personalized candidate nurturing

Why is personalized candidate nurturing a compelling long-term strategy?

If there is one must-have skill for a recruiter, it is long-term candidate nurturing. Candidate nurturing should be a recruiter’s routine operation. 

It is a set of techniques that keeps the candidate engaged throughout the recruitment and, subsequently, a more personalized communication process. A nudge here, a wink there – just to keep yourself around on their mind.

In addition to that, candidate nurturing helps to stay in touch with the candidates who passed on the pitch or didn’t receive the offer. 

After all, that wasn’t the only position you are working on. There are more opportunities to come, and it is better to have a couple of viable candidates warmed up just in case.


Benefits of long-term candidate nurturing

Here’s why long-term candidate nurturing is beneficial for recruiters:

  • The candidate comes back and applies for another position. That’s the direct aftermath of long-term nurturing. 
  • You can consult with the passive candidate regarding various topics – ranging from technical advice to discussing the new Deftones album.
  • A passive candidate can refer to other job seekers who might be interested in the position.

But how to do it, right? One word: personalization.


Why Personalization is the key

At this point, the term “personalization” in recruitment almost seems like a cliche. Everyone talks about it. But mass sendings of template messages persist. Recruiters still keep on “misremembering” the candidates’ names when copypasting the “nurturing” messages. 

However, when you act like a human being and genuinely interested in the person beyond being a candidate – in one way or another, it actually pays off. 

Here’s why:

  • You build a trustworthy relationship with the candidate;
  • You can have interesting conversations on common topics;
  • You can consult the candidate in a variety of ways. In return, the candidate may help you out.

For example, by referring to a viable specialist or straightening overly complicated position requirements without making them too general.


How to personalize candidate communication?

1. Explore candidates interests, needs, and requirements

Just like building a stable social relationship, you need to get to know a person. In the context of recruiting, that’s like a reconnaissance – gather as much information as possible to understand what is engaging for the person. 

How to do it? We live in a digital age, and there is a lot of available information. Take a close look at social networks, what the candidate is posting or commenting on, what kind of thing they like or agree with. This kind of stuff. Such things as expressed interest or visiting events are also telling.

Also, take a look at the candidate’s portfolio, GitHub, or Behance. Even such little things as dropping interesting links “for inspiration” can mean the world for the person.

Gradually, you will be able to determine the requirements the candidate has for the position. You will understand what drives him to achieve and grow, what aspects can motivate him to consider switching jobs and applying for a position.


2. Keep consistent communication.

No one likes it when they are treated as a commodity. That’s the big problem with candidate nurturing. Recruiters are writing to potential candidates only when they want something from them and never just ask how they are doing. This approach isn’t going to get you far.

Instead, it is better to keep casual conversations that are just that – casual conversations.  Yes, it is time-consuming, but writing a message once in a while regarding something of common interest is the right way of keeping things warm.

And then, when the opportunity knocks, you can slip in a position pitch and gets things moving. 

When the pitch is endorsed by a person who the candidate knows and trusts, there are more chances that they will apply than when it is a cold pitch.


3. Assist and ask for assistance

You know, “scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” Casual conversations are the informal side of the coin. There is also a formal one. After all, recruitment is not the only thing you can do with the candidates. 

Some viable specialists won’t apply for one reason or another but can assist you in your job by consulting or referring to other candidates. The latter is networking in action. People appreciate this kind of help, and ultimately it may pay off.

However, to get there, you need to do the groundwork with casual conversations and building trust – otherwise, you won’t be taken seriously;

Asking for a professional opinion further develops a social relationship built on respect and help;

However, in this case, giving is more important than taking. Thus, it is always a good idea to consult a potential candidate regarding any professional topics.  

I often consult candidates past and present regarding soft skills, especially during an interview, and showcase the stronger sides and mitigate the weaker ones. 



So that’s my take on personalization in candidate nurturing. While it’s not rocket science, it takes an effort to get it right and make genuine connections with candidates that pay in various ways.

Vlada Liashchenko

Vlada Liashchenko is a managing partner and recruiting lead of CNA International IT.  Since 2013, she’s been recruiting tech talent for product companies, outsourcing, and outstaffing firms. In her work, Vlada enjoys problem-solving, negotiations, and figuring out the most efficient solutions for tasks.