So, a talented potential employee visits your career site. They may or may not apply. If they don’t apply, how do you get them to return? Recruitment today is all about courting candidates by building long-term relationships with them. And if you’re not providing these candidates with a community to join, you are losing a chance to engage them and possibly drive them to your competitors. Now is the time to create a community that attracts top talent.
How can your company start a candidate community? When someone visits your career site, they will be invited to sign up by name and email to receive further communication from your company. This lets you track potentially interested candidates and provides them the opportunity to learn more about your company. It is your chance to keep your employment brand in front of candidates with the intention that when they are ready, they will apply to a job.
This type of community will allow candidates to receive digital information from your employment brand on a regular basis. Ideally, this information doesn’t just promote job openings; it provides valuable information that shows candidates that they could have a great career working for you.
How do you build a candidate community?
Here are four steps to building a powerful, engaging candidate community that inspires people to want to work for your company:
- Determine the business goals your candidate community supports. What is your company looking to gain from having a candidate community? It needs to support your business’s strategic talent acquisition goals. Do you want more traffic to your career site? Increase in applicants? Better quality of candidates? Once you determine the business goals, establish metrics to track those goals. These types of metrics will help you measure the community’s success and let you see where you need to make adjustments to better meet your goals.
- Keep the candidate experience top of mind. Your community should be easy to join and the sign-up offer should be prominent on every page of your recruitment site, as well as in the application process and in email signatures from recruiters. Don’t ask for too much information! As long as you capture people’s name and email address, you are off to a good start at tracking and establishing a pool of potential candidates. Next, ask: how will your candidate community benefit candidates? It serves no purpose to a candidate to join if they don’t have a reason why. What can you offer them that will help them get to know your company’s culture, learn more about the career paths available to them, and set your company apart as a great place to work? Determine what the benefits of joining the community are and explain it to candidates through your career site and/or candidate communication.
- Build an engaging, socially-connected community. You want to keep conversation flowing and engage with candidates on a regular basis. To do this, determine what type of information theywould want to hear from your company and plan to provide it on a consistent basis. You need to identify how you distribute different types of information: through social media, email notifications, newsletters, holiday postcards, etc. Remember, your goal is to build a sense of relationship between candidates and your employment brand, NOT just promote job openings.
- Don’t miss the passive candidates. You want candidates who aren’t necessarily looking for a job to change their mind or stay interested in your company. The best way to attract top talent to your candidate community is by providing information that is helpful to them. Thought leadership, tips on how to advance their careers, stories of career paths in your company, individual success stories of current employees, company perks, culture videos—all of these help paint a picture of what it is like to work for your company and even more importantly, why it’s better to work for you than anyone else.
By following these four steps, you’ll be off to building an outstanding candidate community that attracts top talent, keeps them interested and inspires them to apply!