Applicant Tracking System

The ATS Advantage: Nurturing Powerful Candidate Relationships

Successful interviewing isn’t just about how you handle the process leading to a successful hire - such as posting a job offer, sifting through resumes, and finally hiring that one person who you believe is the best fit. More importantly, it’s about what you do with those who don’t end up getting the job, and because there will be so many of them, one wrong decision can easily ruin your company’s chances of finding top talents in the future. 

But don’t worry – there’s a solution.

Building relationships with candidates - even those who weren’t the best fit for the job - is an essential process all recruiters should go through but often forget about its importance. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about nurturing lasting relationships with candidates – and why it’s so important.

What is candidate nurturing?

Candidate nurturing is one of the most effective ways to maintain relationships with your talent pool. In job-hunting - just like it is in marketing - the fact that someone isn’t actively looking to improve their career growth doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be interested in a role in your organization if it were to be offered to them one day. 

In the world of recruitment, just because someone isn’t the right fit for your company today doesn’t mean they’ll remain so forever. They might join you in a different role, for example. But in order to keep those doors open, you need to nurture the relationships you have with candidates.

Candidate nurturing is the process of developing and maintaining a relationship with talents through email, social media, and other channels, including paid ones, such as advertising, both digital and traditional. Given how competitive the market is, simply waiting for candidates isn’t enough. Rather, recruiters must take a more proactive approach to hiring.

From the first message you exchange with your potential candidates, the process begins. With it, so does your opportunity to make a long-lasting impression that will show your organization as a valuable employer and keep you top-of-mind.

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Why you need to nurture relationships with your candidates

Nurturing relationships with candidates can become costly, and you might be reluctant to try it at first. But before you decide against including this step in your hiring process, consider the following reasons for why it is beneficial to set up a candidate nurturing system at your company.

1. Increases compatibility

As a recruiter, you want to make sure that your new hires will do a good job and be a fit for the company's cultural values and mission. Candidate nurturing helps you build cultural alignment and familiarize potential hires with your organization, giving them a glimpse of what working for you feels like.

While social media is a great way to show off your company's culture, email marketing focused on successes, vision, and social responsibility is equally beneficial. You can use a regular newsletter via mass emailing to contact people directly and share valuable information to help them make a well-informed decision.

2. Influences perception

Social media has a massive impact on how people perceive your company. Everything you put on your company’s profile reflects its culture and gives visitors reasons to work with you – or avoid it at all costs. That's why a large majority of recruiters - from those in small businesses to giant multinational organizations - keep investing in this strategy to recruit top talent.

A thriving company culture represents a trustworthy brand and gives a positive message to potential employees. To accomplish this, you can use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage with talents on top of professional social media networks such as LinkedIn.

3. Avoids disappointments

A common occurrence in recruiting is when a potential hire cancels an offer at the last minute, increasing the time spent finding the right fit for the position and costing your company more money than you were willing to spend on hiring.

While a candidate may turn down your offer in favor of a better opportunity elsewhere, it's often the absence of regular communication and timely updates that causes them to be uneasy. To avoid it, keep candidates involved and allow them to learn about your company's culture, what to expect after they join, and how they fit in.

4. Enhances the candidate experience

Candidate nurturing is an essential step in improving the candidate’s experience overall. When planned properly, the practice of nurturing candidate relationships can provide a sense of personalization and help you stand out from the competition.

Regularly asking for candidate feedback can help you understand how candidates view your company and its culture, as well as give you an idea on how you can improve the candidate’s experience. It's reassuring for job seekers to know that their input is acknowledged, and it contributes to the development of a good employer brand.

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How candidate nurturing helps you with talent acquisition

When it comes to creating an appealing employer brand, candidate experience is one of the most important factors to consider. Campaigns designed to nurture candidate relationships are an integral part of the candidate’s experience, and putting a system into place is much easier than you think.

Simple and uncomplicated actions such as sending corporate updates, event invitations, or blog posts can have a significant impact on the candidate’s perception of your company. It shows them that you’re truly passionate about what you do – and those are the employers that candidates seek most often.

You might distribute those resources differently, depending on a candidate's interests or objectives. Personalizing your content improves the candidate's experience and makes them more likely to accept your offer or recommend your organization to others, seeing how much work you’re putting into building meaningful relationships.

What is an applicant tracking system?

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a tool allowing for the electronic and automatic processing of a number of different recruitment processes in order to make the experience better for both the recruiter and the candidate.

It serves a variety of functions. It is a database that helps you to store and read the resumes of all of your candidates, including information such as the applicant's education and relevant experience, among other things. It is also a robust communication tool, allowing you to contact candidates with one click of a button, making long-term candidate relationship nurturing much easier.

On top of that, an ATS features a wide range of analytics and reporting tools, letting you better understand the performance of your strategy and improve where it’s lacking to further propel your organization into achieving your business goals.

Improve candidate experience with an applicant tracking system

After reading about the benefits of candidate nurturing, you might be wondering why you need a dedicated piece of software to help with the task. While it’s possible to do everything manually, an ATS will speed up your process and save your company time and money while also allowing you to recruit top talents. 

Here are some of the reasons for why it’s worth considering implementing it in your organization.

1. Simplify contacting candidates

Every stage of the relationship-building process requires communication. Unfortunately, generic brand newsletters and out-of-the-blue emails won’t do the job. And this is when an applicant tracking system comes into the picture.

Pre-made templates are available to assist recruiters in creating an email campaign that consistently improves engagement (both in terms of getting candidates into the interview stage and hiring top talent). 

