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How to Create a Real Relationship with Your Candidates
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How to Create a Real Relationship with Your Candidates

Nick Hutchinson
Head of Solution Consulting: Cornerstone

NOVEMBER 21, 2019

Delivering a market-leading candidate experience is a critical proficiency for most organizations, yet most organizations simply aren't good at giving their candidates – their prospective employees! – what they need to feel like they are developing a real relationship with their potential new employer.

Failing to connect with your candidates and engage them in the talent acquisition process can cause them to disengage with the process, negatively impact their opinion of your organization, and even drop out of the process (including "ghosting" on interviews or even on their first day!).

So how do you build a real relationship between your candidates and your organization? You start by looking at your talent acquisition processes from your candidates' point of view.

Why the Candidate Experience Matters More Than You Know

Talented candidates who are the right fit for your organization are challenging to find, attract, hire and onboard; we all know that competition for high-performing and high-potential employees is fierce.

Candidate relationship management blends the strategic use of talent acquisition technology with a consistent, human touch throughout the candidate's recruitment journey. Just like a marketer puts their customers first, recruiters need to put their candidates first. And that means staying attuned to what actions you can take to engage the candidate, and what missteps might cause them to disengage or withdraw from the hiring process altogether.

Candidates are looking for a sign (yes, really) – something that tells them your organization is where they belong. Making that type of connection is the first step toward building a strong relationship, and it's where their experience with your organization begins.

For example, if your candidates are:

Left wondering where they stand in the hiring process

Feeling uncertain about when they should expect to hear back from your organization's stakeholders or recruiter

Thinking your application process is clunky and not at all user-friendly

Those can be signals to the candidate that your organization may not be the place for them – even if they fit the available role perfectly.

On the flip side, your candidates are much more likely to be engaged throughout their journey with your organization if they can:

Smoothly and easily apply to a position on their preferred digital device

Know where they stand throughout the process

Have positive interpersonal interactions with the recruiter and hiring manager

Get feedback (even if they're an unsuccessful applicant)

These are the moments that matter to the candidate, fostering a strong relationship from the moment they discover your organization.

Transforming the candidate experience requires organizations to be candidate-centric rather than organization-centric, creating a personalized, engaging candidate experience that sets the stage for a meaningful, long-lasting, candidate-organization relationship.

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