If we were to distill many of the major business trends of 2015 into one word, it would be this: personalization. Virtually every form of interaction a company has with its customers is becoming more personalized, from content targeted toward specific people at specific times, to mobile apps with personalized user experience designs.
The lesson from this trend is loud and clear: A one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work anymore. For anything.
This lesson is especially true for how staffing firms communicate with candidates. Over the past several months, we’ve interviewed several of our staffing clients about how they connect with prospects (explore the case studies). We also recently conducted a Staffing Industry Sales Communication Benchmarking Report (download your free copy).
Here are some tips derived from our research and others’ for how to make sure your staffing communications reach, and speak to, your target audience.
1. Post your jobs where candidates are looking for them.
The first step in personalizing your communications is identifying where your audience hangs out online, and then hanging there, too.
- Make sure your job listings are mobile-friendly. Three out of five job seekers use their phones to look for jobs. A mobile mindset will give you a huge advantage -- currently, only 18% of recruiting leaders say their job posts are optimized for mobile.
- When using social media for recruiting, skip Twitter, and post your job openings on LinkedIn instead. That’s where candidates are looking for them.
- Consider text messaging as a way to reach passive candidates. Almost three-quarters of candidates are passive, and three-quarters of those are interested in hearing from a recruiter. Our staffing firm clients have told us that text messaging is a highly effective way to reach these typically hard-to-reach candidates.
2. Use the communication channel(s) your candidates prefer.
Phone calls and emails are the traditional communication channels most recruiters use. But communication is changing, and alternative channels like text messaging and social media are taking over.
- If you’re calling an 18 to 29 year-old, don’t bother leaving a voicemail. They probably won’t listen to it.
- If your candidate is under 45, text message with abandon -- younger people are more likely to view recruiters who use texting as “professional.” If your candidate is over 45, double-check before texting.
- Use different channels at different stages of the sales cycle. Many candidates prefer traditional methods (i.e., phone and email) for initial outreach, but want to switch over to texting and social media for follow-ups.
3. Send the messages your candidates want to hear.
Finally, after you’ve found your candidates and identified their ideal communication channel(s), make sure you send the right messages.
- When sending cold messages, make starting a conversation your #1 goal. In an article entitled “How LinkedIn Fundamentally Ruined Recruitment,” Maury Hanigan bemoans the loss of a personal connection in the recruiting process. Many recruiters send “mind-numbing” messages to any candidate whose name shows up in a search. Don’t do this! Here are seven guidelines for writing LinkedIn messages that don’t suck.
- Don’t mass blast text messages. In our Staffing Industry Communications Benchmarking survey, text message type was a main differentiator between fast- and slow-growth staffing companies.
- Fast-growth staffing companies (>50% annual growth) send personal messages.
- Slow-growth companies (<5% annual growth) send mass blasts.
- Make sure your job postings contain the information candidates want. According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior survey, the top three things candidates want are:
- Clearly defined job duties/responsibilities
- A defined salary range
- A described benefits package
Sign up for a free 30-day team trial of TextUs to start reaching more candidates today.