Great candidate experience starts with outbound recruitment

By Grace Marshall | Sourcing Optimisation at

Candidate experience does not start when a candidate is screened, it begins from your first touchpoint….

There’s nothing more frustrating than sending an offer to a candidate who is the perfect fit, only for them to decline and you have to start the whole process over again. 58% of Job Seekers have declined a role due to a poor candidate experience, it’s important to consider what you can do to improve your candidate experience.

Candidate experience is often overlooked when doing outbound recruitment. Remember — your outbound message is usually your first contact point with the candidates, and as we know first impressions count.

It’s therefore important to take care in your approach to outbound, as it can improve your candidate’s experience, build healthier pipelines and increase conversion.

That first message is your opportunity to tell a candidate about you, and about the company. Avoid considering outreach to be a numbers game — where sending hundreds of messages is the way to get a screen. This can lead to significantly lower response rates, and consequently result in burning through the (often limited) candidate pool.

Also, consider that sending higher quality messages will attract a higher quality candidate. Conversely, lower quality (e.g. heavily templated) messages often will attract lower quality candidates, especially in tight markets where the most talented candidates are the most looked after by their current employer (and thus not likely to be actively looking).

The upside is also that a higher response rate means that you don’t need to send as many messages to get a result.

Turn outbound into a relationship building exercise, and approach candidates with authenticity, creating a message that is a reflection of your company values and intended candidate experience.

Candidates pay attention to recruiters who spend time on them.

When in-demand candidates are getting messages everyday, they’re going to remember and respond to those who took the time to personalise the message and show that they at least read their profile. Experienced candidates understand that a talent function that relies on templated outreach messages aren’t putting candidate experience first, and will write you off as just another recruiter trying to meet targets.

To get candidates to take you seriously and remember your brand favourably, let them know that you value their time and skills. Reach out to them by explaining why you think they’d be a good fit, consider whether the message is relevant to them, and speak to why you think they’d enjoy the role. If you took the time to care about their experience with an outreach message, they know you’ll take the time to look after them during the hiring process.

✅ Is the message relevant?

✅ Is the role relevant?

✅ Would they enjoy
the role & company?

Unfortunately, not every candidates is ready for a move just yet, and as such no amount of message personalisation will make them interested. Don’t lose hope however, if you took the time to personalise, these candidates will often take the time to come back to you saying that although they appreciate your message, they’re not ready at the moment. This is a great opportunity to build a pool of candidates you can nurture long term, so that next time you’re ready to hire, you have a bank of candidates ready to go right away without even having to go to market.

An by nurture, we don’t mean generic email blasts about what’s new at your company — really, truly, nurture them. Go out to coffee or even just a 15 minute video call to catch up and learn about them, and tell them about what’s new at your company. Build up a relationship so when the time comes, you can tap each other on the shoulder.

Outbound recruitment doesn’t have to be a de-personalised exercise to get volume in the door and fill numbers — it can be used to start candidate’s experience off on a good foot, capture the best candidates, and develop relationships within a talent pool.

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