In a day and age when bouncing from one thing to the next is the norm, it’s more important than ever to make relationships a priority in recruiting. It may seem simple to maintain relationships with candidates – Just keep consistent communication going, right? – but it’s much easier said than done. The truth is that on both sides of the equation, things are being dropped and opportunities are being missed to develop relationships that are essential to achieving your hiring goals. As a recruiter, you have the responsibility to take the lead in forming relationships that can help you bring in the best and brightest, and help you assemble a talent pipeline that ensures success for years to come.

The best way to think of candidates today is as your customers. Your product is company culture and the workplace you have to offer. And just like with any other sales team, your best tactic is to build relationships that open doors and have your customers not only curious about your company but eager to join.

The right tools for the job

One of the main reasons recruiters do poorly when it comes to building relationships with clients that creates an engaging talent journey is that it’s just plain time consuming. You likely have multiple open positions, each with dozens of candidates (if not more) and hiring managers to work with as well. Recruiters have a full plate even if you just consider the bare bones responsibilities of their jobs. Often what’s missing and what can help take a recruiter from just being able to manage the day-to-day to being able to take a strategic approach is the right tools.

For managing relationships, a CRM is essential. Many people think of CRMs as tools that only those in traditional sales roles would utilize, but in recruiting, candidates are our customers and it’s just as important to track relationships with them as it would be if we were pursuing a sale. Imagine how valuable it would be to have the same robust, customizable and intelligent tracking and reporting that has long been a secret weapon of sales teams. This ability to track also leads to your organization collecting data over time that can guide your decisions not just on a candidate-by-candidate basis but form a proven, thoughtful perspective.

The right ingredients

Managing relationships is about far more than tracking and tools. We all know that the human side of HR and recruiting is what makes it exciting and unique from many other areas of the business. A CRM makes it easy to track, follow and remember the relationships that you build, but it’s the personal touch you have to offer that the candidates will see and remember. To make this side easier, you can set reminders to touch base with candidates and use your notes and candidate profiles to help spark a conversation. Of course, don’t forget that at the end of the day, people work for people, not corporations, so fostering relationships with candidates isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s essential for recruiting top talent that has their pick of where they’ll land next in their career.

This essential piece of creating an engaging talent journey happens when the right people and the right tools are connected. You can learn more about creating a meaningful talent journey in TalentObjects’ e-book, 4 Pillars of an Engaging Talent Journey. Download it free today and find out how a few changes could transform the candidate experience your company offers.