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Candidate Lead Nurturing

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

Marketing and Sales teams have honed the craft of lead nurturing their prospects over the years. The techniques they use are tried and tested and in most cases produce MQLs that can be passed on to sales for further engagement.

Just like marketers and sales professionals chase leads or prospects to convert them into customers, recruiters are chasing candidates and applicants to convert them into placements and or employees.

Please indulge me for a moment.

So how many recruiters are actually using candidate-lead nurturing to:

  1. Differentiate their brand/Company

  2. Demonstrate how important a given candidate is for the search they are working on

  3. Use outreach messaging with different subject lines and copy to judge what's converting

  4. Automate their outreach campaigns with multi-touch engagement end-points

  5. Provide insightful data to candidates and earn their trust

I would assume not too many. If everyone is fishing in the same pond for similar talent and not using their left side of the brain for outreach and engagement your ability to convert and converse with your candidate community will naturally diminish over time.

We will attempt to discuss Lead Nurturing as it's related to Talent Acquisition and in recruiting top-notch candidates. So here goes...

1. What is lead nurturing and why is it important for talent acquisition and candidate recruitment?

2. How can you nurture leads effectively without overwhelming them or losing their interest altogether?

3. What are some common techniques used in lead nurturing, and which ones work best for your business or organization specifically?

4. How do you measure the success of your lead nurturing efforts, and what tweaks or changes do you make based on the results you see?"

What is lead nurturing and why is it important for talent acquisition and candidate recruitment?

Candidates generally fall into two buckets. Active and Passive.

Active candidates are job seekers who are actively looking for new opportunities. They may be actively engaged in networking, attending job fairs, or applying to posted openings. Passive candidates, on the other hand, are not actively seeking new opportunities but may be open to hearing about new possibilities.

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with both active and passive candidates to build a pipeline of qualified job applicants.

Lead nurturing requires ongoing communication and engagement. By staying in touch with passive candidates, you keep your company top-of-mind in case they do decide to make a career move. And by maintaining regular contact with active candidates, you build deeper relationships that can lead to a better understanding of their career goals and how your company can help them meet those goals.

In today's competitive talent market, lead nurturing is an essential tool for attracting top talent.

How can you nurture leads effectively without overwhelming candidates or losing their interest altogether?

Job applicants and candidates are often the lifeblood of a company. Sourcing and recruiting qualified job applicants can be a tough process, but it's essential to keeping the candidate pipeline full. Job applicants can come from many different sources, so it's important to nurture each lead effectively.

Overwhelming leads with too much information can turn them off, so it's important to find the right balance. Providing just enough information to keep them interested without bombarding them with emails or calls is key.

Job applicants are often busy people, so it's also important to respect their time and space. Following up too frequently can be a turnoff, so it's important to find a happy medium. Nurturing leads effectively and using a weekly cadence is essential to maintaining a strong candidate pipeline.

What are some common techniques used in lead nurturing, and which ones work best for your business or organization specifically?

The typical scenario that most recruiters follow in their daily workflow includes the following three funnels:

  1. Top of the funnel

  2. Middle of the funnel

  3. Bottom of the funnel

Top of the Funnel:

  1. Typical activity: Search and Source Candidates

  2. Types of Sources: Internal or External

  3. Types of Internal Sources: ATS Systems or Databases of some sort

  4. Types of External Sources: Job Boards, LKDN, or some third-party portals and candidate APIs (crawled and indexed databases of candidates and associated skills).

Lead nurturing in the recruiting vertical generally means calling/texting/emailing a potential candidate multiple times and if there isn't a response move on to the next record in your list. The classic rinse and repeat.

Why is this a problem and what can we do about this?

We need to get creative with our middle-of-the-funnel activities. This is critically important since this helps the recruiter to stand out from their competition and provides them an opportunity to nurture, nourish and nudge the candidates or job applicants.

Middle of the Funnel:

To make sure you recruit top talent, it is important to create a nurturing mechanism that ensures this finite set of candidates stays engaged and converting. We can increase the top of the funnel number exponentially but if quality matters more than quantity then there need to be ways in which weekly cadences are incorporated with quality outreach messaging.

I'm going through this because I want you all on board with my idea about how recruiting works - which will allow me to simplify things even further! First off: let's say your company has found someone great already.

The three lead nurturing and scoring tactics you need to think of are the following:

  1. Can I convert them to potential applicants now?

  2. Can I stay in touch with them and wait for them to change their mind in the near term (< 3 months)?

  3. Can I make a call now to park them in a bucket that needs to be nurtured in the future (defined as 6+ months)

Gifting is a popular lead nurturing technique that can be offered to potential candidates to build meaningful relationships and stay on top of their minds. These gifts can be anything from gift cards from top retailers to virtual Visa cards or e-cash that can be deposited to the candidate's bank account, e-books, and physical gift baskets.

Nudging is another common lead nurturing technique that involves gently encouraging potential candidates to take action by providing timely and relevant information. For example, you might send an email reminding a potential candidate that they expressed interest in one of your positions but didn't apply for the job.

Similarly reaching out to candidates from the past and encouraging them to get on a call or respond to your email for newer opportunities will help in harvesting talent and building a sustainable candidate pipeline.

Nurturing, Nudging, and reaching out can all be accomplished during the middle of the funnel activity and will help over time to create a robust pipeline of qualified candidates (active and passive) ready to engage and convert!

Bottom of the Funnel:

Finally, bottom-of-the-funnel nudges work best when your business or organization is ready to close the deal with prospective candidates. These techniques involve providing potential candidates with detailed information about your benefits, sending onboarding documents, and throwing in a surprise gift that would help forge a long-standing mutually beneficial relationship.

How do you measure the success of your lead nurturing efforts, and what tweaks or changes do you make based on the results you see?

There are several ways to measure the success of your lead nurturing efforts. One common metric is a call to action (CTA) conversion rate. This measures the percentage of leads who take the desired action after viewing your CTA, such as applying to a job posting, or downloading a white paper, and signing up for a webinar. Another key metric is candidate acquisition cost (CAC). This measures the cost of acquiring a new candidate. By tracking CAC, you can see how well your lead nurturing efforts are paying off in terms of actual time to hire and cost per hire.

You can also measure lead nurturing success by tracking the progress of leads through your recruiting funnel. This can help you identify where leads are dropping off so that you can make changes to your funnel or lead nurturing strategy. Finally, you can measure the number of qualified candidates that your lead nurturing efforts generate. This metric is particularly important if you're using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage job applications. By tracking the number of qualified leads, you can see how effective your lead nurturing strategy is in terms of generating quality candidates for open positions.

Conclusion: So, what is lead nurturing and why should you be doing it? Candidate lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with potential customers who have expressed an interest in your positions (active candidates) or who you determine to be ideal candidates for your open requisitions (passive candidates).

It’s important because if you don’t nurture leads effectively, they may lose interest altogether or go to one of your competitors. And, unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for how to do this effectively – it depends on your business or organization and the specific candidates you’re targeting.

However, some common techniques used in lead nurturing are email marketing, social media outreach, content marketing, and customer surveys. Tools such as Giftem have a deep functionality that can help recruiters in reaching their candidate conversion goals.

What works best for you will depend on your industry and the type of candidates you want to attract. To measure the success of your lead nurturing efforts, look at things like conversion rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and open rates. Based on what you see in your data, make tweaks to your strategy that will help improve results."


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