With the current unemployment rate at 7.9% and 69% of employed workers willing to consider a new job, it should be a lot easier to get a conversation going with candidates. What’s keeping candidates from contacting you back, and what can you can do about it?
Why aren't candidates contacting you back?
There are a variety of reasons candidates aren’t contacting you back – and some of them are included in our webinar, 4 Reasons You’re not Getting Quality Job Applicants.
- You sent a poorly written job posting that doesn’t excite the candidate.
- You asked a candidate to apply, but you have a tedious application process.
- You have a bad employment brand.
- You need to work on your candidate.
- You sent them an irrelevant position.
- You also may have just reached that 20-25% of the workforce that isn’t interested in a new opportunity, no matter how wonderful your company is.
So, how do you find candidates that will be interested in speaking to you, and what do you do and say to get them to contact you back?
How do you find candidates that are interested in speaking to you?
- Post your jobs online: This is an obvious answer because it allows you to collect applications from active job seekers.
- Use Bright.com's Automated Sourcing Tool: Our algorithm, the Bright Score, automatically finds matches for your open positions. Our clients have seen up to a 50% response rate from our candidates. There are two reasons for this: 1) Our candidates have all looked for a job within the past 30 days, so you don’t run into people that aren’t interested in a new opportunity and 2) our algorithm automatically matches job postings with the most qualified and relevant candidates, so recruiters aren’t reaching out to candidates with irrelevant positions. Start sourcing for free.
- Use your network. Job seekers will usually tell their friends when they’re looking to make a move, so tapping into your network may uncover some candidates that nobody else is talking to.
- Social media: Try searching for keywords that indicate someone is looking. Some will be obvious, such as someone that writes "looking for a job," and some will be more subtle, like someone that mentions a major layoff happening at work, or a high-profile departure. Also look for people that are moving to a new town.
- Google Alerts on your competitors: Look out for things which would indicate a move, such as stock price changes, acquisitions and IPO announcements.
However, even a candidate that is interested in making a move may not contact you back if your initial communications don't appeal to them.
How do I reach out to candidates via cold call or email, and what do I say? Your initial communication, whether it be a phone call, email, or tweet, should excite the candidate and show what’s in it for them. Introduce yourself, and tell them some interesting tidbits about the company culture and the product. Then ask if they’re open to exploring a move if you’re able to find a fit and role that’s better than what they’re currently doing. Also try to do a little research on the candidate and target your message. The response rate from custom messages is signiﬁcantly higher than that from mass-messaging, and you don’t risk annoying your candidates with irrelevant messages, which is one of the reasons LinkedIn’s response rate is so low – many people have stopped checking their InMails because of the amount of spammy content they receive.
The next step will be asking the candidate what it is they would want in a future opportunity, including which types of positions are most relevant and what would make them want to make a move. Everyone will have a different answer and it’s not always what you’d think. While some people will be looking for a salary increase, others may simply want flex hours and work from home options, or a dog friendly office. You never know what makes someone tick until you ask. By building this relationship with them, you are engaging in proactive recruiting. While you may not have the perfect opportunity for them now, you may have something come up in the future – and then you’ll be fully confident in them responding to your message.
What are some other factors that may affect my response rate? There are a variety of other factors that may affect your ability to get into contact with candidates, even if you’re already speaking to them – and these have more to do with the candidate experience and employer branding. As we discussed earlier, you need to ask candidates for their job acceptance criteria, and you need to meet those criteria. But don’t ever misrepresent yourself in this area, as that will only cause problems down the road. If it’s a good fit, great. If not, move on.
You also want to make it easy to show interest. Your employed, passive candidates won’t have resumes handy, so asking them to complete your already tedious application process would certainly make some top candidates not contact you back. Make your interviews more accessible: a candidate may drop out of a conversation because their current job prevents them from scheduling and attending your requested interviews. Consider dedicating at least one night or weekend day a month to allow individuals with scheduling issues to interview outside of work hours. Or use live Internet video interviews that don’t require travel. Also, consider instituting a policy where all interviews are completed during a single day.
Also be sure to keep your interview process quick. Top talent will either get swooped up by other companies, or may lose interest. One factor that’s completely out of your control, however, is timing. Some individuals will begin to look for a new job with a negative triggering event, like a fight with their boss. That’s the right time to reach out. But if you wait a few days and the conflict blows over, you may have lost your window.
If you're tired of candidates not contacting you back, you should give Bright Hiring Solutions a try by signing up here. Bright allows you to automatically source candidates which are the best fit for your job description from the 7.5 million+ people who visit Bright each month, and our tool has seen a 50% response rate because all of our candidates have actively searched for a job within the past 30 days.