Where freelance recruiters are constantly hustling to find the perfect match for clients, it’s easy to overlook the importance of candidate care. But focusing solely on landing that one dream candidate is a short-sighted strategy. Here’s why prioritizing positive experiences for all applicants, regardless of their fit for the current role, is essential for your long-term success.

What is Candidate Care?

Candidate care is all about crafting a smooth and respectful experience for every individual who interacts with you during the hiring process. This encompasses everything from the initial application stage, through interviews and assessments, to the final decision and even potential future follow-ups.

Why Candidate Care Matters as a Freelance Recruiter?

The benefits of stellar candidate care extend far beyond simply being polite. Here’s how it impacts your business:

  • Building a Talent Pool: Leaving a positive impression, even on those who aren’t selected, creates a pool of pre-vetted candidates for future openings. These individuals are more likely to consider you for relevant roles and might even become brand advocates, recommending you to their networks.
  • Positive Employer Branding: Every interaction with a candidate is a chance to shape your reputation as a recruiter. Unprofessional or impersonal treatment can damage your employer’s brand and make it harder to attract top talent in the future.
  • Repeat Business with Clients: Happy candidates reflect well not only on you but also on your clients. Businesses that see you treating all applicants with respect are more likely to choose you for their future recruitment needs.

Simple Steps for Freelance Recruiters to Ensure Excellent Candidate Care:

Here are some practical ways to elevate your candidate care game:

  • Clear Communication is Key: Don’t leave candidates hanging. Keep them informed throughout the process, even if they’re not moving forward. A quick email update on the hiring decision goes a long way in showing respect for their time.
  • Personalized Feedback When Possible: If it’s feasible, offer specific and constructive feedback (without revealing confidential details). This demonstrates that you value their time and can help them improve their candidacy for future roles.
  • Stay Connected for Future Opportunities: With a candidate’s permission, add them to your talent pool and keep them updated on relevant openings. Utilize a candidate relationship management system (CRM) to keep track of interactions, qualifications, and communication preferences.
  • Professionalism Always: Treat every candidate with courtesy and respect, regardless of their candidacy status. This builds rapport and strengthens your professional image.
  • Catch Up with Placed Candidates: Staying in touch with candidates you have placed ensures you can support them with any issues and helps you build a picture of what future hires might be on the horizon at said company. This also enables you to have a more consultative approach when catching up with the client and shows you are supporting them beyond being paid helping build a stronger relationship.

By investing time and effort into candidate care, you’re investing in your future recruiting success. When you cultivate strong relationships with candidates, you establish yourself as a top-tier recruiter who attracts the best talent, builds a loyal client base, and secures repeat business. Remember, in recruitment, it’s not just about the one perfect candidate; it’s about building a network of strong connections that fuel your long-term growth.

Further Reading for Recruiters: