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5 Surefire Techniques To Improve Your Candidate Response Rate

5 Surefire Techniques To Improve Your Candidate Response Rate

After a lot of considerations, you find a suitable candidate! You send a quick email and sit back for a response… Days passed but you hardly get a reply.

If you are a recruiter, the above storyline must sound familiar to you. 

Technically, gone are the days of expecting an immediate yes! To recruit in today’s competitive job market, you must understand how your message can yield a fast and positive candidate reaction.

What matters here is how you choose to bridge the gap between the candidate and your offer.

If you are reaching out to the right candidate and still get nothing back, chances are that you need to re-adjust your hiring strategy. And the challenge starts with exploring how you can improve your candidate response rate, in no time!

First, let’s understand- 

What is the Candidate Response Rate?

Your candidate response rate is the percentage of candidates who respond to your outreach effort. It’s simple to calculate! Divide the number of candidate replies by the number of total candidates you reached out to and multiply the result by 100. 

The candidate response rate tells you the efficacy of your candidate engagement strategy which includes emailing, calling, engagement on social platforms, and instant messaging. Thus, by improving the candidate response rate, you will have better chances to attract and hire quality employees, across industries and locations. 

Top 5 Approaches To Maximize Your Candidate Response Rate

Consider Stats

Although every day you see new tools that help you find the best candidate, ultimately it’s a candidate short market. Every other recruiter has the same mediums and chances to find possible candidates with the click of a button. That’s why it is certainly a little harder to stand out. 

Nowadays most recruiters use social media platforms like LinkedIn to reach out to talents, but LinkedIn themselves admit that the response rate is a mere 28% on average. Surprisingly, phone calls seem to generate response rates as high as 50%. This doesn’t mean that you should call every candidate, rather you must research and find ways to be different than the other recruiters. In simple words, use statistics to learn what everyone else is doing and what is proved to be beneficial in your industry. 

Understand- Recruiting is Marketing

Marketers use the A/B Testing technique to figure out what works for them. For example, they may draft two email outlines for a sale to see which suits their target audience and then use the one which performs better. 

The job of recruiters is a lot like marketers. This sounds strange, but all you need to do is swap “consumers” for “candidates” and “products” for “open roles.”  Small changes in job titles or descriptions in the emails can lead to massive differences in the response of candidates. Take an email subject line like, “A job that will change your world.”. This sounds too generic, whereas, “We are passionate about technologies and hope to share this passion with you!” might just click. 

Using the same technique, you can also test which content and recruitment channels lead to the most conversions. While doing so, focus attention on the most exciting parts of the offer, whether it’s the compensation package, the responsibilities, the company culture, or whatever would make a candidate say, “Yes! I’m interested!”.

Mind the timing

Since connecting with the right candidates has become increasingly tougher, every detail about the candidate experience needs to be considered to avoid missing any chance of contact. This specifically includes the day and time that you fix to conduct your candidate outreach. Here are a few related ideas that seems logical:

Say no to the workday hours

Psychologically, when candidates are busy with their daily work, they might not be considering openings. Mostly, recruiters get active after 10 a.m, which is standard but pretty bad. Per research data, candidates generally choose to look for opportunities at 7-8 a.m and around 08:30 p.m, when their schedule is more open. Also, reaching out on Tuesdays and Thursdays can be more welcoming. 

Test the weekends

Candidates receive fewer emails and call on weekends, so it can be another good option, provided your timing is perfect. Poorly timed calls or emails can irritate the candidate and you might just miss the prospect. 

Keep up with social media

You can create unique hiring stories with an active presence on social media. Simply go through the social profiles of the potential candidates and get clues about their activities. This lets you know when they get free time (so that you can start a chat!). 

Understand their LinkedIn profile

Updated LinkedIn profiles can be of great help. Based on it, you can know if they are preparing for new roles in the near future. Their recent connections with recruiters can be a good sign to learn the kind of opportunities they are looking for. 

Read their career patterns

Potential candidates’ employment history will tell how often they have switched jobs, and how likely they are willing to change their job. Reach out to these candidates three to four months prior to their exit pattern. This might just work perfectly in grabbing the candidates’ attention. 

Personalize the connection

From your first interaction, make it evident that the candidate’s personal and professional background is what led you to engage with him or her. Glassdoor says that candidates reply more when they get a customized email rather than a generic one. Here’s how you use personalization to connect with candidates:

Share commonalities

Find out what you have in common with the candidate. This creates the spark that will kickstart your communication.

Learn their interests and share relevant links

This helps you nurture your relationship from the beginning. Also, it can be a great strategy to engage that candidate who isn’t quite considering new opportunities.

Add a feel-good factor

Don’t forget to praise the candidate for an achievement or a particular skill. This will help create a positive opinion in their mind and thus, they might just reply to you!

Re-engage with them

A personalized connection is far more effective when you attempt to re-engage with them. You simply need to find ways to bring them on a journey that they won’t want to walk away from.

Highlight your reviews

It’s all about how you increase your chances when it comes to cold outreach. If you want the candidate to read a little more and pay you a little more attention, you will have to gain that extra credibility.

Be it on your website, email signature, or your LinkedIn message, try highlighting whatever you have at your disposal. You can add reviews, ratings, awards, clientele, all of which act as social proof that your candidates need to see if you can be trusted. If you manage to rouse the initial interest, you will have the hard part done. And interestingly, if everything goes well,  the same will help boost employee advocacy later on.

Final Thoughts

Although the above tips looks simple, it requires the right amount of planning in order to have a significant impact on your candidate response rate. It’s all give and take so make sure you invest the required time and energy while framing the right recruiting experience- for both sides. 

About the Author

Susmita SarmaThis article is written by Susmita Sarma, a digital marketer at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest in research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking.

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