7 Simple Steps to Boost Your Candidate Engagement
You spend a lot of time thinking about employee engagement, but do you ever consider candidate engagement and how it might be affecting your hiring process?
Improving candidate engagement is essential if you want to level up your company’s hiring process and have an easier time bringing on qualified candidates. Read on to learn more about what candidate engagement is, why it matters, and how you can change your recruiting strategy to boost it.
What Is Candidate Engagement?
The term “candidate engagement” refers to the process a hiring manager has implemented to stay in contact with the candidate pool when recruiting for a specific position. The candidate engagement process involves a variety of communication methods, including text, email, and face-to-face conversations.
Candidate engagement also involves two parties:
⦁ Internal staff: Employees who understand the candidate’s journey and facilitate the processes needed to keep them engaged
⦁ Candidates: The people who are applying for a particular position — they are typically segmented based on their skills, experience, etc.
The internal staff must work hard to provide a positive candidate experience and keep candidates engaged throughout the application and interview process. Otherwise, they may move on and apply to work for another company instead.
Candidate Engagement vs Candidate Experience
It’s important to note that candidate engagement is not the same thing as candidate experience.
“Candidate experience” refers to a person’s perception of the entire recruiting and hiring process. “Candidate engagement,” however, is a distinct element of candidate experience. It specifically involves staying in touch with candidates and providing insight into the business and the various stages of the hiring process.
Why Does Candidate Engagement Matter?
If you haven’t been thinking a lot about candidate engagement, now is the perfect time to start. The following are some of the most noteworthy reasons to take candidate engagement seriously:
Increased Candidate Interest
When you make it a priority to increase candidate engagement, you’ll likely notice an uptick in the amount of interest your job ads generate. You’ll have an easier time getting people interested in applying for the job and working for your company.
Increased Job Ad Reach
Not only will people be more interested in applying for your job, but they’ll also be more likely to share the ad with other job seekers. This helps you to increase your reach and attract a larger pool of applicants. As a result, you and your team will have more talented and qualified people to choose from.
Reduced Candidate Dropout Rate
By focusing on candidate engagement and keeping people invested throughout the application process, you’ll notice a reduction in the number of people who drop out along the way. This saves you from wasting time reaching out to people who have already found a new job and are no longer interested in the position.
Increased New-Hire Happiness
If you keep people engaged throughout the entire application process, you’ll notice that they’re more excited about starting the job and feel happier once they’ve been hired.
Your new hires will be confident and engaged during the onboarding process. They will also carry that enthusiasm over into their everyday responsibilities when they officially start working.
7 Ways to Boost Candidate Engagement
Now that you understand more about the importance of candidate engagement, your next step is to start improving engagement among your potential applicants. Listed below are 7 steps you can implement today:
1. Create an Engaging and Interactive Pre-Selection Process
An engaging pre-selection process is especially important for companies doing high-volume hiring (i.e.: hiring for a lot of open positions within a specific time frame).
You may not have the time or resources to manually screen every single applicant. However, by using an online assessment early on in the application process, you can streamline hiring while also providing candidates with insights into your company and gathering valuable data about them.
What kind of assessment should you use during the pre-selection process? Some of the most popular options include:
• Personality tests (The Big Five Model, Myers-Briggs, etc.)
• Situational judgment tests (assessments that present a common work problem and ask applicants to explain how they would handle it)
• Cognitive assessments (assessments that test candidates’ intellectual ability and general aptitudes)
These kinds of assessments are typically quick and easy to complete. However, they still tell you a lot about each applicant and help you to narrow down your selection without having to manually review every single resume or application that comes your way.
2. Make Your Company Seem More Exciting
You’ll have an easier time attracting talented, skilled applicants if you’re presenting your company as a fun and exciting place to work. Two of the best ways to do this include:
• Levelling up your social media: Start posting regularly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
• Upgrading your recruitment page: Update the content on your recruitment page, and be sure to include pictures, videos, and other media to get people interested in what you have to offer.
Be sure to diversify the kinds of media you’re sharing online, too. For example, if you frequently share images of your business and your team members, consider switching it up with a video every once in a while. This increases engagement and makes your company look a lot more appealing.
