5 Underrated Ways to Develop Relationships with Applicants During the Hiring Process - Glassdoor for Employers
5 Underrated Ways to Develop Relationships with Applicants During the Hiring Process

5 Underrated Ways to Develop Relationships with Applicants During the Hiring Process

A potential job offer should be enough to keep a candidate interested in your hiring process, shouldn't it?

Not today. In a strong economy where the U.S. added 850,000 jobs, it's a job seeker's market. Candidates often have multiple options when pursuing a new role, and the way your company handles its relationships with candidates directly affects whether or not they will continue with the hiring process. 

If you want your company to stand out and maintain the interest of the most in-demand candidates, you'll need to invest time and attention in personalizing the candidate experience and building strong relationships. 

Here are five ways to develop relationships with applicants that increase the odds they'll stick with you through the end of the hiring process:

Related: Six Best Practices For Recruiting Active and Passive Candidates

#1. Communicate frequently and often.

Timing matters. From the initial application submission to delivering hire or rejection letters, promptly contacting candidates is critical. If applicants perceive your process as taking too long, it can have a negative impact on your employer brand. 

A recent survey found that most respondents considered a hiring process that takes longer than 14 days to be too long. Additionally, the majority of candidates also report feeling frustration when having to wait for communication for more than seven days after initial contact. This highlights the importance of letting applicants know the timeframe for each step of the process and then adhering to that timeframe in order to build trust and develop positive relationships.

This may be even more true when it comes to delivering the not-so-good news. On average, only 20% of candidates report receiving an email, and a mere 8% received a phone call letting them know they weren't moving forward in the hiring process. The latest Candidate Experience Report from the Talent board shows that receiving this news over the phone improves candidate experience by 29%, illustrating just how valuable communication is.

#2. Ask compelling questions. And listen to the answers.

Questions that go beyond the resume data will make your company stand out. Rather than a mere fact-finding mission, approaching your line of questioning from a relationship-building perspective by using conversation starters such as "describe a situation" or "tell me a story" will help create a true dialog. In addition, this provides an opportunity to ask follow-up questions and explore certain topics further.  

It's also essential to provide opportunities for the candidate to ask questions throughout the process. Going beyond the standard "do you have any questions" prompt to facilitate inquiries will build rapport and provide insight into their thought process. Encouraging applicants to ask questions demonstrates care and concern for the decision-making process.

And when asking questions, make sure to allow time for candidates to respond thoughtfully and take note of their replies. Referencing information you've gleaned about applicants during your communications will make candidates feel valued and heard.

Related: Oddball Interview Questions Recruiters Should Ask

#3. Be honest and transparent about the role and the process.

With 90% of job seekers stating it's important that they work for a company that embraces transparency, it's crucial to demonstrate this from the very beginning. Being open and honest about what it's really like to work at your company will help candidates make more informed decisions, and they will appreciate getting the "real scoop."

When it comes to salary and benefits packages, honesty is the best policy. Letting candidates know they are not a fit right from the beginning will save frustration and disappointment on the applicants' side and save your company time and money. Even if it's not the news they were hoping for, candidates will ultimately appreciate receiving honest feedback about the hiring process. Companies can consider using a platform like Triplebyte to facilitate transparency and provide candidate feedback.

Transparency about the hiring process and decision-making demonstrates respect for the applicant, which helps to build trust and establish authentic candidate relationships. In fact, 68% of candidates feel the way a company treats applicants during the recruiting process reflects how their employees will be treated. Making transparency a priority during the hiring process can positively impact your employer brand. 

#4. Be Human.

COVID-19 highlighted the importance of the human side of business. With entire organizations working from home, employers and employees alike were given unprecedented insight into each other's lives and found themselves working together in a more human way. 

Candidates are seeking this same people-first approach when it comes to recruiting and want more information, connection, and humanity from the process. Demonstrate that your company is looking out for candidates by incorporating human touches like the following into all facets of the hiring process:

  • Frequent updates - a fully digital process makes it easier for applicants to "ghost" and abandon a recruiter midway through the process. Staying in touch and providing frequent "human to human" updates will help keep candidates feeling connected and engaged. 
  • Accessibility - utilize technology to make it as easy as possible for candidates to get up-to-date info about their application.
  • Creative messaging - while some basic interactions can be automated (i.e., scheduling), candidates want human contact. Give your applicants a sense of the company culture and the people behind the brand with unique messaging infused with your company's brand voice.
  • Personalization - including specific references to the candidate and fun touches like custom GIFs in communications from your recruiting team helps humanize the process.

It truly is people that make up the company, so it's important to include other stakeholders in the hiring process. A recent survey found that 77% of workers report that good relationships with colleagues are essential to job satisfaction.

Providing candidates the opportunity to meet the people they will be working with helps jumpstart relationship building and facilitates engagement.

#5. Build a strong employer brand with Glassdoor.

According to Glassdoor research, 86% of job seekers are researching company reviews and ratings on career sites, so it is important to give candidates a point of reference for getting to know your company. By maintaining an active Glassdoor Employer Profile, you can request, manage and respond to employee reviews, ensuring candidates can easily get all the details they need to build a genuine connection with your employer brand. In fact, one Glassdoor study showed that applicants are almost twice as likely to apply when a job highlights an employer's branded content. It's crucial for companies to proactively manage their employer brand on social media channels and career sites like Glassdoor.

Related: 5 Pro Tips to Influence the Candidate Experience

Building relationships with candidates helps to build a strong employer brand. Glassdoor can help you tell your story and show ideal candidates why they want to work with you. Contact us to learn more.