Turning passive candidates into applicants!

4 steps to nurture candidates and how recruitment marketing can help you

So, why is nurturing candidates into becoming applicants so important? Well, candidates are sometimes actively searching but oftentimes they are passive, yet curious! That is why it is important to target potential candidates and create awareness among them long before they even consider to apply. How to do that? Inbound recruitment marketing is the key to attracting, engaging and converting potential candidates into high-quality applicants. So, let’s see how nurturing candidates with the help of recruitment marketing can help you attract high-quality candidates, shall we?

Keep your candidates engaged and nourish their interest

As a marketer I know how important it is to nurture leads to make sure that potential customers are ready to buy your product, in other words – to be sales ready. But is it worth investing time in nurturing candidates? Well, research shows that companies that excel in lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads. Wow! I can almost hear you asking yourself… Wouldn’t it be nice if I can collect 50% more high-quality candidates that are eager to apply on my job ad? It would, of course! That’s why it is important to establish and implement a solid nurturing strategy for your recruitment activities. Not to forget that candidates’ demands are also changing in that they expect relevancy, transparency and personalisation in all messaging around a vacancy they see before they are ready to apply. So, where to start?

From a potential candidate all the way to a high-quality applicant

Perhaps your brand is not as well known as Google or Facebook, but everyone can learn how to attract top performers. It’s all about having the right messaging on the right place in the right time. Social media channels, generic and niche job boards, Google Network are all online media channels that can all help you reach top talent. First, make sure you know where your potential candidates are. You can do that by creating a candidate persona.

Nurturing candidates is all about leading them down through the Candidate Journey funnel, where they take this final step – they apply on your job ad. The next 4 steps can help you nurture your candidates with the use of recruitment marketing:

  • 1. Create awareness
  • 2. Build interest
  • 3. Encourage consideration
  • 4. Drive conversion (application)

Create awareness

In the awareness stage you want to solely create awareness and make sure that potential candidates start noticing you. So, tell them more about what your company stands for and that you are looking for talent.
Don’t get ahead of yourself in this stage. You will have the opportunity to encourage conversion in the final stage, namely Drive conversion.

Build interest

Now that potential candidates are starting to notice you and know that your are looking for new talent, it’s time to get to the next step by answering the questions: Why would potential candidates want to work at your company?. In other words, help potential candidates determine whether your company would be the right fit for them. Tell your story and pull potential candidates with the help of relevant content about your company. Tip! Let current employees tell the story for you. They know best what it is like to work at your company. Here is a nice example for you to see: Look at this nice content piece from Nature’s Pride (Dutch only).

Encouraging consideration

In this stage it is all about encouraging potential candidates to apply and converting them from simply considering to having a true interest in your vacancies. What are the possibilities at your company? What kind of people are you looking for? The content in this stage focuses specifically on the desired candidates. It is essential to allow potential candidates easily reach a dedicated landing page, where they can find more information about the roles at offer. Maasstad Hospital, a customer of VONQ in the Netherlands, were looking for candidates in the field of IT. To drive candidates through the funnel it was decided that a video should be created. The video consisted of several IT colleagues telling a bit about what it is like to work at the hospital as an IT specialist, along with sharing a bit on the projects they are mainly involved in. You can watch the great results of this video here (Dutch only).

Drive conversion

Now that potential candidates know that you exist and what it is that you are looking for, it’s time to take the final step and convert them into applicants. Make sure that your content and Call-To-Action buttons are all conversion driven, and that you have a dedicated landing page per vacancy. Once on your landing page, it is important to improve candidates’ experience by reducing to a minimum the steps they need to take before they can submit their application. Research shows that 75% of potential candidates drop out before they hit the apply for button.

Job Marketing as a long term solution

Have you already noticed that every step in the funnel reciprocates a stage from the candidate journey. Every stage is also linked to a specific content piece with a specific goal. With the use of recruitment marketing you have a good foundation for nurturing potential candidates in the long run. This is a good basis to steadily increase both the quality and quantity of applicants in the future.

Tip! Focus on tracking important recruitment key performers to avoid wasting recruitment budget for the wrong purpose!

Marieke Rodenrijs
Campaign Manager at VONQ