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The Best Communications Tools to Attract and Hire Top Talent

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HR using a magnifying glass to find the perfect job candidate

Is your business planning to hire in 2017? If so, plan on facing significant competition for candidates. Experts believe we’re heading into the best job market in years, Money magazine reports.

That means job seekers have more leverage putting employers under pressure to deliver a stellar candidate experience. If candidates don’t like something about your hiring process, they’re more likely to walk away, making it harder to recruit and keep the best talent in your pipeline.

It’s also worth noting that candidates talk to each other. Much like the average person might tell their friends about a poor experience at a store or restaurant, candidates who have a bad experience applying and interviewing for an open position are likely to share their story widely. In the Talent Board’s 2015 CandE Research Report, a third of those who had a negative experience said they’d share it on social media, while 41% said they’d take their brand loyalty elsewhere.

By contrast, a positive candidate experience can put your company on the radar of top talent. Nearly 80% of job seekers who reported a positive experience said they’d refer others to the company in the future, and 62% said they’d even apply again, said the Talent Board.

Good communication is the key to delivering an exceptional experience. In the survey, candidates rated “communication,” as the number one way brands could engage them. At the same time, 86% said not receiving a basic application confirmation email left a bad taste in their mouth.

One sure-fire way to deliver a better candidate experience is to borrow from the customer experience playbook that is often used strategically by customer support teams and contact centers. With a stronger focus on relationship-building and personalization, recruiters can impress every candidate in their pipeline. Here are four ways to put this strategy into play.

Know Your Candidate with Business Phone System Integration

For any given job, you may receive dozens – or even hundreds – of applicants. That makes it challenging for HR teams to know each person and deliver a personalized experience. But Applicant Tracking System (ATS) integration with your phone system can be a game-changer. When a candidate calls to check on the status of their application, their record will pop up on the recruiter’s screen. The recruiter can address the caller by first name and know immediately which position they’re calling about. This enables the two to have a personal and productive conversation from the start, increasing the likelihood the candidate will be happier after the call – even if they ultimately don’t get the job.

Personalize Responses with Email Automation

For many candidates, the most frustrating part of the process is not hearing back from the hiring company after submitting their application. But corporate recruiters can reinvent the application process simply by providing more information up front.

“You can use this opportunity to provide insight about your company. Instead of the generic ‘thank you for applying’ message we’ve all seen so many times, let the candidate know what the next steps of the application process look like and direct them to blog posts or videos. This will give the candidate confirmation that you received their application, set their expectations about what to expect next, and give them a little more context about what makes your company such a great place to work,” writes Casey Marshall on the Greenhouse blog.

Embrace Eye Contact with Video Interviews

Interviewing presents another challenge for candidates. For those with a full-time job, it can be difficult to take time off to travel to the employer’s location and meet in person. Video conferencing can be an efficient and cost-effective solution for both the candidate and HR, especially in the early stages of the process. And because it’s a more personal way to interact, video can help strengthen the relationship between candidate and the potential employer while also giving both parties a better, faster sense of whether it’s a mutually good fit.

Actively Seek Feedback

HR teams should stay connected to candidates not only during the interview process, but afterwards as well. Keep workers engaged with updates about the company throughout the process, and use automated voice or SMS surveys to gather feedback about their candidate experience after it’s over. Remember, candidates believe communication is the best way to keep them engaged, so review every potential touchpoint with an eye toward improving the next candidate’s journey.

After all, the more often you can deliver a stellar candidate experience, the more likely top talent will be attracted to your company and be excited to accept your employment offer.

Learn more about ShoreTel’s unified communications solutions.

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