UK recruitment industry is at its most competitive level. More candidates than ever are finding employment with the help of recruitment agents. As a result, newer strategies and efforts are being explored to improve the communication between candidates and recruiters. To improve communication, we need to find out; how candidates prefer to be contacted. Luckily a survey recently conducted by Laudale provides us with the answer.
The most striking results from the survey show that the majority of candidates prefer to be contacted through multiple channels. Combinations of the results vary depending on the candidate’s preferences. The preferred method is email contact; with 79.2% of all candidates selecting this as their choice method of communication. Most of the candidates preferred email contact due to its ease of receiving and sending replies. The candidates expressed that emails gave them the control and were the most convenient method of communication. They explained that they could reply to an email in their own time and that emails allowed them to consider the offers before deciding. As recruiters, we must remember that the decision to take a job for a candidate is a big life decision. Candidates preferred taking their time and didn’t want pressure from recruiters.
After email contact, 38.7% of candidates preferred to be contacted by phone. It is worth mentioning that the majority of the 38.7% were also happy to be contacted by email and by phone. The candidates who preferred phone contact and no email contact did so because they preferred the personal approach of a telephone call. Some of the candidates explained they could sell themselves effectively over the phone and establish a relationship with the recruiter. This is perhaps more relevant for the first stages of recruitment. Initially, recruiters need to get a feel of the candidate so they can talk through the candidate’s skills and goals.
The final two other methods of contact discussed were by text message and through LinkedIn. The Laudale survey found that these two methods were preferred by 19.30% and 19.60% of candidates respectively. Only a tiny amount of candidates preferred either LinkedIn or Text contact without any emails or telephone contact. The majority of candidates saw LinkedIn and Text messages as a secondary method of contact. They saw these methods as useful alongside emails or phone contact (depending on their preference) and would enhance their chances of getting a job.
The Laudale survey found little evidence to suggest a difference in results through different areas in the UK. The only significant trend the survey did find involved phone contact in the North East and Northern Ireland. The survey found that 48.44% of the North East would prefer phone contact whereas in Northern Ireland only 27.78% would choose this method as a preference. The survey found a trend in older candidates who didn’t want to be contacted through LinkedIn. Many cited this reason due to the fact they didn’t have an account.
To conclude, each candidate has their own preferences when contacted by recruiters. Although it is clear from the findings that email contact is the preferred method by most candidates, you may find with others that direct phone contact is the most effective. It is important therefore that recruiters try to understand what these preferences are early on in the process, in order to gain trust with the candidate.