How To Engage Candidates During The Recruitment Process

By Melissa Coutts September 23, 2021 | Posted in Our Blog

By Melissa Coutts September 23, 2021

Ever applied for a job, put in a strong application, fancied your chances, but ended up never hearing back from the company that advertised the vacancy?

Frustrating, isn’t it? Highly so.

Would you ever consider engaging with that company again and applying for one of their vacancies? We’re going to go out on a limb here and say, no, you probably wouldn’t.

As a leading recruitment agency based in the North East but operating across the UK, we don’t understand why organisations would take the risk of losing out on great candidates through such poor recruitment process practices.

Read on, then, to find out how your company can engage great candidates – and, equally as important, keep them engaged!

It’s A Candidate’s Job Market

The UK unemployment rate is incredibly low (4.8% at the time of writing, having fallen 0.3% in the last quarter)

Companies are on a recruitment spree

There are currently more than one million job vacancies

Candidate Experience

All this means that it’s a candidate’s market, and that companies are having to fight for the talent they need to survive and thrive.

A Changed World

Time was when companies held all the cards when it came to the recruitment process.

People in need of a ‘situation’ or ‘position’ would approach employers in their local area by sending them speculative letters, dropping off CVs, calling HR departments and even making enquiries in person at reception to see if there were any suitable vacancies going.

That all sounds rather quaint now.

Today, we live in a fast-paced digital world where people have so much choice.

People seeking employment don’t need to apply to the town’s largest employer in the hope of taking the first vaguely suitable thing that comes up.

And that’s because the world is your oyster if you’re a talented candidate.

There’s the option of remote work, work from home and the chance to work for multinational organisations with offices or facilities in easily accessible UK locations.

Transport is, although far from perfect, certainly quicker than it was 20-30 years ago.

And the internet – and digital communication in the form of online job ads, social media and so forth – have opened up endless global, national and local job opportunities.

People seeking employment are therefore more willing than ever to be more selective about prospective employers – and disregard those that don’t make the effort to properly engage with them.

What Is Candidate Engagement? And Why Does It Matter?

In short, Candidate Engagement in this digital and data-driven world of ours is about attracting quality candidates and engaging with them through targeted digital advertising, email, creative marketing, social media and other engaging activities.

 Recruitment Agency For Job

Companies need to get on the candidate’s radar, as opposed to the other way around. It’s about:

  • Targeting the right kinds of candidates based on their experience, qualifications and personality type
  • Building talent pools filled with these suitable prospective employees
  • Keeping them engaged
  • Wrestling them away from your competitors

The Importance Of Employee Brand

We’ll be among the very first to say that developing great work cultures isn’t all about perks and benefits. It’s about building strong and happy teams with shared goals.

But, hey, it doesn’t half help to put some of those sexy benefits on show when you’re trying to attract and engage the right kind of talent to your organisation.

Why else do you think Google and the Silicon Valley tech giants put so much effort into showcasing their funky, technicolour offices filled with wacky slides, beanbags, meditation areas, swimming pools and talking sealions (OK, that last one might be made up)?

And why are companies of all shapes and sizes so keen to tell the world about their ethical stances, flexi working schemes and forward-thinking strategies? Again, because they know that it’s not just their customers that want to hear about these practices, but the candidates they’re looking to attract as well.

Patient Thresholds Are Diminishing

Did you know that good-quality candidates are typically only in the market for 10 days before being snapped up?

And that companies recruiting new talent lose 89% of candidates due to slow and clunky recruitment processes?

Candidate Engagement

The talented candidates that you need to drive your company forward won’t hang around long if you don’t quickly engage them and keep their attention. Because they don’t have to; and they don’t want to.

Don’t want to? Doesn’t that sound strange?

No, not when you consider that attention spans are decreasing all the time and that the digitally native millennials (who will account for three-quarters of the Western World’s workforce in a few years’ time, by the way) won’t wait for your company to engage and take them swiftly through the recruitment process.

How To Improve Your Candidate Engagement Process

Speed is of the essence! Time waits for no man! All ancient sayings, yet hugely relevant to the recruitment process in the 2020s.

1. Develop a far-reaching (but also highly targeted) recruitment marketing strategy

Find candidates with all the skills and experience you need in further afield places through targeted activations like Google and LinkedIn ads, and other digital marketing activations.

If you’re not doing this now or prepared to do it soon, you’re going to be missing out on great talent that your competitors will gladly gobble up.

2. Faster, faster, faster!

Good grief, whatever you do, don’t leave applicants waiting around to hear back from you. Acknowledge their applications, thank them, tell them what the next stage of the process will be.

3. Keep them in the loop

Let candidates know about any potential snags or hold-ups. Make sure that they understand every stage of your recruitment process, and what happens next.

4. Give them feedback

On a similar note, the chances are that you’re going to get disappointed candidates moaning and ranting about you online – in influential spaces like LinkedIn and Glassdoor – if you just go back to them with a bald ‘Sorry, you haven’t been successful on this occasion’.

Job Interview Feedback

Be prepared to (professionally and kindly) tell them why, and give them the encouragement to apply for vacancies with you again in the future.

If you do, you’ll get rave reviews online that will enhance your reputation as a great potential employer (which, in turn, will go down very well with your customers and shareholders).

5. Get the detail right

Don’t treat candidates like numbers – they’re people.

Don’t group and stereotype them. Treat them – as best as you can, through techniques like mass one-to-one marketing – as individuals.

Get to understand what your candidates do and don’t like (e.g. an increasing number of people don’t like phone calls and prefer other means of communication like email or text) and what they’re really motivated by.

Final Thoughts

We don’t think there’s anything too complicated about the above. It’s about good marketing and good processes.

But it’s essential that you get everything right if you want to attract the talent that will help you succeed in the modern business landscape.

Need help with candidate engagement? Get in touch with the Recruitrite team today to attract and engage the right talent to take your organisation forward 

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