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Strategies and Frequency of Outreach to Mentor Applicants

An important element of Screening is following up with applicants about their necessary next steps. The attention we give applicants determines the quality of customer service they experience and the pace in which their steps are completed.

Tools at Your Disposal
Within Salesforce, the email widget is your best friend for non-automated communication. This is located in the ‘Activity’ tab to the right of the Salesforce application and where all our of existing templates pull into. When sending through the widget, emails are automatically logged in the application. 

Frequency of Following Up
When it comes to phone/email outreach, the expectation is to contact applicants once per week. This can vary depending on an applicant's circumstances, but weekly is important. Where possible, outline remaining tasks in one email. For eg. a reminder to schedule fingerprinting and also remind their references to respond.  

Time of Season
Follow up strategies may change depending on the time of year. Generally, urgency ramps up in August and lasts through matching. Follow ups may therefore increase to every ~5 days. When the urgency is higher, transparency is helpful. For eg., “Matching starts in just a few weeks! To set you up for a match in time, please complete your online application this week." 

**If you think you’re reaching out too much or too little, it’s possible that you are. Remember to step back and think about the level of urgency you need to convey.  Remember these are volunteers and they are donating their time. As always, you may strategize with your manager!

Vary Your Modes of Contact
It’s easy to simply send emails, but remember to diversify your outreach for better response rates. Do not send repeat templates - change up the language in each email. If an applicant has not answered via email, please call the applicant. Always leave a voicemail. It’s important that the applicant be available by both phone and email so we know they are accessible during the program itself. If it seems they never open emails and only respond to phone calls, confirm their email and potentially make a yellow flag to discuss with your manager. Be sure to check your junk mail and also try sending follow ups to an alternate email if they have one.

Emails are sent automatically to references. If you're notified of a bounce back, contact the applicant for an alternate email address for that reference (there is a widget template for that). If a reference does not seem responsive, call the reference and collect their response over the phone. Please try to call lingering references. For additional guidance on references, please read this article.

Deadlining and Predeadlining Applicants
For this process, follow the standard procedures outlined here.  

Background Check Reminders and Check-Ins
For all regions, the Fingerprint Reminder and Fingerprint Check-In emails are automatically sent at a conditioned cadence. For all confirmations of attendance, remember to change the Status of Background Check to 'Fingerprinted' AND input the date printed. 

Always Log Your Emails
Any emails sent to applicants through Outlook should be logged through the Salesforce plugin. This does not mean you need to log very short insignificant emails (Eg. "Thanks for letting me know!") but all other communication trails should be logged. It's important for your manager to see the last time you communicated with an applicant. More information about logging can be found here.

Consider Each Volunteer 
Lastly, remember we are working with volunteers who are offering their time. We should assume best intentions even if their follow-through lags. Consider each applicant individually and use your judgement in circumstances where your follow up strategy may need to shift. You may strategize with your manager around communication or what might be deemed flag-worthy.