Want to move the needle on your hiring goals? Sorry to break it to you, but cool swag and flashy benefits don’t cut it. Today’s top talent leaders focus on fostering candidate relationships. 

Recruiters had the upper hand in the recruiter-candidate relationship in the past, but not anymore. Candidates now hold all the cards in choosing where they want to go for their next career, and they’ve grown more and more selective. Job seekers won’t just accept any offer that comes their way; they expect deeper relationships and intangibles such as flexibility, transparency, and a visible commitment to DEIB.

To snag the best talent from the bunch, you must establish a genuine connection to your company’s mission, to the team, and to your recruiters. So, where do you start? 

GoodTime Account Executives John Bartsch and Siegfried Huffnagle, joined by Maria Riabukhina and Matthias Schmeißer from Beamery’s talent team, sat down to discuss the secret sauce to cultivating healthy candidate relationships. If you didn’t catch the webinar, here’s the TLDR with the key takeaways on how to better connect with candidates for hiring success.

Four Pillars of Candidate Relationships

Yes, investing time into connecting with candidates is non-negotiable for recruiters, but what do candidates actually expect from the relationship? Here are four main pillars that should comprise your candidate relationships.

Genuine Connection

While remote work has created a distance economy, candidates don’t want to feel so “distant.” Genuine connections are now more valuable than ever. In fact, 72% of candidates would reject a job offer if they didn’t feel connected to the company culture during the hiring process. Even if the salary and the job description are aligned, if candidates don’t recognize a human-to-human connection, it’s a no go. Recruiters must address candidates from a position strongly rooted in authenticity.


To instill your recruitment process with authenticity, start by prioritizing transparency. Don’t leave candidates guessing; applicants want to know what it’s like to work for your company from the very beginning of the interview process. 39% of candidates expect to be informed about compensation in the initial job post. Besides expecting open communication surrounding compensation, candidates want potential employers to be loud and clear on their DEIB initiatives.

“People have spent the last couple years thinking about what’s most important to them, how they want to spend their time, and what their values are. People want to make sure that the time that they spend at work is aligned with that.”

— Siegfried Huffnagle, Account Executive at GoodTime


GoodTime found that candidates currently interview at 4x more employers than pre-pandemic — meaning that the talent competition is more intense than ever. This is largely due to the rise of remote work. As the office workspace continues to evolve, so does candidates’ ideal work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements are now at the top of job seekers’ wish lists. Companies must adapt to the work preferences of candidates, and demonstrate that adaptability throughout the company culture.

Candidate Well-being

All in all, candidates don’t want to sacrifice their well-being for their job. Sixty-two percent of employees cite well-being support as their top priority when job hunting. Work must exist in harmony with health — there’s no way around it. Recruitment teams should be prepared to openly address the efforts that their company makes in prioritizing the health and general well-being of their employees.

Boost Connections With Recruiting Tools and Techniques

Once you’ve mastered the building blocks of candidate relationships, it’s time to reel candidates in — hook, line, and sinker. Examine your hiring methods and tools and look for areas of improvement. You’ll not only enhance the relationships created from your hiring process, but also move candidates through the funnel more efficiently to get an offer in their hand.

Gather Candidate Feedback

Now that candidates are in the driver’s seat, they want more ownership and involvement in the recruitment process. For this reason, gathering candidate feedback becomes both necessary and expected. Who can speak to the quality of your hiring process better than those that experience it firsthand? By factoring in candidate feedback on your entire interview process, talent teams can ensure that their process exceeds expectations.

Build DEIB From the Studs Up

If you think you can skate by in the hiring process without highlighting your company’s DEIB efforts, think again. To align with candidate expectations, recruitment teams must present candidates with a holistic image of what their company stands for on DEIB. This translates to having the tools and strategies in place to provide this image from the very first moment that candidates sit down to interview.

“Companies that are enabling diverse and inclusive interview panels experienced a 4X increase in interviews in less than one year. This really speaks to the importance of training up your interviewers and having a broad and diverse pool.”

— John Bartsch, Account Executive at GoodTime

Prioritize Interviewer Training

How do you demonstrate a genuine commitment to DEIB? Start by training a diverse and expansive pool of potential interviewers. Widening your interviewer pool not only ensures that you’ll always have people available to interview applicants, but also cultivates a group of diverse panelists that are representative of both your company and the candidates you want to attract. Having five alternative interviewers for each interview translates to a 95% chance that one of them will be available for the time slot selected by the candidate.

Empower Your Recruiting Tech Stack

A robust tech stack seals the deal when it comes to impressing candidates. Beamery’s talent lifecycle management platform delivers meaningful insights to shape customers’ holistic talent strategy. Here at GoodTime, our Hire product uses Candidate Relationship Intelligence to automate coordination, connect with candidates, and gather actionable data.

Interested in learning all about the positive change Hire can make for your recruiting process? Say no more.

About the Author

Rachel Heller

Rachel is passionate about creating and distributing powerful, engaging, and expert-vetted content. As the former Content Specialist at GoodTime, she covered the latest trends, insights, and expert recommendations for all things talent acquisition and recruiting.