A Simple – and FREE – Way to Recruit Better Talent

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The current unemployment numbers can be downright scary for anyone in the staffing industry. While June’s 4.0% unemployment rate was higher than that of May, it’s still indicative of a really tight market. The good news is a lot of clients are undoubtedly reaching out to you for recruiting help. But it also means you’re likely struggling to recruit good candidates yourself.

In a tight talent market, the candidate experience matters.

Today’s job seekers are more impatient, selective and demanding than ever – because they can be. With top talent often entertaining multiple job opportunities, how can you convince them that yours is the best staffing firm to partner with?

You need to find an advantage. Sure, you can invest in better technology to speed up your recruiting process. Yes, you can spend more money posting on the big job boards. And true, you can execute a robust, paid social marketing strategy to build your brand with potential candidates.

But honestly? Speed, reach and branding won’t entice a candidate to work with you if you don’t treat them well.

And treating them well doesn’t cost a dime. In fact, here’s a surprisingly simple – and completely free – way your agency can attract higher quality talent by improving their service experience:

Just communicate better.

Underwhelmed by this non-revelatory statement? I get it; it’s nothing new or sexy. But guess what? Most of your competitors aren’t doing a great job communicating with their candidates – which means you have an opportunity to set your firm apart in a way that truly matters to candidates.


Nothing irks a job seeker more than to jump through a bunch of hoops (applying to a job on your site, coming in to register with one of your recruiters, maybe even interviewing with an employer), only to get the silent treatment. If they get the cold shoulder from you, they’ll simply take their talents elsewhere (and who can blame them?).

Job seekers crave feedback, and it’s not that tough to give! Here are a few tips for improving communication to create better candidate experiences – and recruiting results:

  • Send timely, responses to all applicants, acknowledging application receipt and explaining your candidate intake process. Most ATS systems already have this functionality included; you just need to execute your process consistently.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with screened candidates at each subsequent step of the interview process. Explain next steps and timelines. Let them know how and when decisions will be made. A little bit of transparency and information-sharing goes a long way to enhancing a candidate’s perception of your staffing firm.
  • Follow up with every candidate who gets sent on an interview. If recruiters fear being stuck in lengthy or awkward candidate conversations, it’s acceptable to send respectful, informative follow-up emails. You can even develop a collection of email templates recruiters can customize, to improve their efficiency and consistency.
  • Never give any applicant the silent treatment – even if you can’t place them. Provide direct feedback to unplaceable candidates in a respectful, compassionate way. If possible, suggest what they can do to improve their prospects – be that through education, skills training or applying to another agency that specializes in their field. An applicant who is treated well by your team will remember their experience (even if they don’t get a job through you) and be more likely to apply again or refer other great people to your organization.

Improving candidate communication may not sound exciting, but believe me – if you do everything you can to be proactive, respectful, transparent and compassionate with job seekers, you’ll attract more talented people to your organization, even in a tight candidate market.

Mandy Wittschen

Mandy Wittschen
Mandy Wittschen is a marketing strategist with Haley Marketing Group.

Mandy Wittschen

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