“Communication is key.” It’s a phrase many of us have heard, yet it remains the most critical aspect of matching the best talent with the perfect role. From a talent acquisition partner connecting with the hiring team to reaching out to potential candidates, constant communication is at play in this process.
As new methods of communication go in and out of style, it's crucial to stay up to date on how to best keep in touch with everyone in this process. There is no one way to standardize how we communicate with candidates, but I can offer effective ways to support the talent acquisition journey.
Understanding the Candidate’s Market
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically shifted the market to a candidate’s market. During the pandemic, workers realized that work-life balance was essential, and remote and hybrid work allows many to handle the balancing act more effectively. Many workers decided that if they didn’t make changes now, then when or would they at all? The Great Resignation was pivotal for both the job market and Talent Acquisition. Personally, I don't see this changing anytime soon.
Many companies, such as Yoh, have adapted to the need for flexible workplaces and moved to hybrid or fully remote work. Our YohFlex program allows each employee to decide where they want to work. With one required “Collabor8 Day'' a month in-office, each branch connects and collaborates in the office, making the most of their time together. Otherwise, our branch offices are open all month long for employees who prefer working in the office environment.
Now, as we see a threat of a looming recession, many companies are going through layoffs. This is changing the course of Talent Acquisition in 2023. Keeping the needs of the candidate in mind, here are some best practices for a seamless talent acquisition process.
Seeking Top Talent
Talent is not as likely to reach out to you once a job is posted, so it’s up to you to make those connections. Therefore, your initial communication with a potential candidate could make or break the process. Reaching out on LinkedIn and other job boards to candidates with similar skillsets to the role you are filling is a great start. Experiment with your messaging! Prepare versions with different styles and note which messages get better responses from candidates.
The candidate’s summary and profile generally reveal much about their experience and skill set, so look for relatable connecting points. If there isn’t much in the summary, include how their work history is relevant to the position. As many companies allow work from home or anywhere, the talent pool of candidates has vastly extended. Don’t be afraid to reach out to candidates located outside the company headquarters or branch office if the job you're filling has remote capabilities!
If all goes well, you are ready to set up a screening call with your candidate. Always be abundantly clear about what the next steps are and when you will be reconnecting.
Before you even have your initial screening call with a candidate, you should have already made an intake call with the Hiring Manager. As a Talent Acquisition Partner, it's best to be up front with the Hiring Manager to determine how much flexibility this role has in terms of the salary range, work schedule, and location.
The prescreen call is an excellent opportunity to get to know the candidate, their experience, and their skill set. Become familiar with their needs and see how they meet the requirements laid out by the Hiring Manager. Where do they work best? For many people, including myself, the flexibility of remote work is priceless. It’s even worth more than compensation for some candidates.
If the candidate fits the requirements for the role and seems like a great fit for the company, they will be ready for the interview process. Figure out the best way to contact the candidate for all future communication. While some may prefer a phone call or an email, many candidates are interested in text communication. It depends on the candidate! It also never hurts to over-communicate.
Reaching out to a candidate before their interview and throughout the process is a great way to be a resource for them. Let them know the time of the interview, location (or Zoom link), the name of the person they’re interviewing with, and potential questions they can prepare to answer. Researching the person they’ll be interviewing with gives the candidate some insight into the person’s experience and how they can connect on common interests.
I like to connect with the candidate after each interview to gauge how it went and if they are still interested in the role. Connecting with the interviewer gives you great insights into the candidate as well. If the candidate has hesitations along the way, you can step in to correct any miscommunications or reconfigure the job's flexibility with the Hiring Manager if possible. Remember- it’s a candidate’s market! The more transparent you are with them, the more transparent they’ll be with you.
It’s time to make an offer! Make sure you have touched base with the Hiring Manager to confirm if they or you will deliver the decision to the candidate. Even across the same company or enterprise, it can vary who extends the offer, so make sure you know whether that is your responsibility.
Confirm the salary and benefits package details with the Hiring Manager before extending the offer. As long as you communicate with them during the entire process, there should be no surprises about the expectations. This is where full transparency truly comes into play. You’ll want to move quickly to deliver the offer to remain competitive in this candidate’s market, especially if the candidate has another offer on the table.
No matter what the outcome of the interview process is, encourage the candidate to stay in touch. Connect with them on LinkedIn so they can be aware of whatever future opportunities you might have and celebrate when they do find the role that best suits them.
Throughout the talent acquisition process, ensure you are available and quick to respond to candidates. Set expectations for communication from the start, and be concise with your messaging. Being sincere and professional is a great balance in your interactions, especially when providing constructive feedback.
A good tip is to keep track of every interaction you have with the candidate to ensure you’re not losing focus throughout the process. As any seasoned talent acquisition professional will tell you, practicing empathy is key to these interactions. No matter what the outcome is, strong communication will help you make this a pleasant experience for all.