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Corporate Sourcing

Candidates On Vacation? Connect With Them Using These 4 Methods


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Traditionally, summer hasn’t been considered the best time to source and recruit new job candidates: as people take time off to travel and vacation, scheduling conflicts make it difficult to engage candidates and hiring stakeholders alike. Time off creates challenges for follow up and outreach, phone screening and interviews, resume review or other crucial steps in the recruiting process.

Flipping the coin of vacation season, sourcers can see it as an opportunity – when people take time away from the office, they are likely to reassess their careers and consider a change before getting caught up in the busy fall season. A fresh perspective, emerging recruiting technologies and a proactive approach can help sourcers remain productive and open up new avenues for connecting with candidates. Buck the slow hiring trend by adapting your strategy for maximum impact and by ensuring you connect with people where and when they are most likely to see it and respond.

Connect and engage: Be where your candidates are

Because candidates are not at the office buried in work, vacation time can present an excellent opportunity to engage those individuals and nurture relationships. One-way communication is key, so now is the time to revamp your content. Beef up the company blog, update the job site and get your social media strategies moving. While candidates might not necessarily respond right away, your brand messages need to be available across multiple channels for maximum impact.

Research from Lab42 shows that 85 percent of international leisure travelers use smartphones abroad, and nearly half of all social media users check into a location via Facebook or FourSquare while on vacation. Candidates should be able to access information and communicate at their convenience from anywhere, whether checking Facebook at a sporting event, tweeting while on the beach or using a layover to catch up with their favorite blogs.

While vacations present a great opportunity to engage with candidates, having the right tools to connect with them is crucial. Consider the following four methods for reaching out to candidates wherever they are:

1. Get Mobile

Mobile recruiting tools have empowered sourcers to overcome the scheduling and distance challenges that seem to multiply during the summer. While people tend to leave their work and worries behind when on vacation, they won’t go anywhere these days without their smartphones. Leverage mobile apps that enable candidates to join a talent community, fill out a job application, or receive alerts for new opportunities.

2. Get Social

There are also several social recruiting and candidate relationship management (CRM) solutions available that can build and maintain communications with candidates over the summer. Though most people don’t check work email during their vacations, the majority are still on social media, with up to 70 percent updating their Facebook status while away. As a result, there is ample opportunity to engage with candidates wherever their summer travels take them. Post new job opportunities, industry insights, and conversation prompts regularly to ensure you’re showing up in candidates’ news and Twitter feeds regularly.

3. Get Digital – Interviewing, that is

On demand digital interviews, whereby candidates respond to interview questions via webcams or their mobile devices, are one way to eliminate the scheduling and distance hassles that previously hampered recruiting efforts in the summer. Rather than waiting a week and then spending a day travelling for a face-to-face interview when they return from vacation, candidates can spend an hour of their downtime to complete a digital interview wherever and whenever is most convenient – while at the airport waiting for a flight, from their hotel room before heading out on an excursion, or while they’re relaxing on the beach.

Mobile and social digital interviewing solutions make it even easier to complete a job interview while away – allowing the candidate to see and submit their digital profiles for consideration directly from social media sites using their smartphone or tablet. Such technologies also benefit employers, giving them the opportunity to review, share, rate and replay the interviews at their leisure as well.

4. Get Interactive

Contests and giveaway programs can create some buzz, catch candidates’ attention and strengthen your employment brand at any time. A campaign that engages the candidate with the company’s value proposition can be especially effective. Draw in the mobile and social components for an extra bang during summer months. For instance, a coffee shop might give away a free cup of coffee to anyone who applies for a position through its mobile app, or a retailer can offer a 10 percent discount code to individuals who apply through a link on its Facebook page.

The key to successful summer sourcing is to over-communicate through multiple channels. Ultimately, it will be up the candidate whether they choose to respond, but providing them with the resources to connect is crucial in sparking interest and nurturing the relationship. While summer vacations have been challenging to recruitment strategies in the past, new technologies and a fresh strategy can make it a prime time for reaching the right talent wherever they may be.

Chip Luman is the Chief Operating Officer at HireVue where he leverages more than 20 years of human resources, general management and operations experience to ensure the success of HireVue's digital interviewing customers. Chip has held executive HR roles in the F500, led video game software development and is an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Penn State. His off hours are spent with family, playing video games, looking for new gadgets and technology and expanding his music collection. You can follow him on Twitter here.