In today’s candidate-driven market, more and more employers are finding recruiting success through conversations. By communicating with candidates at each phase of their journey, companies seeking top talent create a warm candidate experience that leads to better hires. While most employers are still letting applicants listen to the sound of crickets, forward-thinking talent acquisition teams can stand out with a proactive approach that builds relationships and trust.
While conversations certainly transform the candidate experience for these companies, the approach offers another major benefit: more qualified candidates will come to you. Using conversational recruiting can increase the proportion of qualified candidates in your pipeline, which makes building those relationships even easier and more beneficial to your overall recruiting goals. (Having more qualified candidates also makes it easier for your recruiters to identify and connect with future star employees.)
If you’re not sold on the power of conversations, let’s look at the numbers. Recently, Drift Marketing found that 50 percent of business is now driven by conversations, and we know that recruiting trends often follow marketing best practices. Given what we’ve seen in the marketing world—a shift toward technology, personalization, and conversations—it’s no surprise that candidates are responding to communication the same way consumers do.
Why focus on quality of candidates
The quality of your candidates has become such an important factor in recruiting due to the expense of finding the right candidates in this economic environment. As the costs go up, it becomes that much more important to drive quality, rather than quantity, into your funnel. But even with the added investments in sourcing, recruitment marketing, and employer branding, recruiters are still reporting that almost half of applicants (45 percent) are unqualified. If your candidate pool is anything like that, you may be wasting a lot of time and resources. And when your candidate pool is crowded with unqualified applicants, you run the risk of overlooking quality hires.
And if your organization’s goal is to fill every vacancy with the best and brightest—and we all know it is—then you have to make it a priority to increase the overall quality of candidates in your pipeline as well as the proportion of qualified candidates. And even if your hiring funnel isn’t clogged with candidates you don’t want, it makes sense to consider ways to improve the quality of applicants in order to make your recruiting team’s job a lot easier. And in doing this, your team will reap many other benefits of conversational recruiting as well.
How to start conversations with qualified candidates
While your ultimate goal as a recruiter is to start real, meaningful conversations with the best candidates, this isn’t always possible especially if you have many candidates trying to connect with you or if you are unavailable (because you have responsibilities beyond waiting for candidates to start conversations with you on your careers site). Yet you still want to meet the demands of the candidates and we know that candidates want conversations. So how can you resolve this conundrum? With recruiting chatbots.
Using AI-powered recruiting tools can give your team a leg up when it comes to starting conversations while still screening for the most qualified candidates. Since recruiting chatbots have the ability to engage in natural conversations while also screening candidates, it is the best of both worlds for recruiters.
Answers On Demand
Recruiting chatbots offer real-time, on-demand availability, around the clock. And because job seekers are applying to positions between classes, before or after work, on their lunch break, or after putting the kids to bed at night, that 24/7 availability can transform the application experience. On most career sites, applicants submit their resume and application to an anonymous void, never having a chance to ask a question or clarify a requirement, and never knowing if anyone will even read it. Or, in the worst case scenario, a highly qualified candidate never applies because she couldn’t get her questions answered. On a site with a recruiting chatbot, candidates can ask for and get the help they need, any time of the day or night.
The fact is, a lot of job seekers never hear back after submitting an application. For some, perhaps that’s because they are part of the 45 percent of candidates who are reportedly unqualified. But you don’t want to create a situation where you’re alienating top talent by slacking in the communication department. And in this fast-paced, always-on world, it’s relatively simple to give your candidates what they crave.
Finding the needles in the haystack
Another way conversational recruiting can boost the quality of your candidate pool is by improving sourcing of hard-to-find candidates. Online chat for recruiting and online events are effective tools for broadening your reach and drawing in candidates that evade other recruiting channels (such as LinkedIn messages, cold emails, etc). These both help recruiters transcend geography, and offer a personalized experience that long distance candidates wouldn’t have otherwise.
Depending on how you crunch the numbers, somewhere between 70 percent and 85 percent of the workforce are passive candidates. When it comes to passive candidates, a conversational approach is highly effective. Simply talking to a passive candidate can help recruiters gauge the candidate’s level of interest and potential fit, which help them decide whether to move forward.
Become an employer of choice
A better candidate experience leads directly to a stronger employer brand, and candidates are definitely interested in the reputation of employers as they look for jobs. In fact, as many as 75 percent of candidates think about a company’s reputation before accepting a job offer. They also look at sites like Glassdoor and on other “Best Companies to Work For”-type lists. So, your employer brand and reputation can have a massive influence on your hiring efforts.
When you extend an offer, you want your chosen candidate to be excited for the chance to work for your company, because they know that your current employees are happy and this new opportunity will improve their life. Investing in conversational recruiting can help build your employer brand, so that more candidates will come to you because they want to work for your company, and not necessarily because they saw a job posting or were contacted by a recruiter first. Effectively, you can make your employer brand work for you.
Better candidates, better hires
In the long run, talent acquisition teams that use a conversational recruiting approach will see improvements in the quality of candidates in their pipeline. And in turn, that will lead to increased application conversions, reduced time to hire, and improved candidate engagement. Improving the quality of your candidate pipeline is just one of the many benefits of conversational recruiting, and it doesn’t take much to get started. In fact, there are a number of things your team can do to start using conversational recruiting today, and there’s no time like the present to focus on improving your funnel at the very top.
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