Conversational recruiting has been emerging as a recent trend in the hiring industry, but the practice itself is much older. It taps into an innate human desire for forming connections.

The essence of conversational recruiting boils down to letting recruiters do what they do best: build connections. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 10 best practices that will help you make the most out of conversational recruiting.

What is Conversational Recruiting

Unlike traditional recruiting, conversational recruiting shifts the focus away from administrative tasks such as filling out applications and towards a more informal conversation with potential candidates.

This lets recruiters engage candidates in a more personal and authentic way. The goal is to build a relationship with the candidate while at the same time gauging how qualified they are for the job opening.

The Benefits of Conversational Recruiting

One of the greatest benefits of conversational recruiting is that it lets recruiters put their biggest strengths on display. With the advancements in recruiting software, recruiters can now offload most of the time-consuming mechanical work to computers. This allows them more time and energy for building relationships and making expert hiring decisions.

Conversational Recruiting Best Practices

Start Small

If you’re not already using conversational recruiting, consider starting small. You can do this by creating a small email outreach campaign, with up to 50 people. This will help make the first steps easier to set up and manage. It will also let you get results faster and tweak your approach on the fly.

Explore Multiple Channels

When it comes to conversational recruiting, diversity is key. Using multiple channels will let you reach out to a variety of potential candidates you might otherwise miss.

First, you should take a look at emails. This is a communication channel you’re already well versed with and should be the easiest to use to set up conversational recruiting.

After that, focus on social media platforms, like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. These will let you strengthen your candidate network while being easily sourced by automated hiring software.

Finally, to make the most you can of automation, consider setting up and using chatbots.

Make the Most out of Emails

The number-one hurdle to using email for conversational recruiting is a lack of valuable information. Emails like these more often than not just end up in the spam folder without even being opened.

If you want to offer candidates more value, stay away from overly-designed email templates. Ironically, these will make your email look even less personal. Stick to a basic template and write the email as if you were writing to your friend or coworker. This will help you achieve the main goal of conversational recruiting: building relationships.

Take Advantage of Chatbots

If you want to make your outreach campaign as efficient as possible, you can even automate certain parts of conversational recruiting. Automated chatbots will engage with candidates, simulation the flow of a regular conversation.

Once you find the perfect candidate for the job, you should still engage with other candidates so you could keep them in your talent pool for any future openings. Chatbots can help by regularly engaging candidates and starting conversations.

Use Social Media

With social media being practically built for starting conversations, it’s surprising it isn’t used more when it comes to conversational recruiting. To make the most of it, don’t just post job openings on your social media accounts. Consider every post as the start of a conversation.

Sure, you can and should start conversations about open positions, but also consider posting news about your company and industry. This way you can engage passive candidates who might not be looking for a job at that point.

Set Up Online Events

Using online hiring events such as career fairs is a great way to bring candidates together with recruiters, managers, and employees and allow them to have conversations. You can even combine this approach with chatbots to make sure no one feels left out.

Setting up events like these will let your recruiters build relationships with qualified candidates and will require far less time and money than an in-person networking event. Also, this way you can cover a wider range of topics, from the specifics of job openings to things like company culture.

Mobile and Texting

With more and more focus on mobile when it comes to job searches (or simply browsing the web), you need to make sure candidates can also reach you there. First, you should make sure your job postings are available and easy to browse on mobile. But when it comes to conversational recruiting, you will also need to integrate texting into your outreach campaign. A good way to do this is by using chatbots equipped with predictive learning. They can engage with the candidates via text and will deliver personalized responses to keep the conversation going.

Be Quick to Respond

This should go without saying, but responding to candidate questions in real-time should be your number one priority. Especially if the candidate is engaging directly with a recruiter - you want to be able to provide valuable information as quickly as possible.

Have Something Worthwhile to Say

With the spread of automation in the hiring process, candidates understand that they can’t expect human-on-human communication every step of the way. Because of this, it’s even more important to make sure your candidates have access to any valuable information they might need. This should be on top of the information already included in the job posting.

One way to do this is to make sure once a chatbot is unable to answer a more complex question, it redirects the candidate to a recruiter. This way you can both answer the candidate’s question in more detail and foster a stronger relationship with a more high-touch approach.

Track and Optimize

Setting up conversational hiring is only half the work. Now that you’re reaching out to the candidates over a range of different channels, you need to track and analyze the results of your effort. This way you will get a clear picture of the most effective channels, as well as the ones falling behind. This will help you optimize your approach and achieve even better results.

Conversational recruiting is the next major step for the hiring industry. It will help you attract top talent while building a network of relationships you can fall back to for any future job openings. Follow the guidelines above to get the most out of conversational recruiting, and you will not only attract the best candidates but make sure that they stay with your company for years to come.