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Top tips for communicating with candidates during COVID-19

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has meant that the messages you communicate with candidates has had to change exponentially in a matter of weeks. Many agencies will have spent a lot of time and effort developing a content calendar full of useful tips and resources. However, in the current climate some of these subjects will no longer be appropriate – a series aimed at job opportunities overseas or securing a pay rise, for example. Consequently, firms have had to go back to the drawing board and come up with new resources that address candidates’ pain points in the current climate. So what are the top tips for ensuring your content is appropriate and, crucially, that all candidates are responded to when they engage with your brand?

How can you effectively communicate with candidates during the lockdown?

  • Don’t stop communicating: in the past few weeks, we’ve spoken to agencies who, like so many companies, have had to furlough staff – including members of their marketing team – and are consequently resource short when it comes to producing content. Despite this, however, it is absolutely crucial that you keep communicating – even if it is less frequently than you had initially planned. While the number of job roles you are advertising may be hugely reduced, there are still many candidates in the market that are seeking advice about their current employment prospects and you are in an ideal position to answer these. And by doing so you’re far more likely to be remembered as a recruitment firm that cares about its candidates and offered advice when the market picks up again. Think about who in the business can produce content and if necessary have a rota so that it doesn’t all fall on one individual.

  • What do candidates want information on? It’s crucial that the information you are sharing resonates with an individual’s current circumstances. Think about the conversations you are having with candidates or that you are seeing online – what questions are they asking advice about? With so many people on furlough or out of employment, training and upskilling is a popular topic at the moment. And how candidates can improve both their CV and online profiles are also of interest in the current climate. Of course, the information your candidates seek will depend on their current situation and indeed the sector you operate in - the key is ensuring that all your content is tailored. Don’t be tempted to push out evergreen posts if you haven’t checked to see that it is still relevant in today’s market.

  • What are the best platforms to engage with candidates? This is a question we’ve been asked a lot about recently and the answer lies in the platforms that your target audiences are active on. Spend some time analysing where your audiences are ‘hanging out’ on social media – and remember that it might very well be different today than it was just a few weeks ago. Facebook, for example, has experienced somewhat of a revival in recent weeks and plenty of individuals are more active on it than they once were – could you, for example, take advantage of Facebook Live to offer your top tips on a particular topic, or host your own live Q&A session? Once you know what platforms your audience is active on, be sure to regularly push out content and get other members in your network to do the same so it reaches a larger number of people.

  • Candidate experience is key – silence is a killer: This is really a key one for me and unfortunately I’ve read numerous posts on LinkedIn about some firms simply not engaging with candidates when they are either approached about a job or are asking for information. When the market picks up again, you want to be remembered for how you treated candidates – not for ignoring them. And even if you can’t find someone a role in the current climate, it’s vital that you are doing your bit to assist them. Consequently, it’s important to have a process in place to ensure each and every candidate gets a response - this might be pointing them to a resource you have produced, arranging a video call to offer tips, or putting them in touch with someone else that can help.

Long term rewards of changing your strategy today

While there’s no denying that both agencies and candidates are going through really tough times at the moment, it really is key that you keep communication lines open. A crisis is no time to simply disappear off the radar – you need to be visible to candidates so they view you as their go to agency when we come out the other side. The long term rewards of doing so will far outweigh the time you are investing now on reassessing your communication strategy.

If you have any questions on how to best communicate with candidates, get in touch with us today, or take a look at our free resources including eBooks and webinars that you can download today.

Stephanie KingAuthor: Stephanie King

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