At ALKU, there is nothing we won’t do to better ourselves and our employees, no matter the time or effort it may require. In my five years at the company, many processes have been tweaked, questioned, improved or even just done away with. As managers, we like finding parts of our processes we can make easier, faster, or more efficient. But one thing has never needed any fancy transformation: good, old-fashioned, candidate relationships.

Our desire to take care of our candidates and truly build a level of trust and respect is lofty. Good times or bad — pandemic or not — the ALKU way still stands true and strong. It is in our DNA to make sure our candidates are treated well. The key is finding the right employees who believe in our processes and are prepared to do what it takes to continue building a foundation of satisfied repeat clientele. Here’s how ALKU approaches the candidate relationship.

Consistent follow-up. First impressions are essential, but consistency is everything. From the initial point of contact through when it has run its course, there needs to be a reliable, timely recruiter in the driver’s seat. Timely updates, whether good or bad, are the foundation of a respected agency. Additionally, we don’t like being the agency that is knocking on your door only if you are available and looking. There will always be well-organized task calls scheduled, regardless of if you’re working through ALKU, on the market, or even working with the competition. If they are working through us — even better. Prior to our candidates’ contracts coming to term, we are taking multiple steps to find their next opportunities. We want our candidates to feel like we are taking care of their problems before they even arise.

Attention to detail. A real relationship with a candidate runs deeper than asking, “How’s work going?” Getting to know someone means listening. Listening, in turn, needs to be followed with well documented notes. As a manager, I push my employees to be remembered. Are you the recruiter asking for the third time, “How’s work going?,” or are you calling them because you remembered their son’s fourth birthday this past weekend? That’s real. The more real relationships we build, the more excited and dedicated we are to getting our candidates the best possible opportunities out there.

Attention to detail also means acknowledging which job is going to improve this person’s quality of life. When are they looking? Why are they looking? How much money are they targeting? What skills do they want to develop? You’ll never see a recruiter dial faster than when they are making that “You’ve got the job!” call. Candidates can feel that energy too; they recognize ALKU’s “Have Fun Working Hard” culture.

Dedicated team. Candidates should always be able to have their questions and concerns answered; problems are bound to happen. At ALKU, we have created a team specifically designated to our candidates’ needs. Our Personnel Services Team is ready to tackle all candidate processes including timecards, onboarding, benefits, payment, insurance and expenses. Our Personnel Services Team offers each candidate one, specific resource that they can learn to know and trust, and who are available when their recruiter is not. Our Personnel Services Team are truly the people assisting with candidate’s livelihood on a regular basis.

A little extra goes a long way. Boy, do we love being and doing “a little extra.” When onboarding a new candidate, we send them ALKU swag to welcome them to the family. When a big life event occurs, we send something to show we’re thinking of them. When the pandemic happened, our CEO got in front of the camera to show support for our candidates. Additionally, during this isolating time, we sent every ALKU candidate a virtual “ALKare Package,” complete with employee-submitted favorites including books, shows, movies, recipes and even a Spotify playlist to add a little extra comfort and entertainment during this crazy time.

Candidates are the heart of our business, and they have choices. Our determination to build and maintain strong relationships with candidates and to go the extra mile is what sets us apart. What sets you apart?