Over the next several months, hiring initiatives may be somewhat unpredictable as they wax and wane to accommodate the economic uncertainty ahead. Because of this, talent pipelines need to be well organized with a strategy to keep both active and passive candidates engaged.
An ATS system helps hiring teams develop strategic candidate relationship management priorities to keep the talent pipeline full and fully engaged while unearthing A Players faster. Whether you’re actively hiring, planning for the future, or nurturing candidates with whom you want to maintain a close relationship, candidate management is crucial to finding the right talent exactly when you need it. And in today’s job market, it may be your best competitive advantage.Looking for a way to step up your #TalentAcquisition? @ClearCompany says that #CandidateManagement is the way.
What Exactly Is Candidate Management?
Candidate management refers to the overseeing, building, and maintaining of relationships with job candidates. Building relationships with candidates gives recruiters the ability to develop a diverse pool of talent, which helps with hiring decisions and ensures that the right competencies for each role are accounted for within your talent pipeline, no matter when the job opens up. With a robust pipeline, recruiters and hiring teams are able to make better matches between candidate skill sets, performance potential, and core competencies of the role.
But hiring efficiencies aren’t the only benefit in candidate management. Candidates today expect a certain amount of speed and simplicity throughout their application process. 9 out of 10 candidates will drop out of an application process because they find it too frustrating. Candidate management helps you create a better candidate experience so that you don’t lose out on talent, and your employer brand remains intact. The more your brand aligns with candidate expectations, the more likely it will be that the talent you want completes the application process.
Why is Candidate Management Important?
Candidate management is not just about organizing your strategy and keeping applicants from dropping out. It serves the full function of your talent acquisition strategy, too.
Candidate management aids your talent acquisition by:
- Improving communication and feedback. Stay in touch with your candidates and keep them informed every step of the way with communication and scheduling tools that make it easier to update candidates throughout the process. Tools like text messaging, interview scheduling, and automated responses help streamline candidate/recruiter communication, ensuring that every candidate feels seen and valued. Candidates are also far happier when they receive prompt feedback on their status, so implement automated email templates to help follow up quickly. You’ll also see your time-to-fill metrics shrink the faster you’re able to communicate.
Further still, you can solicit feedback from your candidates, providing an opportunity to gain insights on the candidate experience and continually work to improve your hiring process, identify gaps, and nurture top talent.
- Building trusting relationships beyond hiring. A large portion of company culture starts with hiring and onboarding. Good candidate management sets the tone during the hiring process, and the difference between a good and bad experience can affect the long term perspective of the employee. By building a process that’s relationship-first, candidates enter the process with a much more positive perspective that will carry over into their employment — and make it more likely that they’ll refer a friend.
- Creating space for more autonomy through automation. Recruiters can’t spend all day every day messaging with candidates and keeping them up to date on their progress in real-time. An ATS allows recruiters and hiring teams to automate and standardize the administrative work of sourcing and recruiting, freeing up more time to focus on the strategic, more involved parts of the hiring process — making the goals and objectives that matter most easier to target and achieve.
How to Manage Candidates Strategically
Putting the pieces in place is an important first step, but how do you make it play out in real-time? Here are a few ways to effectively manage candidates during the hiring process in order to find, engage, and ultimately win over your best candidates:
- Communicate.Talk to your candidates — honestly. Be open about the process, where they stand, and your progress along the way.
- Build relationships. Don’t simply rely on those candidates that come to you. Keep in touch with those you think are a good fit, and reach out to them when you have an opportunity.
- Streamline applications. Set screening questions that can quickly eliminate candidates who aren’t a good match, allow for video interviews that can speed up the process, automate scheduling and routine communications, and make it easier to reach candidates where they are by leveraging texting and mobile capabilities.
- Engage the whole team. Make sure the hiring team is a part of the process to help set the right qualifying questions and help sift through applications faster to isolate top talent based on the specific needs of the role.
- Nurture your leads. Follow up with good candidates, even if they’ve gone silent. Managing how and when you communicate with candidates can have a positive impact on the responses you receive.
An effective ATS that has all of the key pieces of your candidate management strategy is critical for successful hiring, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A strong understanding of how to engage with your applicants and how to give them a positive experience will make all the difference in your quality of hire.
For efficient hiring, a solid candidate management process allows recruiters and hiring teams to put their best foot forward and bring in top talent. To learn more about the ClearCompany Applicant Tracking System and the ways our solutions can improve your hiring process — and the transition beyond — reach out to our experts for a free demo.
As a Marketing and Event Manager, Meredith coordinates best-practice content and brand-awareness events for ClearCompany. With her career in HR tech, Meredith works closely with HR practitioners and is passionate about providing them with the tools and information they need to succeed.