3. Let People Know When You’ve Received Their Application
Have you ever applied for a job and never heard a word from the company? Did you think that your application was lost in the ether? Did you contemplate whether or not you should resend it?
If the company had sent you a courtesy email and let you know they received your application, that probably would have relieved a lot of stress and anxiety for you, right?
If you said yes to any of these questions, you should probably do your applicants a favour and send a confirmation email after their application lands in your inbox. This can provide them with peace of mind and offers insight into what they can expect moving forward.
In addition to letting them know you received the application, be sure to include some other details in this email. For example, thank them for sending over their resume, and let them know when the application closing date is. You can let them know when they should expect to hear back from you, too.
4. Offer and Abide by a Hiring Timeline
Along with sharing the information mentioned in the previous section, it’s also helpful if you can provide applicants with a hiring timeline.
Let people know how many steps are involved in your recruitment process and where they are currently. This prevents you from hitting them with unpleasant or unnecessary surprises. It also increases the likelihood that they’ll stay engaged and invested throughout every stage.
Set clear expectations for every stage as well. Let them know what kind of interview they’ll be attending (group, one-on-one, etc.) and when, roughly, you’ll be making your final hiring decision.
If any timeline delays pop up, inform applicants immediately. Send an email and let them know that you have to push things back because of a high volume of applicants, a glitch in your scheduling system, etc. Don’t leave them hanging.
5. Start Using a Chatbot
It’s not uncommon for applicants to ask a lot of questions throughout the hiring process. They might want to know more about the job, the application timeline, specific dates, etc.
If you don’t have the time or bandwidth to answer all these questions promptly (and who can blame you?), consider adding a chatbot to your website’s recruitment page.
Chatbots are AI-powered tools that can answer a lot of frequently asked questions for you. This saves you a lot of time and prevents you from leaving applicants’ questions unanswered for hours or days at a time.
Some people might be a little wary of chatbots at first. However, these days, chatbots are incredibly common, and a lot of internet users have interacted with them without even realising it!
If you take the time to select the right chatbot, there’s no reason why you can’t automate certain aspects of your hiring process while also increasing engagement and improving the candidate experience at the same time.
6. Automate the Scheduling Process
How much time have you wasted in the past calling or emailing applicants to try and set up an interview? How challenging is it to try and coordinate schedules, especially when you’re trying to fill a lot of open positions? Have you ever given up on a candidate, even though they were perfectly qualified, just because you couldn’t connect with them for an interview?
In addition to using a chatbot to automate the process of answering candidate questions, you may also want to automate the scheduling process. With the right tools, you can allow applicants to schedule their own interviews based on your availability and theirs.
Automating interview scheduling is particularly helpful for high-volume hiring.
Automation allows you to help applicants choose their interview time, location, and more so they show up when it’s most convenient for them. It takes a lot off of your plate, too, and frees you up to focus on other, more pressing matters.
7. Follow Up with Feedback
Remember how frustrating it is to not hear from an employer to find out how if they received your application? If so, you probably also know how frustrating it is to not find out whether or not you got the job — or why you were rejected.
Always follow up with applicants and let them know when they weren’t selected to continue with the hiring process. The job search process is hard enough. Don’t leave people waiting around any longer than is necessary.
Provide some insight into why they weren’t selected as well. Did they lack specific skills? Did they seem like they weren’t a good personality fit? What can they do differently in the future to increase their chances of being hired or making it farther the next time they apply?
You may also want to provide a “How did we do?” questionnaire, too. Feedback isn’t just valuable for job seekers. It’s also valuable for employers. Sending out this kind of questionnaire gives you a chance to find out how you can fine-tune things in the future, provide a better candidate experience, and increase candidate engagement.
Final Thoughts on Boosting Candidate Engagement
Improving candidate engagement is a must if you want to improve your hiring process, fill vacancies faster, and increase employee engagement and productivity. Keep the tips listed above in mind so you can start boosting candidate engagement right away.
If you need more help finding qualified candidates who are eager to hit the ground running, be sure to start using Udrafter today. Our open marketplace allows you to easily search for diverse student and graduate talent and connect with quality candidates in no time.