If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that we advocate a long-term approach to recruiting whenever this is feasible—that is, you should have a pool of talented people with whom you develop an ongoing professional relationship so candidates can be called upon at a moment’s notice if an appropriate opportunity should arise.

Sometimes this approach doesn’t work, as when a client has a specialized opening that requires the recruiter to locate brand-new candidates on a tight deadline. Nonetheless, the nurturing of a candidate pool should be considered part and parcel of the recruiter’s job. Yet, how can the dedicated recruiter go about doing this properly? Keep reading for a few helpful ideas.

Send Periodic Emails – Staying in contact with candidates via email is an effective recruiting tactic. Simply sending out 3-6 emails per year can keep a given candidate in your talent pool. What should you include in these emails? The possibilities are quite varied and, finally, up to the imagination of the recruiter. One suggestion: Send e-cards on major holidays.

Personalize Your Email Communications – No one likes being addressed as Dear Candidate or, even worse, To Whom It May Concern. You need to address them by name, and you should also attempt to include unique details so the recipient knows they’re not looking at a standard mass email.

This could mean alluding to a prior conversation you had with the candidate, referencing their specific educational background, or including any other personalized detail that might be relevant. Your resume tracking software can provide invaluable help, here, when you record and store candidate-specific information with it that you can later draw upon.

Resume Tracking Software

Send Surveys – One email recruitment tactic is to send a candidate a survey inviting them to supply feedback relating to their experience with the recruiting agency. Are they satisfied with the recruiting process so far? Are there any suggestions for improvement? An email of this nature can provide the dual benefit of generating valuable input while making the recipient feel that their opinion is important to the recruiter.

Call Your Candidates – Emails tend to be impersonal, however much you strive to personalize each message, and many people associate out-of-the-blue emails like these with common spam. That’s why you may wish to try that old recruiting tool: the telephone. A one-on-one phone conversation allows you to interact with your candidate in a personal way. The phone call should be brief—it may involve nothing more than asking the candidate for confirmation of their continued interest in future opportunities.

These “friendly” phone calls may be viewed as intrusive, however, if the candidate gets them on more than an occasional basis. Phone calls should be less common than emails; how much so is up to your discretion. You can use your ATS software to track your phone calls so you know how often you reach out to a particular candidate.