How to Keep Candidates Engaged During The Hiring Process
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Hiring is a cumbersome process, and they must be engaged to keep the candidate’s interest high.
  • It is necessary to be transparent right from the start so that the employee knows what the status of their job application is
  • Recruiters need a structured approach to ensure proper communication with the candidate. 

It is known that toddlers and children have a short attention span.

They will get distracted if you do not keep them engaged. If they are playing in the garden and see a balloon with another child, the chances of your kid asking for the same thing are high. 

Keeping them engaged is a tough job unless you find something that will ultimately have their attention. 

What if we told you that this is also somewhat applicable to candidates? 

Recruiters are always on the lookout for top talent for their organization. 

They have to conduct multiple rounds of interviews to find the right person. A candidate is only chosen after he/she clears the entire selection criteria. 

It usually starts with screening candidates, followed by many assessments, interviews, offer discussions, and making the final offer. These steps are time-consuming, and keeping candidates engaged during the hiring process is essential to maintain their interest and ensure that you can attract and hire top talent. 

Importance of keeping Candidates engaged

Imagine these scenarios: 

  • You are a candidate who has applied for a job but hasn’t heard from the recruiter after the initial interview for a long time
  • You asked for a job description but weren’t given any 
  • It has been a month with no update after your final interview 
  • You do not know which round of selection is up next

These are just examples of a ‘lack of communication.’ To add to these woes, just imagine filling out a long 5-6 pager application form while applying for a job. 


If you have gone through even one of the above scenarios, you would have lost interest in the company and the job! 

Many times candidates lose interest in a role mid-way due to a cumbersome recruitment process, redundant processes, or due to the lack of transparency or communication in the process. Good candidates get lured by competitors in no time if the insufficiencies in the recruitment process are not fixed. 

The candidates need to be engaged while the hiring process is on so that they don’t feel left out. Their questions need to be answered on time; their needs should be addressed on time, on demand and in an engaging manner. 

It is important to stand out as a brand for the candidate to stand with you. Every action that the recruitment team performs during the hiring process defines that brand. Stay with the candidate, and the candidate stays with you!

How to keep Candidates engaged during the Hiring Process

#1 Be communicative

The first and most important step is to be communicative with the candidate via multiple channels, based on their convenience and preference. Focus on Candidate Experience.

The candidate should feel comfortable asking you questions and getting the right answers to his queries. As a recruiter, it is important to keep the candidate well-informed about the whole hiring process and keep them up to date throughout the hiring process. 

#2 Be Transparent

The hiring process is no secret. Explain the entire process to the candidate. Let him/her know the timelines, the total number of interviews he/she would undergo, who would take which interview, etc.

Relevant information must be shared with the candidate periodically so that he/she is in the know. Set expectations with the candidate so that there is no confusion. Ambiguity leads to dissatisfaction. Avoid it.

#3 Structured approach

Sudden surprises are not appreciated when it comes to interviews. Go with a structured hiring approach wherein everything is well thought out and planned.

The candidate should know the interview plans to plan his work day. Well-organized and planned hiring process means an effective and efficient recruitment process that works like a well-oiled machine. 

Check – Post Offer Candidate Engagement Platform

#4 Provide Feedback

After every round, it is essential to provide feedback.

This helps the candidate to learn how well he performed and where exactly he is headed in the forthcoming rounds.

Continuous feedback shows that you’re invested in the candidates’ success and helps them improve for future interviews.

#5 Online portal for Candidate status

Many MNCs have hiring portals wherein the candidates can check the status of their candidature online on the company website.

When they apply for a position on the company portal, they are given a unique candidate id.

That Id helps them track their status of interviews and the selection process on a real-time basis. This helps bridge the communication gap and keeps the candidate informed.

#6 Case Study or Problem-solving

Many companies give the candidate’s case studies or problems to solve during the hiring process.

This is a part of the selection process as well as a part of engagement tactics. The effort is to make the recruitment process as dynamic and interactive as possible. This also helps capture candidates’ aptitude to a great extent.

The flip side is that when the assignment is too extensive or exhaustive, the candidate tends to lose interest and may leave the hiring process halfway.

It is essential to manage such redundancies on time to keep the candidates engaged.

#7 Offer a positive candidate experience

The candidate has applied for an opening because he wants to work with your organization. As a representative of the organization, you are expected to provide a positive candidate experience. Be respectful, courteous, and positive when you interact with the candidates.

Use automation to take care of the recurring and repetitive tasks for both recruiters and candidates to make their interactions more meaningful and productive. Your enthusiasm will speak volumes about the company and help in brand building.

Wrap up

It is straightforward to lose out on good candidates to your competitors.

But engaging them and hiring them is a challenging game. Simply because the market is competitive, one mistake from your end can take away your precious candidate. 

It is vital to eliminate redundant processes, make the recruitment process effective, and have an interactive operation model with the candidate.

This will enable a smooth hiring process flow, and candidates will remain engaged.

FAQs on Engaging Candidates during Hiring 

What is engagement in the recruitment process?

Keeping candidates interested in the role that they have applied for and having them completely invested during the hiring process is called engagement in the recruitment process.

What is the most crucial step in the recruitment process?

All the steps in the recruitment process are essential- right from sourcing the candidates to hiring them is critical. The recruiters cannot drop the ball at any stage of the hiring process.

Throughout the hiring process, recruiters have to engage the candidates and have them invested in the process, which is an important step in the recruitment process.

What is the most important part of candidate engagement?

The most important part of candidate engagement is Communication and transparency.

The candidate should be aware of the hiring process, the timelines, the interviewers, the number of interview rounds, etc. Their queries should be addressed on time. This ensures candidates’ interest in the organization.

When do candidates get disengaged?

Many factors can lead to disengagement.

Candidates are mainly disengaged when they feel left out and completely unaware of the hiring process or next steps.

They can also feel disengaged when given lengthy, time-consuming assignments or application forms during the hiring process as they fail to relate to their worth. Ambiguity in any form leads to disengagement.

Why does candidate engagement matter?

Good candidates are hard to find. Once found, they are hard to hire as multiple competitors try to lure them.

In such a scenario, if you find a good candidate, you don’t want to lose him/her; hence, it becomes essential to stay connected with the candidate and engage with him/her to give the best candidate experience if you want to hire them!

Talk to an expert

Tell us what you are looking for and we'll get back to you in a jiffy!