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4 Ways to Re-Engage Your Data in Preparation for GDPR

With GDPR just around the corner, one of the most dreaded tasks anticipated by recruiters is the prospect of watching your database shrink as you let go of inactive data. But rather than admit defeat and begin culling candidates you haven’t heard from in a while, why not focus on re-engaging that dead data instead?

The current average for recruitment database engagement is between 15-25%. This could mean that as much as 85% of your candidate database could be considered dead at this moment in time under GDPR. Therefore, it’s crucial that recruitment agencies start thinking about how they can re-engage passive candidates or risk having to delete them from their database entirely.

So, what can you do to re-engage your data in preparation for GDPR?

  • Reach out and touch base

The most obvious way to re-engage candidates you haven’t heard from in a while is to simply reach out and touch base with them. When doing this, make sure you spend some time identifying the right candidates to focus your time on first. Which candidates in your database boast in-demand skills that are likely to make a good return for your business? Pick up the phone to find out what their current situation is and if there’s anything you can be doing for them at this time.

If you can prove that you’ve engaged in some two-way communication during which time the candidate hasn’t asked to be removed from your database, this gives you the green light to keep their data on file. Not only this, but even if the candidate is not interested in what you have to offer at this moment in time, reaching out will make a good impression and show you’re on the ball. As a result, they’re likely to think of you as opposed to one of your competitors when they’re next on the hunt for a new opportunity.

  • Send targeted job alerts

First, create talent pools that pull together candidates within your database who share the same – or similar – skills and experience. You can then set up job alerts that will target those specific groups, so that they receive notification of new opportunities that speak directly to their skills and interests. This will massively improve the likelihood that they will click through to your job ads, check their candidate portal and even apply for a position – which are all major signifiers of re-engagement. Just makes sure you’re using the right software to track how candidates are engaging with what you send them.

  • Create engaging email campaigns

Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels in the UK, and there’s certainly no exception when it comes to re-engaging passive candidates within your database. Create emails with engaging, personalised subject lines to draw candidates in – research has shown that email open rates go up almost 30% if a candidate’s name appears in the subject line.

The aim here is to encourage them back onto their candidate portal on your website. If you can prove that the candidate has logged in to their portal, this indicates that the candidate is still active and therefore won’t have to be removed.

  • Share useful content

You might think that simply having a recruitment blog means you can tick this one off the list, but are you using your blog effectively? You need to be providing real value (outside of your services) if you want candidates to remain engaged.

In order to use your blog to its full potential, you should be focussing on producing useful content that caters to candidate needs and interests. So whilst it might be tempting to fill your blog feed with news of company growth and industry-relevant content, take a minute to think about who your readers are and why this information would be of interest to them.

Once you’ve attracted candidates with your engaging content, are you providing clear CTAs (calls to action) within blog posts that encourage them to take steps that will signify re-engagement (e.g. applying for a new role, checking their candidate portal, filling out a web form, etc.)?

Implement these tactics in your GDPR preparations strategy and you should not only minimise any potential data losses, but also feel confident that you’re increasing your database engagement levels at the same time. And if you’re wondering how engaged your database currently is, here’s how to find out.


Wendy McDougall

Tel:  0141 648 8520