if they want to be contacted for potential roles that fit their profile.
What a Good Recruitment Communication Strategy Looks Like
Online recruitment strategies develop according to market needs and technological processes. Here’s what a good recruitment communication strategy should include and how to optimize it along the way:
Gathering and Organizing of Relevant Data
Excellent communication starts with collecting accurate, timely data. Tech-savvy recruiters don’t waste time manually going through CVs, they use AI recruiting tools to screen applicants. Nor do they manually post on job boards or schedule interviews. Effective recruiters rely on digitization and technology to optimize these processes, namely recruitment management systems.
These platforms grant access to every piece of data relevant to the recruitment process, all from a single dashboard. You can easily track every candidate interaction, submitted files, upcoming interviews, etc.
Get Your Message Across on Every Online Platform
Many qualified candidates aren’t even actively looking for a job. However, they have multiple social media profiles where they see job ads daily.
Establishing a presence on every platform will help you connect with candidates. Use built-in social media recruitment tools from LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., to target suitable candidates.
Social networking and employer branding also spark interest from candidates. Don’t exclude posts about career opportunities, your work environment, the team, work-life balance, recreational activities, team building, or future projects. All of these offer insight into company culture, drawing candidates in.
Simplify Communication Processes with Automation
Certain parts of the recruitment process are easily automated, leaving less chance for human error and more time for recruiters to assess candidates correctly. Here is a list that includes main automation opportunities for recruiters:
- Pre-screening: Features filtering questions like “Are you willing to relocate to [Country]?”, “Do you have a driver's license?”
- Shortlisting: Based on pre-screening results, candidates are ruled out if their score is less than the threshold you set. The software can also scan resumes for key skills and experience.
- One-way interviewing: Based on a pre-set list of questions, candidates are evaluated while recruiters can share their comments in a separate window, speeding up the decision-making process.
- Candidate communication: Based on customizable pre-written templates which are triggered and sent at the right time to selected candidates.
- Resume sourcing: Enabled by applicant tracking systems that include pooling functionality and match your job requirements with the candidates in your database.
- Reporting and analytics: Delivery of ad-hoc reports that allow you to spot pain points, optimize processes, and improve overall recruitment functions.
3 Tools to Improve Your Recruitment Communication Strategy and KPIs
Better communication during recruitment saves time, enhances the transparency of the hiring process, and leaves candidates with positive experiences. All of these, and more, can be achieved if you make the most of the following apps:
1. WhatsApp Business
This app provides secure messaging and facilitates communication between candidates and recruiters. It works on Android and is file-sharing friendly, allowing users to exchange certifications and other sensitive information.
2. LinkedIn Recruiter
Recruiters who are pressed for time can make the most of this app. It’s an easy-to-use platform that enables interview scheduling, works on both iOS and Android, and brings together different recruiting teams in the same environment.
JobAdder connects multiple communication channels, allowing recruiters to create job advertisements and post them on main social media channels. You can contact and respond to candidates directly as well as check every applicant's activities, at any time.