With the growing competition to attract and acquire the best talent, HR teams and recruiters must develop creative ideas to find, evaluate and reach top candidates.
Today, talent acquisition is a critical element of an organization’s business strategy, and it directly influences the company’s success.
For many companies, finding candidates in the market isn’t difficult, but it is essential to attract, assess and acquire the right candidate that can bring the right levels of productivity and talent to the company.
Hence, HR professionals and recruiters must be sure about interacting with the candidates and ensuring they have the right candidate experience.
Also, the idea of candidate experience and engagement get mixed up because they sound similar, but there is a difference.
Candidate experience is about how job seekers feel about the employer’s recruiting, hiring, and onboarding process. Hence, candidate experience is all about what the potential candidates think about the process.
Candidate engagement, on the other hand, is the process of communicating with potential candidates in the recruitment process.
However, both these processes are crucial to a successful recruitment drive and can help HR teams and recruiters to get better results.
It is only through exceptional candidate engagement that recruiters can provide a positive candidate experience to qualified candidates.
Why is Candidate Engagement Important?
Unlike in the past, the recruitment process today isn’t just about offering the best person for the vacant position in the company.
In a talent acquisition market, job applicants can choose from the best offers they receive.
Hence, it becomes more crucial for employers to keep qualified candidates intrigued and interested in the recruiting procedure and offer them all the assistance and responses that they need while they apply for a job.
With better effective communication during the hiring process, employers can provide excellent candidate engagement, which results in a seamless recruitment experience.
This would ensure that potential candidates are interested in knowing more about the company and would consider your proposal over your rivals while choosing the best job option.
With improved candidate engagement, you can also focus on better employer branding and spread the word about your company. This also reduces the number of applicant dropouts during the onboarding process.
How to Improve Candidate Engagement?
When acquiring the best talent in the market, HR professionals and recruiters have to connect and engage potential candidates and job seekers constantly.
This is important to ensure that they are motivated and interested in the offer you have to give and consider it. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you must wait for the potential applicant to sign the documents.
#1 Speed Up the Review Process
Once you have posted the job advertisement, you will likely start receiving the application for the vacant post.
For this, you need to speed up the application review process, which can help you review and screen through the applications you have received.
If there are hundreds of applicants, you can make use of a reliable Applicant Tracking System that would help you manage the situation.
Most job seekers are happy that they receive a quick response from employers, especially when they are active job seekers looking for opportunities.
You can send them a confirmation email that you have received their application to keep them informed. Most potential candidates would not be happy with a delayed or no response and would look for other opportunities.
#2 Constant Communication
Even after you have acknowledged you received their application, you need to keep the communication line clear and active to ensure that they realize they are not forgotten.
If the recruitment teams are taking time to sort applications, you can email them about the status of the process, which would provide effective communication.
If you are setting up for the interview rounds, you must provide them with interview process details to keep them updated.
Also, you should use this time to share details about your company which would be a great way to introduce them to your company’s work culture and history.
You can also share social media employer accounts where these candidates can explore more about the company’s current events and participate in them if they want to.
If your company has a YouTube account, you can probably send links to videos about various company events to catch candidates’ attention.
#3 Provide Hiring Timeline
While constantly connecting with these potential candidates, you must also provide them with a timeline of various recruitment processes.
This would provide the candidates with a bigger picture of the overall hiring process.
However, you also need to be clear about sticking to that timeline to ensure a better candidate engagement process.
This would build enough confidence in the candidate that you are reliable and trustworthy, honoring commitments made.
#4 Focus on Multiple Communication Channels
While most candidates and job seekers would prefer to receive communication via their email but you also need to look for multiple communication channels like text messages.
This would allow you to ensure the candidates have received your message.
Also, using text messages would be a faster communication option as the candidate receives the news on their mobile device and per hiring statistics, text recruitment has a close to 100% opening rate, being one of the best modes of communication with candidates.
#5 Avoid Repetition
Although most HR teams and recruiters don’t do this purposely, any repetition can put off potential candidates, driving them off.
Hence, you need to streamline the hiring funnel and ensure that there is no repetition in terms of asking the same questions over and over or filling up lengthy application forms that have the same questions asked in different ways.
Various passive candidates would perceive this as time-consuming and annoying and look elsewhere for better job opportunities.
#6 Use Automation Technology
When handling bulk hiring, responding to the individual application process can be difficult.
For this, you need to use the best HR automation technology.
This would allow you to speed up the overall process and provide the best candidate experience. Various systems today can sort job applications based on the criteria you set.
Also, these automation technologies can email interview process details to the candidates and handle interview scheduling.
However, you must choose the right HR automation tools and technology that matches your business needs.
#7 Solicit and Offer Candidate Feedback
Irrespective of whether you hire the candidate or not, you need to gather candidate feedback that would help you improve the candidate experience and candidate engagement process as well.
Asking for feedback from unsuccessful applicants would indicate that you care about their opinion and feedback and would genuinely try and improve the recruitment process ahead.
Similarly, you can provide unsuccessful candidates with feedback on why they couldn’t be cleared for the next round.
Many job seekers and applicants appreciate receiving constructive feedback as they can learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, which would help them prepare better for other interview rounds.
While there is no certain way to improve candidate engagement, the overall idea is to make the candidates feel that you, as a company, consider them as a part of the organization already.
It also shows that you care about their time and the efforts they make to go through the interview process. Often there are communication gaps and delays that can make the applicant feel disconnected and abandoned.
However, with better candidate engagement, you can avoid that and keep them interested in your company and the offer.
FAQs on Candidate Engagement
Is candidate engagement a continuous process?
Yes, it involves engaging candidates to ensure that they have a seamless recruitment experience right from the day they send applications to the day they accept the job offer and get through the onboarding process.
How do you attract better new candidates?
You can do that by writing excellent and precise job descriptions, offering competitive compensation, employee development opportunities, and offering an excellent benefits package.
How do you engage candidates post-offer?
You can do that by sending them company newsletters, company videos, event information, and much more. Similarly, you can also showcase a clear view of how they can grow within the company and seek various opportunities.
How to keep passive candidates engaged?
Passive candidates are not looking for jobs, and therefore you can engage them by being honest and real. Do employer branding the right way and provide them with excellent and quick interview experience and offers.
Can technology help to improve candidate engagement?
Yes, you can make use of various HR automation tools and technology that can help you with not just tracking candidates but also with screening, interviewing and engaging using chatbots, automation and AI. This would allow you to manage bulk hiring and ensure that all candidates receive relevant updates and information.