3 Ways to Campaign to Candidates with Empathy

Samantha Finken

One bright spot to the COVID-19 pandemic is seeing employers with empathetic ethos rise to the occasion for their candidates and employees. It’s not only the right thing to do, but the data is in favor of it: 8 in 10 candidates are willing to work longer hours for an empathetic employer.
 

It’s easy to say “be empathetic to candidates,” but what does that really mean? 
 

Last week, Phenom’s Susan Slater, VP of US Customer Success and Nancy Gray-Starkebaum, VP of International Customer Success co-hosted a webinar to break it down. They not only shared their personal experiences in delivering empathy during other economic anomalies, but they also laid out actionable advice any recruiter can start practicing today. Here are three of their top tips:

 

1. Strive to send the right messages to unique talent pools

First, consider talking to your recent hires in each job category for insights about what’s important to them right now. For example, someone in IT is going to have different concerns than someone in executive leadership. These insights will also help you figure out the frequency of communication. IT might need more frequent contact, while executives may want less.
 

Then, look at segmenting your email campaigns to 200 people maximum in each job category. Make sure your messaging is not only interesting to that audience but also shines light on your brand (read: it’s not just a list of job openings). This ensures you’re engaging job seekers with content that matters to them while boosting your open rates—our customers have seen rates jump to 40% or higher!
 

Pro Tip: Email campaigns are a great way to share what your company is doing to support local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic or put people back to work.

 

2. Be transparent with candidates at every step 

It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s important to be clear and open with candidates right now. Don’t be afraid to tell job seekers the ongoing status of your company during this crisis: disclose whether the job selection process will be longer than usual, if you expect your offices to be closed for a certain period of time, and other relevant hiring information. 
 

People appreciate honesty, even when it’s not good news! This is how you build relationships and trust with your talent pools—even if they don’t get hired this time around. 

 

3. Check in more often during virtual interviews 

Remember, the heart of candidate experience is making people feel comfortable. How do you achieve that during online interviews? It’s as simple as taking some time to ask, “How is the sound?” and “Are you able to see the screen?” (Be sure your hiring managers are empowered to do this, too!)
 

Pro Tip: Continue to tell candidates beforehand what the appropriate attire for interviews is—but now it’s also important to mention that includes the whole outfit. (Psst...Wear pants!)
 


Related: How to Deliver a Great Candidate Experience During Virtual Interviews


If there’s one takeaway to remember, it’s this: transparency is key to an empathetic approach. You’re never going to turn off a candidate by being open and honest. Are you unsure of your messaging? Not sure if you’re being empathetic? Ask your teammates for a gut check or advice, and you can’t go wrong. 

 


For more insights from Susan and Nancy, watch the full webinar Campaigning to Candidates with Empathy on-demand!