The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

‘Hey Bae!’ How Not to Talk to your Candidates


This article was submitted by HireServe

You may have come across the ‘Bae Intern’ email sent by a Microsoft recruiter, which went viral last year. It was widely mocked for its use of slang to try to connect with its younger audience, and for completely missing the mark.

There are however some great lessons to be learnt from the Microsoft slip-up, as embarrassing as it was. Not least, how to maintain an authentic employer brand and how to connect with Millennials without overcompensating.

It’s vital to remain authentic in candidate communication

Imagine working at Google: You might think of a fun, vibrant and casual workplace. When you think of working at Microsoft, you might picture a more corporate, formal environment. This was where the slang-filled, overly enthusiastic email from Microsoft, which addressed intern applicants as ‘Bae’, failed to hit the mark – it seemed totally at odds with Microsoft’s corporate image.

Company culture should be accurately reflected in all recruitment communications; this will provide potential applicants with a greater sense of who you are and what you’re about. Managing expectations, for example by using appropriate language and tone of voice, can ensure that you’re attracting candidates of the right cultural fit for your organisation.

So, if you’re a vibrant events company, using colloquial language and an animated tone of voice might be a great option for you; if you’re a fast-paced, focussed technology company, you may opt for a more formal, professional feel.

It can be difficult to keep your communications consistent if you have a team of people sending emails to candidates or posting on your company’s social media profiles. Setting brand guidelines for your recruitment comms will help to establish the tone you’re trying to achieve across each channel.

Alongside authenticity, consistency is essential

Millennials, like any other candidates, still need consistent communications – whether it’s via email, social media or even text message. Maintaining the conversation at every stage, from acknowledgement of CV to outcome of interview, will ensure applicants feel valued throughout your hiring process and have a positive perception of your organisation.

If you’re recruiting in high volumes, consider putting automated systems in place to help manage these communications. Bulk emails sent from your ATS will allow you to communicate with large numbers of candidates on a personal level.

Each candidate is unique. Trying to reach a whole generation, even one as well-documented and defined as the Millennial generation, will come with challenges. Providing a true reflection of your employer brand and maintaining frequent, consistent communication will help you establish an authentic and sustainable connection with talent, who will fit seamlessly into your working culture.