2. Keep talents engaged

Candidates are aware that your organization is interviewing several candidates at any one time, and they anticipate receiving a final answer. Even though it may take some time on your behalf, you must keep all candidates engaged in the interview process. If they fail to do so, they may withdraw completely.

To establish solid candidate relationships - especially with those you intend to hire - you'll need a plan in place that keeps people informed about your hiring timetable and when they can expect to hear back one way or the other.

3. Manage relationships with passive candidates

One of the best ways of identifying competent potential matches for roles that are difficult to fill and don't attract many active candidates is to focus on establishing and nurturing a pool of passive candidates who are well suited for these specialized positions, which refers to those candidates who aren’t actively looking for a job.

Employee referrals are a wonderful approach to start building a passive talent database because you already have a connection with potential prospects through your recommending employee. You can also create a recruitment marketing program that uses paid ads to advertise both specific opportunities and your brand as a whole to people in the fields and areas where you need to employ.

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How to nurture candidate relationships with an ATS

Now that you know about the benefits an applicant tracking system can bring to your organization, it’s time to focus on how you can use it to make your candidates’ experiences even better and improve the likelihood of them accepting your job offer.

1. Personalize

Your marketing department knows everything about creating buyer personas, but this method  isn’t used very often by your recruiters. Personas allow you to create detailed descriptions of your ideal candidate as well as any variations you'd like to interact with, allowing you to create better content to encourage candidates to submit an application.

Factors to consider when creating your candidate persona include demographics, experience, skillset, personality, education, location, and more. The more detailed you can be with your nurture efforts, the more effective they’ll be.

2. Don’t forget email

One of the most crucial parts of candidate nurturing is email marketing. Most professionals check their email throughout the day and browse the web during their lunch breaks or commute – this is your chance to get their attention.

Create unique content and automate your emails based on each candidate’s position in the recruitment journey to reach them in the place that’s most convenient to them and at the time when they’re the most likely to act.

3. Show support

Providing resources to job-seekers is another powerful way to use an applicant tracking system. It’s helpful for both prospective candidates who can learn more about your organization and how they can join it as well as rejected candidates who can learn how they can do better and potentially apply again in the future.

You can distribute those resources through email, social media, your company’s blog, or any other channels that are convenient for the candidates, based on their persona.

4. Use social media

Passive candidates won't spend time on job board sites unless they're actively looking for work. That’s why you need to look around social media platforms, news outlets, and professional community sites to engage with them.

Because of the prevalence of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and others, social media should be on top of every recruiter list when it comes to building meaningful relationships with candidates, both active and passive.

5. Don’t burn bridges

There's no reason for why you shouldn't keep in touch with an employee with whom you parted on good terms. After all, they might be interested in returning to your team in the future when a different position opens up. 

Include them in your email list for as long as they choose, and keep them up to speed with company newsletters, press releases, and key announcements. You can also give every departing employee an exit interview to get honest feedback to boost your chances of re-engaging them.

4 DON’Ts of candidate nurturing

Before you dive deep into setting up your candidate nurturing strategy, let’s go through a list of 4 things you should absolutely avoid if you’re looking to build meaningful relationships without accidentally discouraging your candidates from joining your organization.

1. No personalization

Variations in your outreach and nurturing efforts should be informed by your candidate personas. The way you nurture prospects for CEO positions should be radically different from how you nurture college students for internship opportunities.

Make sure you identify your candidate personas, and then design emails that would appeal to each persona. You could also reach out to them personally with good or bad news. This will make the people on your shortlist feel valuable and connected. 

2. Not tracking your results

Keep track of how candidates react to your nurturing efforts and keep track of essential recruitment data like email open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Not analyzing your data means losing a massive growth opportunity, which many of your competitors will gladly take advantage of.

Remember that even though each prospect is unique and needs a personalized experience, fine-tuning your strategy to better connect with your personas can provide a solid foundation for nurturing candidates.

3. Sticking to only one form of content

Video, photographs, and audio recordings can help you stand out from the crowd by capturing a candidate's attention. Content such as a video tour of your office, for example, is a great way to highlight your corporate culture and show off your employees in an employee spotlight photo reel.

4. Working alone

Don’t forget to collaborate with your marketing team to develop effective nurture campaigns. A good candidate nurture plan relies heavily on content and emails, two areas in which a marketer excels.

You can also work closely with other departments, such as IT, if you feel like their knowledge can benefit your efforts and keep applicants interested throughout the hiring process. Who you collaborate with will depend highly on factors such as the size of your organization, industry, and the role you’re hiring for, but there will always be somebody who can help you.

Manatal applicant tracking system

Manatal is an applicant tracking solution system to make your hiring process more efficient. Our service not only helps you nurture candidates but also improve your entire hiring process across multiple areas, including:

Efficiency: Everything in your recruiting process is represented in a single system, allowing you to better manage, control, and optimize your processes.

Productivity: Automate your manual procedures so you can spend more time recruiting and less time on administrative tasks such as emailing updates and scheduling interviews.

Analytics: Check each candidate’s history is recorded in the ATS system and never have to look for information anyplace other than your ATS.

Collaboration: When everyone involved in the hiring process is on board, they have access to all of the information they need to make swift and well-informed decisions.

Talents: You'll come across some outstanding applicants when sourcing people who aren't an immediate fit. An applicant tracking system (ATS) helps you to collect and develop candidates for future roles.

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Manatal is a cutting-edge recruitment software that helps human resources departments and recruitment firms find and hire the best candidates. We provide a comprehensive set of features to give your organization a boost and take control over how much time and money you save.

Click here to begin your free 14-days trial and explore the full potential of Manatal without spending a cent.

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