Candidate Development

Candidate Development is the process of converting prospective candidates into qualified applicants and passing them to a dedicated recruiter for interviewing, hiring and on-boarding.

The goal is to guarantee your recruiters a steady predictable stream of qualified applicants.


  1. Texting: The biggest bottleneck to qualifying caregiver candidates is getting a hold of the candidate. Text them to and see their response rate improve by over 85% compared to email and phone.

  2. Get Personal: Candidates don't feel a connecting with you when they get a message from “The HR team at Happy Home Care”. Increase engagement by writing your messages directly from you or a chosen representative for your employer brand. Make it personal so the caregiver can build a personal relationship with you.

  3. Respond Quickly: If the candidate receives a response within less than five minutes they are much more likely to convert to next steps.

  4. Schedule Interviews Automatically: Use ChirpyHire to automatically schedule interviews. Make it easy for the candidate to find you by including a link to your office. Tell them what they need to bring to be prepared for the interview.

Strategies Worth Testing

  1. Division of Labor: Have one role that is responsible for generating qualified candidates i.e. completed interviews and another responsible for interviewing and hiring.

  2. Reciprocity and referrals - Try asking for a referral instead of directly if they are looking for work. People like to help their friends more than help themselves so this will likely increase response rates.

  3. Measure activity, conversion rates, and elapsed time at each stage of the funnel. Outbound recruiting teams should be responsible for reaching out to a set number of prospective candidates each week. Understand which templated messages perform best. If you know your hiring plan, your conversion rates at each stage, and average time in each stage, you can back out how many candidates you need to reach out to to hit your hiring goals.

  4. Automatic Sourcing - ChirpyHire should integrate with 100s of free job boards to automatically post job ads making predictable candidate sourcing easier.

  5. A/B test messaging - By having a culture of testing you can drill down on what works best and focus there.

Candidate Development 101

Here are the key steps to beginning your candidate development process.

1. Get clear on your Ideal Candidate Profile

The first step is understanding clearly the minimum requirements a candidate must have to be eligible for an interview.

Understand if you have any knockout red flags or deal breakers in your qualification process.

Perhaps it’s important to you that they’ve had at least two years of experience. Or that they already have their CPR / 1st Aid and 2 step TB test.

You want to eliminate as much friction in your hiring process as possible. Make sure to review it regularly every 6 months at a minimum.

2. Use your ICP as a Screen

Whether you use ZipRecruiter, ClearCare’s ATS, or ChirpyHire’s text interviewing map your ideal candidate profile into your pre-screening tool of choice.

It is too inefficient to screen candidates over the phone. Don’t waste time doing so. Instead, automatically screen them via text message or an online form.

3. Build your list

If you have a database of past candidates, start with the passive ones. If not, you can source lists from and

If you don’t have access to existing lists, you can rely on candidates from job boards and other traditional sources.

If your Candidate Development tool doesn’t automatically clean your data, make sure to do a pass and clean it as best you can yourself.

4. Run outbound campaigns

Depending on your infrastructure run a text message or email campaign. For caregivers your primary tool to get in front of new candidates is mass texting.

Consider asking for referrals of friends that are looking for work. If they respond or refer folks, follow up with a call to action to complete your automated ICP screen.

On any given day a candidate development rep should send 50-100 personal targeted text messages to candidates.

Your daily response rate goal should be 20%.

Personal targeted mass texts sounds like an oxymoron. Here’s what I mean.

  1. Use a software tool that makes it easy to rapid-fire send personal text messages.
  2. Use standard text message templates and don’t think up a new message for each candidate.
  3. Experiment with a small personal touch by including their name, your name, or a mutual connection.
  4. Consider looking at just passives, candidates slipping away, filtering by geography, last messaged, or first messaged to get to a more targeted group.
Writing your text messages
  1. Texts should look personal like they came from a recruiter
  2. State simply and clearly why you are reaching out
  3. Make it short enough to read on an smartphone without scrolling. 160 characters or less.
  4. Ask one simple question (such as for a referral or to apply for a job)

Remember always be honest in your communications. Whether by phone, email, or text.

Sending your campaigns

One of the biggest mistakes people make is sending too many messages at once. If you get more than 20 responses in a day, they will start dropping through the cracks.

Test sending the text messages before 9am or after 5pm and avoid Mondays and Fridays.

Expect an 18-20% response rate on single message campaigns. This includes all responses: positive, negative, and neutral.

For multi-message campaigns your response rate can easily exceed 50%.

Be methodical in handling responses. Log them and keep them organized. If the candidate is interested, encourage them to take next steps in your hiring process.

Create standard templates for common responses.

Don’t ignore bad phone numbers. Log that they don’t work otherwise they’ll clutter up your system.

Keep the status of your candidate up to date so you can understand how your process is performing.

Note on Sending Unsolicited Recruiting Text Messages

Federal courts have ruled that commercial text messages and recruiting text messages are separate under the TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act.

Recruiters can continue using text messages to reach out to new candidates about career opportunities, but should give candidates a way to opt-out from receiving future messages.

Top 4 Candidate Development Mistakes

  1. Writing Long Text Messages - Keep it short and sweet and ask one question.
  2. Going Wide, Not Deep - Better to send 10 messages to 10 candidates than 1 message to 100 candidates.
  3. Giving Up Too Quickly With Ideal Candidates
  4. Not Giving Up Quickly Enough With Non-Ideal Candidates

The Candidate Development Mindset

  1. Attitude - you’re a non threatening researcher looking to help them with their career not a pushy recruiter.
  2. Bite-sized text messages! Short and sweet and ask only one question.
  3. If they aren’t interested, find out why.
  4. Should you dig or move on?
  5. Is it something to overcome or better handle with future candidates?
  6. Always setup a next step! What next step is logical and will create value for the candidate?
  7. Automate as much routine process as you can so you can focus on providing personal attention and care to qualified applicants.
Candidate Development
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