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In this episode, Josh and co-host Annelle Barnett explores the importance of nurturing candidates and how to use some of those sales tactics that you might use around building those relationships and switching the relationship building over to nurturing candidates.

Episode 57 | Nurturing Candidates

[00:01] Welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast, where your host, Josh Sweeney, will give you, the business leaders, HR professionals and company culture aficionados, the knowledge you need to take your company culture to the next level.

Josh: [00:15] Hello, and welcome to the Epic Company Culture Podcast. This is season two and we’re talking all about hiring. I am joined here with my co-host, Annelle Barnett.

Annelle: [00:26] Hi, how are you?

Josh: [00:28] Doing well. Thanks for joining us.

Annelle: [00:29] Yeah, thanks for having me.

Josh: [00:31] Thank you. So, before we get started, we’d like to thank Prototype Prime for this amazing podcast space and the topic of today is ‘nurturing candidates’. When we look at nurturing candidates or any type of nurturing, it’s this constant communication to stay in front of a client, a prospect, and in this case of hiring, a candidate. So, tell me how you like to stay in front of candidates and how that works.

Annelle: [00:59] Yeah, so, it’s all about, as you mentioned, constant communication. So, regularly being in front of the candidates, whether that be through career development education or, in my case, marketing education or open positions that we might have available, but basically, it’s just getting in front of that individual regularly with relevant and valuable content that they find beneficial for their career.

Josh: [01:35] Got it. So, you’re staying in front of them because you do passive matching, right? You’re going out and finding specific people for a role. You’re not just flooding your customers with resumes. So, in order to do that you’re staying in front of the pool of resources, potential resources, that are out there that are in current jobs, in hopes that, one, you’re building relationship, I’m assuming, and then, two, that when the time comes, maybe they weren’t ready to make the switch now, but they’re a really great candidate and they would be a good match for one of your clients, that they’ll think of you when they decide to switch jobs.

Annelle: [02:11] Right, yeah. They’ll think of you, and then also, when you do reach out to them, they actually know who you are instead of it being a cold outreach. The key here is the relevant and valuable communication. If you’re just blasting out spam, then you’re going to annoy them rather than nurture them. So, just having constant communication with them and showing your company as a thought leader in the space and being in front of them regularly.

Josh: [02:47] Yeah, I totally get the difference in building the relationships to know the candidates versus the alternative, because in my last company we sponsored the Atlanta PHP meet-up, right. It’s a pretty male environment, mostly more introverted, developer types in a lot of cases, not all cases. We would go to start that meeting and right before the meeting would start, you’d get generally two very attractive young ladies come in and start passing out cards, and you knew that was the recruiter. You know those were the recruiters, they’re just trying to find people and let you know that they’re there and then they would disappear. And you pretty much forgot them right after that because you didn’t know who they are, they didn’t stay around for the meeting, they didn’t get to know people. Whereas there were other people that actually, recruiting firms, that sponsored the meet-up and showed up every month and you got to really build a relationship with that person.

[03:39] So, we knew that if we wanted to go to a recruiter for a PHP candidate, that there was one specific person that we could go to. She had showed up for every meeting and built those relationships. So, you’re doing something similar from a communication perspective, more of an online scalable (inaudible 03:57).

Annelle: [03:58] Yeah, absolutely, and building community. Connecting those individuals with other people who are in the same field, that are like-minded, that can benefit them, establishing a way for them to collaborate. So, again, through Facebook groups and things, you provide the platform for them to communicate with their peers and help them help each other basically.

Josh: [04:31] Got it. And how are you making sure— Do you have a newsletter or is there one-off emails that you’re sending to each person based on their role and experience where you know what kind of content they would need? How are you managing those communications and that constant nurturing?

Annelle: [04:48] We have recently started a learning platform for marketers. The learning platform is based both on career development, for them to better their skills in marketing and then also on helping them find jobs when they’re ready to find jobs. So, I recently built a course called ‘How to Find Your Dream Job in 90 Days or Less’, for marketing professionals basically. It’s twenty-six different videos and twenty-six different worksheets and exercises that they can go through in order to better the job search process. It helps them establish their personal brand. It helps them use LinkedIn as a tool to find jobs, and other online platforms, and then it also goes through— There’s a ‘Master the Interview’ stage where they can learn how to research a company effectively before an interview, because a lot of people don’t necessarily know how to do this. I think that they know that they’re supposed to, but they don’t necessarily even know what they’re looking for. And then questions that they should be asking the employers. It’s truly amazing to me how many people show up to an interview and they have absolutely no questions for you. This is something that they’re going to be doing for eight hours a day, for five days a week, minimum, for however many months or years that they do it, and they don’t have a single question to ask.

[06:29] And I think it’s just an intimidation factor. So, we’re trying to educate candidates on an ongoing basis on how to interview and how to go through the job search process, as well as developing their skills. I’m working on a content marketing learning course right now, and there will be more to come after that.

Josh: [06:56] Nice. Yeah, I totally understand around having to train people what to do when they’re applying because we actually had a candidate not too long ago and I got on the phone and I asked them, I said, okay, one of our phone screen questions is, “Did you look at our website?”, and the candidate actually responded back, “Oh, no, I applied for tons of stuff and I haven’t had a chance to look at it.” And literally followed that up with that too, “Which company are you with?” I was like, “Wait a second. We’ve had this meeting on the calendar for three days and that was the amount of prep we got?” So, I was cordial and asked him a few more questions to make it seem like I was going through a process and then had to pretty much cut this screen portion of our interview process short. So, yeah, we completely understand and have seen that in action.

[07:48] Now, with the marketing course that you have, what is the cost to somebody who’s trying to educate themselves in marketing and work on their skills?

Annelle: [07:55] Most of our courses range between $49 and $99. So, they’re very affordable. Eventually the platform will be a subscription-based where you can pay X number of dollars per month and you have access to all the courses, but we aren’t there yet. We’re building. We’re excited about it and I think it’ll be a great resource for marketers and marketing job seekers as well.

Josh: [08:22] Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you’re training people on their growth and their role and how to interview and other things like that, then you’re definitely going to be building those relationships with them to hopefully work with them in the future.

Annelle: [08:33] Right, and as a business strategy for us, we’re creating kind of a continuous loop of great quality candidates by doing this. We’re educating them, we’re connecting them, we’re allowing them to collaborate with their peers and therefore when we’re ready to hire somebody, then we can tap into those fantastic marketers that we’ve helped develop.

Josh: [09:04] Yeah. I love it. Is there anything else on the communication side, or any other tactics that you use that you’d like to share?

Annelle: [09:12] I believe that we’ve covered it.

Josh: [09:14] Awesome. Alright, well, thank you for joining us on this episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast, and we hope that you’ve learned a good bit about how to use some of those sales tactics that you might use around building those relationships and switching the relationship building over to nurturing candidates. Thank you for joining us.

Annelle: [09:33] Thank you.

[09:36] Thank you for tuning into today’s episode of the Epic Company Culture Podcast with Josh Sweeney. If you enjoy this content, please subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher. For additional content and transcripts, visit epicculture.co. If you have questions or topics you would like us to address or expand on, tweet us @epicculture1 or email at podcast@epicculture.co.