How can you keep building relationships when everyone is on lockdown?
When people cannot come to your events or meet for coffee chats, email campaigns and nurture programs are prime ways to engage with candidates remotely. If you’ve never used them before, now is the time to start.
We’ve curated the best practices of candidate and customer outreach that we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks to give you the 5 templates below. Hopefully, you can find them useful as is, or tweak them to fit your purposes as much as needed.
Template 1: The personal catch-up
This template is a general offer to catch up from recruiters who want to stay in touch with their pipeline even if they are not currently hiring right now. It applies especially to those roles that you have been working on for a while, but had to close down during the crisis. You don’t want to lose those candidates because your plans are temporarily on hold.
Just reaching out to signal general availability might not be enough, however. We usually find that people are more engaged when you spell out potential questions you can answer, or specific subjects you can discuss in a quick phone or video catch-up.
Subject: Are you available to catch up about Hammer?
How is everything going for you? We haven’t had a chance to catch up since last month’s call when we talked about your design work at Pendulum.
I wanted to make sure you know you can reach out to me directly if you have any questions about Hammer, like whether we are still hiring or how we plan on onboarding new hires in the next few weeks. As I’m sure you’re aware, the global situation has impacted a lot of hiring plans, but our leadership team is re-prioritizing roles right now and we’ll post openings again on our careers site soon. We have also put in place an awesome #RemoteStarters program for new employees—check it out!
I hope you’re doing well and that you and your loved ones are staying safe.
Template 2: The company voice
This template is part relationship-maintenance, part employer branding. It’s a good way to put a snippet of the company’s “voice” in front of the candidate. An efficient way to do it is to use messaging that has already been produced for general marketing purposes. For example, you can link to a message from highly visible executives, or communications around a company-wide initiative related to the pandemic or the economic crisis.
Subject: Can Hammer help?
I hope all is well with you, and that you and your loved ones are staying safe. I wanted to share a message from Hammer by Leila Braz and Michael Nelson, two of our executives who are heading the COVID response team in our company. I thought you might like some of the free kids’ “building projects” that are shared there. I sent some to my nieces yesterday, and they have been hard at work with the glue and staplers ever since.
This is a challenging time for everyone, and all of us at Hammer are trying to find ways to support each other and our community. You are part of this community too, so let me know if I can help in any way.
Template 3: The conversation starter
This is an easy one, designed specifically to get the conversation started between a candidate and a current employee.
Subject: Intro to a Procurement Specialist at Hammer
I hope you’ve been well since we were in touch last month. I’ve been thinking about our conversation, and how you were curious about the procurement function here at Hammer—and in the home improvement industry in general.
If this is a good time for you to do some research, please get in touch with Russell Ken at [email protected] He’s a veteran in Materials Sourcing at Hammer, and he worked for a couple of other big names in the industry throughout his career. I’ve let him know that you might be in touch, but no pressure! I know these are challenging times, and this might not be top of mind for you right now.
Let me know if I can help in any way,
Template 4: The friendly share
This template focuses exclusively on sharing resources and access to free products or services that you know are relevant to the candidate. You might not be hiring right now, or you might be deprioritizing some of the roles you’ve been working on for a while, but you can still bring value to your pipeline, and keep candidates engaged.
Subject: Free resources from Hammer to Dana
This is a quick note to share some of the cool resources we’ve made available for Hammer customers, partners, and friends from all places. I wanted to make sure you got a copy.
Some of them were made by us, and others by different companies or non-profits. I hope you find them useful!
- List of easy home improvements to do during lockdown - Ideas for safe indoor building projects for kids - Free remote consultation service by store workers - Free shipping and returns offer - A call to volunteer in your local community
As a community, we’re dealing with strange and challenging times, but we’re also coming together in pretty inspiring ways. I hope the above helps you keep the good stuff in mind :)
Stay safe and healthy!
Template 5: The personal touch
This template is a bit more labor intensive, and should be reserved for those leads that require a high-touch approach. It should be tailored not only to basic profile information such as current role, last contact, or interests, but also to the content they consumed or the specific interactions they’ve had with the company.
Subject: Looking forward to seeing you
I just saw that you were registered to attend our Executive Dinner in Omaha next month. Unfortunately, we have cancelled that event until we receive further guidance from the city regarding public gathering. I’m very sorry we won’t be able to see you in person!
However, we’re definitely planning to keep in touch in other ways. We’re scheduling a number of virtual cocktail hours with executives from our Midwest offices, and I’ll make sure you get every invite. Hopefully you’ll be able to make at least some of them!
I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and healthy.
Engage with candidates remotely: the importance of empathy
This crisis affects everyone, even if it’s not to the same degree. Between cutting off social interactions, hearing daily updates about the economic downturn, and adjusting to a strange life in confinement, it’s a struggle to stay positive and upbeat.
If there was ever a time to be authentic and to show real empathy in our communication with each other, this is it. It’s a tough position, when you can’t actively recruit for an open role but need to keep building relationships and curating your pipeline. Make sure to reach out to the rest of the team and brainstorm ideas on what other value you can offer potential candidates in these challenging times.
Keep in mind that candidates are receiving dozens of COVID-19 related emails every week, so whatever templates you decide to use, make the message short and about what you can do for them, not the other way around.
Candidates know you’re hoping to find talent to grow your company, whether you’re hiring now or planning to do it later. What they might not know, is how you can be helpful to them right now, given your particular expertise or industry, or your position in the market. Whatever you decide to share with them, it has to rhyme with who you are and what you do as a company.
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