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Candidate marketing

How to Improve the Quality of Your Candidate Pool

Nam Nguyen

How to Improve the Quality of Your Candidate Pool


It's pretty hard to hire top candidates if they don't apply in the first place. Here’s how to compel and retain the interest of today’s most impressive recruits.

In the age of ubiquitous internet connectivity and online applications, many recruiters have become completely overwhelmed by the rapid expansion of their candidate pools. Many companies receive thousands of applications for each opening they list, hyper-saturating the initial screening process and rendering it ineffective.

Simply put, most HR teams struggle to allocate the time and resources to comb through such a large pool of applicants, making it impossible to tell if 1. a candidate is genuinely interested in the position, and 2. whether or not they’re actually a good fit for the job.

As a result, many companies will be forced to continue searching for candidates, with no faith that their ‘pool’ could deliver best fit recruits.

This is obviously a waste of time, energy and resources, and worst of all, the position still remains vacant.

Here are some tips on how to improve your initial search and screening process so that you’re nurturing only the most suitable individuals.

Broadcast Your Brand

It’s a dangerous game to envision the job as just filling a series of vacancies – which often happens when hiring mandates are becoming increasingly more pressurised for recruiters; actually, most attention should be dedicated to communicating that you’re an amazing employer.

Recent research from LinkedIn suggests that many of the world’s most successful companies also have the highest rating in terms of company culture and work environment. Coincidence? Of course not!

Try to view your brand through the eyes of your target candidates. MVP employees want recognition for their contributions – and they deserve it. Make sure you’re projecting the impression of a work environment where stand-out-work is recognised and justly rewarded with praise, bonuses and upward mobility.

There are a host of great ways to shine a spotlight on your most impressive projects and recent successes through blogs, video content, profiles among others. More than anything, be sure to showcase these standout examples in places where job hunters will be able to see them.

Your online presence should paint a picture of an engaging work environment that isn’t all work and no play, but offers extra-value benefits too. Ensure you’re being honest whenever you communicate these values with employees, because when they applied for the job and accepted the offer, they were expecting the promises of company culture you provided.

Establishing a solid company culture and broadcasting it effectively will have those creative types and lateral thinkers lining up to work for you.

Employee Referral is Key

Jobvite research indicates that 39.9% of hires come from referrals, and 46% of referral-based hires tend to remain in a role for three years or more. Simply put, people trust their friends, so it makes perfect sense that peer advocacy is one of the most valuable assets for recruiters looking for long-term, right fit hires. Build an intuitive and transparent referral programme, and utilise the social networks of your existing employees whenever possible.

Regardless of how your applicants find you, show your appreciation by maintaining clear, constant communication from the moment they make contact. In many cases, applicants who aren’t quite up to scratch for a particular position this time round end up being the perfect candidate for another role a bit further down the line. Be sure to treat them accordingly – you might be thanking yourself later on.

Smoothing Wrinkles

Today, the candidate experience is king. As such, your application process itself could actually be working against you. Forcing candidates to jump through complicated, time-consuming hoops will usually backfire. Today’s top talent will rarely take the time to fill out an overly-complex questionnaire or application form.

HR technologies like video recruitment software can help improve your initial screening process, making the job of identifying top talent early on a simple task, without placing undue strain and responsibility on the shoulders of your applicant pool.

Once you identify standout prospects, apply more rigorous screening methods like competency exams and face-to-face interviews. Chances are this will have a marked impact on your ability to initially engage, and ultimately get ahold of right fit hires.

(Main image credit: thinkpanama/flickr)

Nam Nguyen

Nam is Launchpad's Customer Success Manager. With 9 years experience in customer facing roles, Nam is the secret to our happy and satisfied customers.