Rude RecruiterWhen people find out I work at a company with the word “recruiting” in the name, they immediately think I can help them find a job. Not so much with who I know, but the skills that I have. Clearly I must know how a hiring managers psyche works if I work at a recruiting company.

That leads to a lot of people bitching to me about the bad behavior of the companies they’re interviewing with. How the people hiring are just so rude because they never respond. I smile and nod but on the same hand, I empathize with the recruiters. I know we all want to be concerned with the candidate experience but let’s face it. Half these candidates won’t even read the job description before they apply to my job.

That being said, recruiters are sifting through a ton of junk but sometimes they’re “swiping left” on great candidates, or missing out on the opportunity to connect with them entirely. Or burning them by never calling back. It happens. A database is for searching. That’s all these candidates really are in the big picture – data points. You blast a few e-mails, people get back to you.

Great expectationsWait, no. If you’ve read anything about candidate experience lately, you’d know that despite all the junk, there are great candidates out there expecting more than ever in a time where they’re getting force fed more information than ever. From the first impression – likely your jobs page – all the way to the day you extend an offer, they’re making decisions about your brand with all of that information. Your interactions with them, as limited as they may be, are your chance to change their mind.

You’re thinking about all the people you do speak to today. But I’m talking about the great candidates you don’t get ahold. Remember them? Yeah, the cobweb candidates you call every time that niche role show up but can never get ahold of?

It’s about time that recruiting starts to engage smarter, not work harder by using a customer relationship management (CRM) to stay on candidate’s radar without keeping them on yours. If you’ve never heard the acronym CRM before, it’s basically a customer (or candidate, in your case) interaction system that can automate and keep track of communication with candidates.

What makes a CRM so great?

Just in case you weren’t reading closely, I said automation. That means it works with very little work for you and that is a good thing, I don’t care who you are. You can stop setting “to do” reminders in your calendar and simply add a candidate to a work flow that follows up in the same order you would with those 5 drafts you save in Outlook.

Cute KittenIt’s called “nurturing” and it’s almost as warm and fuzzy as the baby animal pictures that pop in my head when I say the word. In the land of recruiting, beyond your follow up e-mail sequences, this could cover things like:

  • Automating 1 e-mail a year in January to tell candidates how they can subscribe to jobs in their industry and how they can contact you if they’re looking for a job.
  • Putting people on communication time-outs. With a CRM, when you get an e-mail from someone that says they aren’t in the market right now, you could move them to a 6 months timeout. After the 6 months, it would automate a follow-up to check in.
  • Tracking clicks on links in job e-mails and using that information to automatically add candidates to interest groups. For example, if someone clicks on an engineering job in Connecticut, you could add them to both an engineering interest group, a Connecticut jobs group or a North East jobs group. The next time you’re hiring in any of those categories, you have a targeted group of people you can contact. (FYI, this typically produces at least a 15% increase in clicks in marketing e-mails. It’s a big win in our books and I’m sure it would work here too.)

I wonder what all of those people who call recruiters so rude would think if they were getting e-mails like this instead of the cryptic call from an unknown number on a Tuesday morning. If they might like the industry a little more.

By Katrina Kibben

RecruitingDaily contributing writer and editor.  I am a storyteller. A tactical problem solver. A curious mind. A data nerd. With that unique filter, I work to craft messages that strategically improve the perceptions and experiences of our clients, the people they employ and the candidates they wish to attract. I methodically review and collect research and insights to offer solution-based recommendations that meet the one-off, and not so one-off, recruiting and employer branding problems of today's global employers.