Set The Stage for Success with a Well Thought-Out Communication Strategy
If the eyes are the window to the soul, then talent acquisition professionals may be the windows to your brand. We are often the first people a candidate will speak to and the first impression of the human aspects of a company. Our choices to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate from sourcing to hiring set the stage for a new working relationship. It’s a position that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
But, Amy, I have roughly 1.2 billion things on my plate and I am not a marketing professional.
I hear you. It’s easy to let the little things slip when moving at warp speed. So, I’ve compiled a list of my recommended methods of communication for each step of the recruitment funnel, executed with kindness and empathy. We are human first and we’ve all been in similarly fitted shoes. Let’s wear them with grace.
It should come as no surprise when you are seeking out candidates and making your first points of contact that you want to meet them where they are. Convenience for the candidate should be the focus. For this reason, emails or phone calls are almost always my go-tos for sourcing. When recruiting at scale, email allows automation but make the ability to personalize automated messages a priority when choosing an ATS. Never lose sight of making the candidate FEEL like your sole focus and maintaining an air of kindness and personality in every interaction. Consider shared connections you may have and use them to…wait for it…CONNECT.
This is a big one. Best choice for response here can vary greatly but should reflect the time the person has put into the process. If an applicant sent an email application and was not considered for the role, an email regret, written from a positive branding perspective and the ability to connect in future, is usually sufficient. If there has been human interaction, like a phone screen or interview, with someone, always show them the respect of a human interaction for your regret. The most viable option is usually a personal phone call. In cases where the candidate has been through several rounds of interviews, an in-person coffee meeting may be appropriate to truly express your appreciation for their time. This can also be an opportunity to provide feedback to the candidate and smooth the waters in hopes of keeping them as a viable future candidate.
I know time is a luxury that we don’t often have in the field of talent acquisition, but little bits spent in wowing a candidate during an initial screen can pay off exponentially. A candidate who remembers a positive experience may come to you later when they are looking or refer a friend for a role. More importantly, the way your company treats those they aren’t asking to join their team speaks volumes about your brand.
Whenever possible, I like to see, or at least hear, a candidate as soon as possible. Making a human connection is priority. I want to properly represent the people behind the job and gauge how a candidate will do the same, if hired. Nuances in mannerisms, tone, facial expression…etc just can’t be recognized without a direct interaction. I like phone or video calls, depending on the role and remote nature. For example, heavy phone jobs like customer support should be done by phone to assess phone presence as part of the criteria. In the case of an all-remote role, a video call can be an initial impression of a candidate’s ability to represent a company appropriately and build a remote relationship.
I like text messages here, for the convenience of all parties. Text initially, then confirm with an emailed calendar invite. I have also found that calling the day before (Yep! Like the doctor’s office) cuts down on dreaded no-shows significantly.
I almost always extend a job offer verbally, over the phone. Inviting a candidate to join your team is a very personal thing and should be treated as such. Not to mention that this is often the most rewarding part for me, as the TA professional and I want to enjoy it alongside them! The official offer would then follow in writing. My universal recommendation is to never send a written offer that you aren’t sure will be accepted.
Showcasing Your Company:
Don’t get caught up in the chase and forget to communicate the fun stuff! Team culture and company mission often drive a candidate’s decision even more than compensation. Direct candidates to marketing collateral on websites and share pdf flyers that showcase your best attributes. Revisit these in the final interviews by video call or in person too. Don’t let a candidate choose another company because you forgot to share the wow beyond the compensation!
Have a different take on communication style? Want to chat more about the details? Leave me a message below or message me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amyoviedo/