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How to communicate with jobseekers that don’t know they have applied to your job

In today’s modern recruitment market it is very easy to just click “apply” to every job you like the look of.  Gone are the days when jobseekers kept a list of all the places they applied to and gone are the days when all the applicants who applied for your job knew who they were applying for.

We could blame thousands of things for this: the internet and volume or the ease of applying for jobs, recruitment agencies who advertise roles that don’t exist, even the general employment market and the demise of “job for life”.  Whatever the reasons, the fact remains – the majority of jobseekers applying to your job probably do not know or remember who they have applied to and unfortunately this is just a compounding issue of recruitment.

So how can you keep your sanity when everyone you speak to does not know that they have applied to your job?

I agree, it can get pretty frustrating at times and thankfully not all applicants are tarred with this brush. But for those that are, how do you keep calm and carry on?

Here are 5 top tips to help you:

1. Give a bit of slack and manage your own expectations

Accepting the situation can help with your frustration immensely. There are things that you can do to reduce the number of candidates who don’t know you (more about this later).  But this issue is the very nature of modern recruitment and just because you think all applicants should know who they are applying to – does not mean they do or that they are a bad candidate because they don’t. 

If they don’t remember who you are on the second approach – you may need to reconsider, but in the first instance be considerate to their situation; perhaps your email went into their spam box, perhaps they are at work and can’t talk or perhaps they have spoken to 10 recruiters today and are getting slightly overwhelmed?  

A little bit of memory jogging about the job and where it was advertised with a professional and an empathetic approach will ensure that you “cut to the quick” and build the relationship between your company and the candidate on a positive and mutually beneficial level.

2. Know your target audience

There is a fine balance between getting all and sundry and putting great applicants off.  To counter the “who am I applying to issue”, many organisations insist on application forms, tests or other elements to gain better commitment. This can be a great way to reduce the numbers of applications in general and applicants who do not know you. 

However, be aware that it may also mean that you could also miss out on top talent too.  

We would suggest that you adopt some flexibility with your recruitment strategy depending on your target audience and find alternative ways to gain commitment from your jobseekers if necessary.

For example; if you are recruiting for a role that has a big talent pool then you may find a strict application process ensures less quantity and more quality – you could ask applicants to fill in a quick online form or answer a few skills based questions. This will certainly improve the numbers of candidates who know who they are applying to.  

However, if you are recruiting for a role that is hard to fill with less talent available, you may want to focus on attracting the applicants in the first instance, with some verbal dialog, that will allow you to “sell” the job and explain about your company - before you request further information.  

3. Know and improve your recruitment process

I have lost count of the number of prospective customers who have a recruitment process of which they know nothing about. Until you actually apply for a position you are advertising, you will not know what your applicant’s experience is or how likely they are to know who you are.  

Why not apply for your job and establish how strong is your brand is, how engaged you are throughout the application process and what it looks like on mobile and other web browsers? Your recruitment process may be letting you down...Can you make improvements? Can you make your brand more visible or engaging? Are you missing a trick in “selling” your company or extending the applicants knowledge of who you are?  Perhaps links to your facebook page, your careers page or work for us videos.

4. Communicate your brand at the earliest opportunity

Although you may not be advertising under your own brand, this does not stop you communicating your brand and your vacancy as soon as a jobseeker has applied. At Flat Fee Recruiter we offer a Branded Application product which means that candidates start to experience the look and feel of your company as soon as they click apply.  All the emails and the recruitment systems are branded in your colours and logos. Obviously this adds a brilliant memory jogger with all your applications. 

It is not just the visuals either; most of our customers tailor their email communication templates to ensure that applicants are communicated at every stage of the process, reiterating their brand and tone of voice.  Don’t forget point 3 above and include all those links too!

5. Find the best communication tool

We have already discussed being considerate to your applicants situation, but another really good way to stand out from your competition and engage with the applicant successfully is to do it on their terms. 

By this I mean finding the best communication tool whether this is email, phone, texts, WhatsApp, Skype, messenger, LinkedIn etc. and then by being aware of the best times for you to engage with them.

Creating a positive and welcoming approach to all applicants, regardless of whether they remember you or not, will have much better application to interview ratio which in turn will mean smarter recruitment.

Whatever your recruitment process, brand identity or target audience, remember:

  • Be considerate of the applicant’s space and time
  • Do not expect applicants to know who you are and be patient with those who don’t 
  • Find the best space to communicate in and be quick to summarise the best bits about your company and the job
  • Be clear on your expectations with the applicant, what happens next and your contact details 
  • Know your brand, your process and engage effectively at the earliest opportunity 

For more information on our branded products, editing your communication templates, online application forms or general advice on approaching applicants who do not know who you are, please get in touch today on 0113 322 7243.

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