min read

Candidate conversion: 7 tips to turn candidates into hires

7 tips to turn more of your candidates into hires.

September 29, 2020
Olly Keell
July 27, 2023

In recruitment, you can go through thousands of candidates to find the right one and even then, they may not even turn into a hire. However, there are steps you can take to drastically increase these chances.

The feeling you get when you make a placement is up there with the best feelings in the world - all the hours, hard work, persistence, and stress have paid off 10 fold. It is the most incredible high in recruitment. 

On the other hand, the feeling of having a candidate accept a job, just pull out at the last minute, quit after a couple of weeks, or not pass probation is equally as strong but on the other end of the spectrum.

Let’s get into 7 must-haves that will help you create a winning recruitment funnel:

  1. Find the best time for candidate messages
  2. Consistent engagement
  3. Apply 8 points of contact
  4. Personalize your outreach
  5. Always provide feedback
  6. Highlight the company culture 
  7. Be transparent and honest

1. Find the best time for candidate messages

Sometimes, timing will make the biggest difference, from the time when a candidate is back on the market to the time when they feel like they’ve hit a brick wall in their current role and even the very time of year, week, or time of day that you send them a message. 

Statistics show that engineers will open more messages received on Sundays with a 62% open rate, and candidates that work in Product (i.e., product managers or product owners) will open more on Saturdays (77% open rate), so it’s important to find out what timing is best for the type of role/candidate you’re recruiting for. 

Do your due diligence, A/B test, and measure the results. CRMs like Hubspot or Monday.com come with comprehensive email open rate tracking features, so it may be worth using them as your CRM.

2. Consistent engagement

Every month there are 100s of new innovative companies looking to hire top talent, and with studies showing that the number of candidate dropouts has been increasing by 20% over the last few years, it’s evident that candidates may think there is always a better offer elsewhere. 

Recruiters need to take control of the entire recruitment process and guide the candidate every step of the way with consistent engagement.

An initial 30 min one-to-one followed by communication via text isn’t enough these days, regular and meaningful updates via phone calls and video chats (no matter how small) will make your candidate feel valued and appreciated.

3. Apply 8 points of contact

Nowadays, sending an initial message, followed by a follow-up message and a ‘one last time’ message is not enough. 

Hubspot’s data states that you must now apply 8 points of contact over a month to get a response from a prospect. 
Top candidates, like any other sales prospect or buyer, are bombarded with texts, emails, and LinkedIn messages every day and it may not always be a case of ignoring your outreach message, your message could get lost in the shuffle.

You must be persistent and follow a consistent pattern of reaching out over and over after your initial message. There are many platforms out there that can automate your candidate engagement, leaving no stone unturned. 

4. Personalize your outreach

One of the key successes from when we got a 41% candidate response rate was when we hyper-personalized our messages to candidates. 

These days, top candidates receive hundreds of messages from recruiters on a daily basis that are nothing more than inserting the candidate’s first name and company and pasting the same excerpts of the job description.

To increase your candidate response rate, you must personalize your outreach message as much as possible. You can do this by:

  • Writing a couple of lines as to why you think they’re a good fit for the role
  • Highlighting a specific achievement of theirs 
  • Sharing something that you have in common

5. Always provide feedback

Another great feeling in recruitment is the feeling of a passive candidate reaching out to you a couple of years down the line to inform you they’re back on the market and want you to place them into a new role. Candidates will do so if you stay in touch with them and provide constructive feedback regardless of the outcome. 

Only 7% of candidates receive a phone call from a recruiter or hiring manager if their application had been rejected. Demonstrating your commitment to their professional growth will reap many long-term rewards.

6. Highlight the company culture

Company culture is a large driving force behind a candidate's decision whether to proceed with an application for a new job. According to Glassdoor, 56% of candidates say company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. 

Set aside 5-10 mins on your next brief with the hiring manager to learn as much as you can about things like:

  • What types of people work there
  • What the company does to foster employee engagement 
  • What type of hierarchy is in place

7. Be transparent and honest

This goes without saying but transparency and honesty are crucial elements of a successful recruitment process. 9 out of 10 candidates leave their job within the first month if it doesn’t meet their expectations. 

No one wants to be sold a dream job only to discover that it is the opposite of what they were sold initially. So many recruiters fall into the trap of overselling a job to a candidate just to put a number on the whiteboard. Doing so will only burn bridges and damage your ability to build long-lasting relationships. 

Always be upfront about the job requirements, company culture, and any challenges the role may entail. Candidates appreciate honesty and are more likely to trust recruiters who provide clear and accurate information.

Converting candidates requires a combination of empathy, communication skills, and a keen understanding of their motivations. Building a long-lasting relationship with your candidate, engaging with them at all times, and providing a positive candidate experience will not only improve candidate conversion rates but also elevate your reputation in the industry. 

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

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