While attracting candidates is a vital part of recruiting, retaining candidates is important too. By building a better relationship with your candidates, they are likely to look to you when they are considering a career move.

Communication is key, as is identifying how you can help them. As a staffing or recruiting company, it’s important that you learn how to nurture candidate relationships. The more you know, the more successful you will be in delivering the right candidates to your clients.

1. Be friendly – learn about your candidates

Mobile phone, tablet and laptop

When it comes to communicating with your candidates, it’s important to be friendly. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

The key to a great candidate relationship is understanding social cues and acting accordingly.

How do they like to interact with you? Are they formal, are they informal?

Match their style and make them feel comfortable. The more comfortable they feel – the more they will open to up to you.

The more they open up to you, the more you can understand them.

Take the time to learn about your candidates. Have a conversation with them in person, or over the phone. Listen and be attentive.

Ask questions and try to interpret their needs. Find out their motivations:

  • Why do they want a new job?
  • Why do they want to leave their current job?
  • What type of company do they want to work for?

Unearthing their motivations means that you’ll be able to build a clearer picture of their life, and what they are looking for.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your life – the name of your dog, or what you did at the weekend. Be friendly and build a good rapport and your candidate will feel good about speaking with you.

2. Be honest with your candidates

If you’re honest with your clients, then they are more likely to be honest with you.

Be transparent with about the process, what it entails, and how the client will typically operate.

If a vacancy needs to be filled quickly, communicate that urgency and explain the details to help them understand why they need to act quickly.

Once you and the candidate have developed a mutual respect, communication will be easier, and your relationship will be better.

Frank discussions will follow, and you’ll be able to learn their honest salary expectations, as well as their location and transport needs.

3. Understand the industry

Gaining knowledge in your market sector turns you from a good recruitment consultant to a great one. Taking the time to understand and learn will help to futureproof your agency.

With the internet at your fingertips, you have access to industry-specific publications which will tell you the latest news. Find out the different types of roles and which are the most popular.

The ability to truly know your market and provide insight will help you to communicate well with your candidate and client.

4. Keep in touch with your candidates


A recent survey found that 86% of young adults felt positive when receiving text messages during an interview period.

As a recruiter, it would be highly beneficial to check in with your candidate, on and off throughout your relationship – especially during that interview period.

Use the data in your recruitment software to see how and when you’ve contacted them.

Here are some (slightly obvious, but necessary) rules to stick by:

  • Don’t ignore them!
  • If you can’t call them back, reply with an e-mail or text message

Once your candidate has been placed, it’s worth giving them a quick phone call, or e-mail to see how they’re doing in the new role. It’s a chance for you to find out how they’re doing and check to see if there are any problems.

Ask them a personal question unrelated to work to help build the relationship. If you’ve already found out that they have a cat called Frank, ask them how Frank is!

Why not consider keeping them up to date with a newsletter?

The  e-mail could include useful information such as:

  • Upcoming training courses in their field
  • Industry trends

It will help you to remind them that you’re there for them.

Recruiters – build a better relationship

To recap, in order to build a better relationship with your candidates, you must:

  1. Be friendly
  2. Understand the industry
  3. Be honest
  4. Keep in touch

The greater the relationship you have with your candidate, the closer you are and the less likely they will be to consider choosing another recruitment agency over yours.

There are other benefits to nurturing your relationship. Happy candidates will be more likely to recommend your staffing organisation to colleagues, friends, and family – your talent pool could increase exponentially.

Work hard at following these four simple rules to building a better relationship with your candidates and enjoy it – you can do it!


We hope that you have enjoyed reading about how to build a better relationship with your candidates. Don’t forget, we offer a free live demo and a 30-day free trial if you would like to find out more about Chameleon-i.