Your potential recruit is now seriously interested in your company. They have:
- found out what you do
- decided that they’d like to work for you
- discovered that you are looking for someone like them
- and determined the best option for them within your company
How can they find out more? How many ways can they reach you? Here are a few options:
- email. Your site should certainly have an email contact specifically for recruiting, and ideally personal email addresses for each of the recruiting team, particularly if your recruiting team specialise in different areas
- phone. Does your site carry phone numbers for recruitment, or just a general switchboard number? Again, ideally, the candidate would be able to get straight through to someone who can help.
- text. I’m not suggesting that recruitment should receive texts from all your potential candidates – but can you communicate with your potential candidates by text once you’ve identified them, if they so choose, perhaps sending out alerts when there will be a careers event, or reminders of a forthcoming deadline? (Yes, this might work best for mass graduate recruiting)
- letter. We mustn’t forget that this might be an appropriate means of communication in some cases. Do you have a specific address for recruiting letters available on your site, to help expedite this? Do you have a process in place to capture the postal address of candidates to whom you might wish to send information?
- instant messaging. Would it be possible for you to have someone dealing with instant messages if candidates have questions? This would be time-consuming, but might impart the right sort of cultural message …
- live chat. You could schedule a session for recruiters to chat with potential candidates on a variety of different topics
- careers events. These are a mainstream event for graduate recruitment. Your calendar of events on your site should be up to date, and contain links to all relevant information (maps, timings, structure of event, application forms if needed)
- comments on your blog. You do have a recruitment blog, don’t you? One easy way for potential candidates to contact you is to comment on your blog. Of course, this does require someone to answer the questions. Nothing worse than a blog with unanswered questions in the comments.
- ask a question. Some sites have a form for candidates to send in a question. This is often answered ‘in public’, with the answer available for others to see – even if this isn’t appropriate, the candidate should receive a reply by email.
- forums. Have you considered having a forum on your site where people could discuss recruitment questions? Again, this does require time and careful management, as you’d have to monitor conversations and be sure to reply to questions
- downloads, including podscrolls and MP3 broadcasts. These are one-way communication methods, but having downloads in a variety of formats on your site does mean that your candidates can learn more about you at a time that is convenient to them.
- and the website itself. Have you got a process in place for updating the FAQ with questions that are, in fact, frequently asked? Is all the information on the site up to date, relevant and useful?
With a range of these options in place, potential candidates should be able to find the answers to any questions that they have, using a format that is easy for them to manage, before putting in their application. It is hard to know what else you could do to communicate with your potential recruits – but if you have ideas, or if I’ve missed something obvious, do let us know.