Sense Guest Blog: Developing your Candidate Journeys For Maximum Business Impact

This blog post was written by Alexandra Kane, Head of Marketing at our valued partner, Sense. 

Every candidate is on their own talent journey, and that starts way before they hit apply. Developing a candidate engagement strategy is top of mind for every staffing firm, but most don’t know where to start. Firms are spending large chunks of their budgets on job boards, but did you know almost 50% of them are already in your ATS? A staffing firm’s ATS is a treasure trove of candidates perfect to fill many open recs. Proactive outreach to your existing database of candidates should be a no brainer that will save your firm time and money. But setting up a discovery and engagement program from scratch is a daunting task. At Sense, we help staffing firms activate their candidate pool every day by not only helping identify dormant talent, but getting the conversation started. The Sense platform supports your candidates 24/7, so your recruiters can better manage their time (and get some sleep). Here are some tips for leveraging Erecruit and Sense, to get the most out of your candidate engagement strategy from the start.

Building a relationship with candidates means taking them on a talent journey based on where they are, to get to where you want them to be…. PLACED. These relationships are built way before most firms realize. Your employer brand is built through every interaction you have with a candidate, from a LinkedIn post to a networking event to the on-site interview experience. Sense helps you make sure these interactions are consistent across platforms and recruiters. Candidates need to be aware of you, and what you can offer them, before they even engage. And companies that focus on making talent their competitive advantage, ultimately win.

A few key things to keep in mind when mapping your candidate journeys:

  • Keep it simple – don’t overwhelm your candidates with information or ask them to do a lot of work. Your goal is to start a conversation so that your recruiters can consult from there.
  • Don’t over personalize the message – this seems counterintuitive but candidates don’t want to be told what they want, and you put yourself at higher risk of coming off tone deaf.
  • Meet them where they are – segment and understand your audience before you develop your journeys because delivering a relevant message in the right way at the right time is key to success.
  • Use a mix of mediums – don’t just spam your candidates with tons of emails, mix in personalized SMS messages to create a unique candidate experience and shorten response times.
  • Junk in equals junk out – in the age of automated candidate engagement, the quality of your candidate data is a competitive advantage that separates the winners from the losers.

What journeys do you need to move the needle? Get started with these five and start seeing the immediate business impact of candidate engagement.

Passive-to-Active Journey:

You never know when placed candidates or inactive candidates might start looking for a new role. Your job is to develop a relationship by constantly continuing the conversation about their talent journey.

V1: Automated Check-ins. Whether it is a simple happy birthday message or a holiday check in, these messages open the door for candidates to say “I’m looking!”
V2: For your contracted placements, check-in towards their projected end date to see if anything has changed. This keeps your records up to date, but also allows you to efficiently and seamlessly redeploy your best talent to your next open rec.
V3: Check in on job satisfaction for your placements a few months in. This not only helps you get ahead of churn but also can help your recruiters make sure that candidate finds the right fit.

Hiring Process Support:

Changing roles is an incredibly emotional time for candidates. Your recruiters are their guides through this journey, and can finally give every candidate white glove treatment!

V1: Automated reminders: Candidates are so busy these days that they often forget to follow through and click “apply.” Send application reminders to candidates who have shown interest but haven’t applied yet. Reduce your candidate no show rates by sending them interview reminders with critical information. Not only will your candidates be grateful but your clients will be happier too.
V2. Silver medalists: During the interview process, candidates are the most engaged with your firm. Don’t let that moment go to waste if they don’t get the job because strong candidates are hard to come by. Using custom tags from your ATS, re-engage active candidates with other roles and opportunities that might be relevant to them. Fill more roles while making quality candidates feel valued.
V3: Ask for feedback: Part of what differentiates one staffing firm from another is the way in which they manage candidates during the hiring process. It is never too soon to ask your candidates to fill out a quick NPS. The insights your recruiters will gain from candidates in the hiring process will help prevent a leaky funnel from source to hire.


