How Recruiters Can Build a Candidate Data with an ATS

Most recruiting and talent acquisition teams have a potential candidate gold mine waiting in the midst. It’s overlooked and under utilized because of technology functionality. However, the times are a changing.

How to Recruiters Can Build a Candidate Database with Their Existing ATS

I’m speaking of the candidates housed within your ATS. The old and cold list of candidates from job postings past who have previously applied for a job and experienced interest in your company. It’s time you dust those old candidates off and re-establish a relationship with them to fill your present and future positions at your company.

There are a number of different technologies you can use to accomplish this task. Most are straightforward and simple focused on what I called proactive recruiting.

Sweeten the Deal for Past Candidates

Now a simple mass email in these situations won’t do. A bulk message inviting them to update their experience or contact information is boring. Entice them to re-connect with you for something that they need of value like a salary negotiation toolkit or a LinkedIn profile tip sheet. The challenge is that you need to direct those candidates to a destination where they add or update their skills and experiences in a dynamic environment that is flexible into what I consider a talent community. Download our jump start job search guide to give you inspiration on what a great job seeker downloadable can be.

 Invite them into Your Network

 A talent community is simply green room of sorts where candidates mingle, interact and prepare with your recruiting team before they get the big opportunity go out on stage. And by stage I mean interviewing with your company. The green room operates as a closed dynamic environment that is branded and built for candidates to learn about the organization and where recruiters can engage and use the platform to as a candidate relationship platform or CRM. Notes by recruiters are posted providing the next recruiter insights into the status, interest level and possible positions for the candidate.

Keep in mind that a talent network is not a candidate database. Let me say that again. A talent network of community is not a candidate database. 

Your network is the first place your talent acquisition teams logs in to source and engage candidates who have already been vetted and experienced serious interest in your company. In the old days, my talent network was essentially an Excel spreadsheet where I built a list of candidates who were interested in roles before they were open at my company. Maybe you used a notebook or three ringed binder to organize and store your candidate database.

One HR technology company that does this well is Talent Circles. They offer a responsible platform that can be completely customized to the organization’s needs big or small. Because most ATS are storing thousands if not million of candidates. Imagine the possibilities if we could access and cultivate those relationships beyond the standard post and pray.

 Customize Your Campaigns

A simple mass email to candidates who have previously applied in most cases won’t convert a high rate. And by high rate I’m assuming that 50 percent of the 3-5 percent who actually opened and read the email you sent them. Three percent open rate is considered high in most marketing circles. You are missing an opportunity to engage another 97 percent of your ATS candidate database.

By customizing campaigns you are able to tailor the message that’s unique and appealing to your audience. Dice has done a wonderful job of this with their job seekers by creating email campaigns using a technology that changes the message contained within the email based on when the received opens and reads your campaign. This ensures that if a candidate doesn’t open your email in time to attend the virtual job fair you are hosting that the email is still relevant and customized to them. What the candidate sees is an invitation to download the salary negotiation toolkit with no mention of last week’s virtual job fair.

Recruiting teams can take their efforts even further by using re-targeting technologies to re-engage past candidates using customized ads inviting them to re-engage. Companies like ReTargeter work with your ATS exported candidate email list. When a candidate logs into Amazon, Facebook or other website a cookie is activated. Your past candidates will begin seeing targeted ads to learn more about your company. Ever wonder why that shoe Nordstom ad follows you after visit their website? It’s called retargeting.

You’re sitting on a gold mine in a locked box that is your ATS. By building a strategy that leverages your existing database focused on your long term recruiting efforts you can build momentum that will lend you greater success at a lower cost and time to fill your future job openings.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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