When Employers Get Candidate Engagement Right

Peter Weddle

By Siobhan Brady on the Candidate.ID Blog

Are you finding that engaging and attracting talent is getting harder and more expensive? It’s no surprise that the candidate journey is changing as people are becoming more self-educated.

Candidates don’t have time to waste with employers who take too long to hire or who don’t communicate. Even if you’re going to reject a candidate, you need to do it in the right way. So, what can employers do to get candidate engagement right?

Showcase What Makes Your Company Unique

According to Jobvite’s Continuous Candidate Engagement whitepaper, candidates are more informed and have more choices. As companies struggle to find the right talent, candidates pick companies, not vice versa. These candidates are particularly educated and skilled who can pick and choose from plenty of options. Why should they join your organisation over another? You need to tell them why and you need a value proposition – why you’re better than your competition.

Organisations need to tell the story about their workplace and what it’s like to work there. They should promote their culture and their benefits. In this whitepaper from Resource Solutions it was found that 78% of companies include information about a range of employee benefits in their application process. No employer can interest candidates in their company without being honest about their benefits, so, on the whole, this expectation is being met.

Make a Good First Impression

There’s no denying that first impressions count, and as the saying goes – you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression. Candidates want to work for an organisation that shows them that they matter. They want to work for an organisation that treats them as a person, rather than a number. Developing relationships with candidates, for now, and in the future, is a great way to build confidence with them and leave a lasting impression. Recently, while using Candidate.ID, one of our Fortune 500 clients had some great feedback from one of their candidates following an ongoing email campaign.

Utilise Multi-Media

Take advantage of different types of media such as videos and images on career web pages, social media, and email. The more memorable and engaging your media, the more likely candidates will place your company at the top of their list. While some candidates may prefer communications via WhatsApp or text message rather than email, some candidates prefer videos and others might prefer infographics. Be aware of this when creating your content strategy and utilise multi-media.

Utilise Hiring Managers

The people that candidates really want to learn from are the thought leaders – heads of department, head of sales, etc. Utilise your hiring managers and make them a key component of your company’s talent brand. The very best candidates are often not looking for opportunities. They may have been promoted last year or are due to be promoted next year. They can see pay rises, progression and an exciting career in front of them without moving employers. Recruiters will find it very difficult to get them to take a call or open an email. Therefore, you must make sure your business leaders look great online or use them as the sender of an email campaign. Candidates are more likely to take notice of communications from a hiring manager than from a recruiter.

Speak to Candidates Like Potential Customers

It’s all about branding! Hiring the right person is critical to your brand and your brand is just as important in the recruitment process. Like any organisation, you want to attract the best candidate in order to be better than your competition.

Communicate with them in good time and don’t leave them waiting around for a response. Given that many companies do not do this, those which do will massively enhance their reputation as a good recruiter, even with those who are eventually rejected. A negative experience is more likely to be shared throughout an industry very quickly rather than a positive experience so make sure to communicate properly and treat them respectfully.

Automation and Candidate Engagement

Companies using automation software such as Candidate.ID are able to serve each person in their candidate database a superior personalised experience because talent pipeline automation knows each person’s preferences for content formats, channels, subjects and reception times.

According to The 2019 Talent Acquisition Landscape eBook companies who are still manually composing each message to candidates are wasting unnecessary time. Automating communications triggered by specific candidate behaviours helps companies maintain relationships with candidates on an ongoing basis (vs. simply when applicants are in an active interview process).

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