As the world of recruitment scrambles to keep pace with the momentum of digital progress and the age of disposability, candidate loyalty has been impacted along the way.
There are a plethora of quality recruitment agencies in the market and – fortunately for us all – healthy volumes of vacant roles available too. Good candidates can effectively pick and choose who to work with, and if it doesn’t work out – move on to the next one. Securing the loyalty of those candidates is business-critical but in a crowded market, it can be challenging.
We live in a world now where we expect immediate results and a quality service. There’s no literally no room for dawdlers. From a recruitment perspective, delivering a quality service means embedding a culture of relationship-building, prioritizing this in all our encounters. Gone are the days of client-centric attitudes and expecting candidates to be available to us as and when we need them. Ramping up the quality of service that each and every member of a recruitment agency offers is crucial. It starts from the top and should permeate all the way through the organization.
1. Explain why you’re different from the outset
Candidate care begins at the first encounter. Securing buy-in as early as possible is critical because if you don’t, there’s every chance they won’t turn up to your interview at all. From the first conversation with the candidate, communicate your point of difference, how you like to work, why you feel they’re suited to the role you’re working on, and how you’ll work together. If they’ve ever worked with recruiters before, there’s a strong chance they’ll have preconceived ideas about the way our industry works. By delving a bit deeper, it will be easier to forge a bond with the candidate and secure their buy-in.
2. Let them know they can rely on you
Yes, there are multiple agencies and jobs out there, but most candidates are busy and just want one that they can rely on to find them a great role. If you are that agency, make sure they know about it! This doesn’t mean promising the world and not delivering. But if you’re convinced you can help them, and they understand that too, you’ll always be someone they can come back to.
3. Manage expectations
This is critically important. While you should excite and inspire the candidate with the potential roles you could offer, never promise them something you’re not 100% sure of being able to deliver on. It goes without saying that if you fall flat on your promise, you’ll come across as deceptive and inexperienced. The candidate will feel misled and will tell the world why you’re the worst in the industry. Needless to say, this could be incredibly damaging to your reputation.
4. Have a candidate champion
As 360° recruiters, we’re busy. We don’t have time to get back to everyone, much as we would like to. Hiring a candidate champion who is responsible for staying in touch with candidates regularly will ensure they feel looked after. It will also help to keep their details updated and protect the integrity of their information.
5. Give them more than just a job
Finding a candidate a job is one thing. Offering meaningful career advice, building a relationship, sharing your expertise and finding a candidate a job is something completely different. A candidate who has felt heard and understood will pay enormous dividends. They’ll refer their friends to you (good candidates normally have like-minded friends), refer business to you and keep coming back to you for as long as you’re recruiting.