5 Ways 3rd Party Recruiters Can Improve the Candidate Experience

Article main image
Jul 6, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Building great relationships with our candidates and providing them with a good experience helps build your sourcing pipeline. You might ask how is that possible?  Well, imagine a recruiter helped you find a really great position and gave you the best experience you ever had before in your life. Wouldn’t you recommend that recruiter to a friend who is looking for a job or a company that needs help recruiting great talent? The key to being a successful recruiter is not just looking for a new pipeline but connecting with your current pipeline for referrals. Imagine a pipeline of candidates that come to you with their resume, not because of a job posting but because of your reputation. Here are five ways 3rd party recruiters can improve the candidate experience:

  1. Don’t Send Mass Emails to Candidates from your Databases: This is an extremely common practice and it is extremely sloppy. A lot of recruiters/sourcers conduct a search in their databases by using keywords. Then, they pull up an email list of a 100 or more candidates and do a mail merge. This practice is extremely sloppy because the recruiter/sourcer didn’t take the time to review the profile or the history of the candidate in the database. At least 50% of the candidates found in a keyword search are not a match for the position at all. Imagine what that says to the candidate when they receive a job description in their inbox that is not even a match for their profile. It looks lazy and inconsiderate. It also says to the candidate that the recruiter doesn’t care about me as a person.
  2. Be Responsive and Honest: One of the biggest complaints candidates have is that the recruiter doesn’t respond to emails or return calls. How do you expect to build a relationship with someone if you are only one-sided? One-sided in the sense that you only reach out to the candidate when you need something. It is also important to provide feedback immediately when you receive it. If a candidate reaches out to you about status, whether you have feedback or not, be honest with them. Just because they are not a fit for this role, they may be a fit for future opportunities you may have.
  3. Research your candidates: It takes less than 60 seconds to run a search on Google. Learn a little bit about your candidates before calling them about a position. If a candidate has a portfolio or website, take a look at it and review their work. There are times where I am impressed by their website or work and I compliment them. Sometimes I ask them questions about a particular project or product they built. You can also understand about their personal preferences or life circumstances by doing a little bit of research. For example, if the candidate is located in Atlanta where you position is located, there is a possibility that they are moving and want a position in Dallas. If you had that information beforehand, you wouldn’t contact them about that position in Atlanta. Taking that extra step gives candidates the sense that you care about them.
  4. Know The Companies You Are Recruiting for: Split jobs are not recommended for building a good candidate experience with the third party recruiter. You have no connection with the hiring manager or company when you are using split boards. It can often be very hard to get feedback. Avoid companies that have multiple agencies working on the same positions. Know everything about the companies you are helping. Know their hiring process and timelines. Get to know their hiring managers and how they like to work. Having this information is extremely helpful for building your candidate’s experience. Let your candidates know what to expect during the interview process and the timelines associated with the process. Candidates often have questions about the company and products/services they offer. Knowing as many details as possible makes you a powerful ally for both the hiring manager and the candidate.
  5. Be Willing to Help: If you see something wrong with the candidate’s LinkedIn profile or resume, point it out to them. This is the same concept if you saw a stranger with their zipper down. If you have a really great candidate that needs a job but you are unable to place the candidate, share that candidate with other recruiters. Be open to giving your advice and opinion. Share and exchange ideas with other recruiters. Be genuine with your candidates about the market and trends. Sharing your knowledge brings in credibility.
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.