The period between offer letter to start date is one of the most critical periods in a candidate’s hiring journey, but it gets almost no time or attention. With dropoff rates as high as 25%, it is critical that the administrative tasks associated with onboarding a new placement are completed in a timely manner. If not, start dates can get delayed – or worse, you have a no-show! – and is a terrible experience for both candidates and clients.

V1: Give them all the information. When one of your candidates get an offer, make sure you congratulate them and let them know how to officially accept. Once they sign, remind them of their start date and provide all the critical logical information they need to know. The drop off for candidates on day one is almost X%, way higher than it should be. Make sure that your candidates know what is going on, and that they show up day one.
V2. Documentation and data. This period is perfect for verifying key information on your candidates. Some examples include contact information, W-2 address, and credentials.
V3. Ask how things are going. Check-in on your placements to make sure things are going smoothly. Are they set up with payroll? Do they like their manager? How was their hiring experience? Now is the perfect time for capturing candidate NPS.

Placement Maintenance:

When you have active placements, it is important not to let them slip through the cracks. Candidates and clients alike crave a channel for expressing their experience. Providing regular check-ins and being available to answer questions makes your firm indispensable to both candidates and clients.

V1. Keep the machine oiled. Send reminders to candidates about benefits, timecards, and other critical duties. Proactive reminders prevent you from having to chase down placements and fix administrative nightmares.
V2. Maintain the buzz. Get your happy placements to share their experience online and with friends. This is the perfect time to ask for referrals and social reviews on sites like Glassdoor.
V3. Continue the conversation. Keep checking in and asking how things are going, whether in NPS form or something more casual. You will learn information that will help you better serve your clients and your candidates.

Win the Alumni:

It is almost as critical to communicate with candidates during the offboarding process as it is during the onboarding process. Once your candidates have decided to move on, you want to be there to help them transition. This will mean higher redeployment rates, referral numbers, and NPS scores.

V1. Offboarding Administration. There are a lot of boxes to check here which means your candidate will need support in getting through all of them. This provides another opportunity to update your records and make sure your candidates have everything they need.
V2. Redeployment. About a month before your candidate’s placement is about to end, you should be reaching out to see if they are looking for another role. If they are, this is a great time to shift them into the hiring journey so they can fill your next open role.
V3. Build an alumni network. Delivering additional resources and well wishes to your community of past placements is a great way to drive engagement and referrals. If you do this well, these candidates will think of you the next time they are looking for a role, or when one of their friends starts looking.

The fun has only just begun once you have these journeys in place using Sense. Not only will you be able to start automatically delivering a positive and memorable candidate experience, you can start to benchmark your teams performance in new and meaningful ways.

Using Sense built-in analytics, staffing leaders can start to more accurately track critical business metrics in aggregate. Examples of this include candidate NPS, candidate fall-off, attrition, redeployment, time to place, referrals, and more. The key to unlocking your firm’s full potential is getting a complete picture of your candidates’ journeys through data. And its impact to the bottom line.

Ready to get started? Reach out to learn more about how Sense and Erecruit work together to deliver complete talent journey automation. Or come meet us in person next month at the SIA Exec Forum and Erecruit customer conference in Austin.

About the Author

Alexandra Kane, Head of Marketing, Sense

Alexandra is the currently Head of Marketing at Sense, where she leads product marketing, demand generation, brand and PR.

Prior to joining Sense, Alexandra served as the Head of Marketing at, the leading AI-powered Conversation Intelligence platform, and the Director of Marketing at Zenreach, the world’s first online to offline attribution and WiFi powered marketing platform built for offline businesses. Previously, she served as an associate at Scout Capital Management, and a founding member of the Emjoyment leadership team, a mobile first recruitment marketplace for top young college graduates.

Alexandra holds a BSc and MSc in both Social Anthropology and Economics with highest distinction from the London School of Economics.