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5 Effective Candidate Engagement Strategies to Ensure a Strong Funnel

October 27, 2022

How will you feel when a promising candidate drops out just at the last stage?

It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

For recruiters, candidates who don't follow through are a nightmare. It costs you hours of work and money, significantly eating away at your profits.

Not everyone who applies responds to job listings. Moreover, job seekers often give up on applications before getting back to them, even if they are interested. The reason?

Poor candidate engagement.

When hiring in volumes, losing track of your candidates is easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to get through all the applications. This is especially true if you receive hundreds of applications from multiple sources. 

How can you engage the candidates interested in your job listings until you get back to them? What's the best way to keep a candidate interested while they wait for an interview or feedback?

At the end of this article, you will get the answer. 

What is candidate engagement?

Candidate engagement is a practice that takes place throughout the recruitment journey. It stretches across all touchpoints—from employer branding through an application, assessment, and a job offer to onboarding new hires in their first weeks at your company.

Let's look at it this way: Every communication a person has with an employer before submitting an application in the recruitment process.

Recruitment is about more than just putting suitable candidates through a process. It's also about ensuring those candidates have multiple opportunities to engage with your brand during their journey from application to offer.

Candidate engagement strategies in different phases

It’s merely a cakewalk if you have only countable applications on your table. You can create better candidate engagement strategies and fill your spots with talents. On the other hand, creating better candidate engagement becomes a nightmare if you have a pool of applications. 

Of course, you will select a handful of candidates for your job opening and neglect the masses. But if you can’t create a better candidate experience, you may lose a talent in the cracks, as about 58% of job seekers have declined a job offer due to poor candidate experience. 

To ensure that your recruitment efforts succeed even when hiring many people, here are the different stages of a candidate's journey and simple strategies to increase candidate engagement.

Stage 1: Awareness 

This is the first stage where a candidate comes into contact with your brand name. If you want the candidate to apply for the job, you must spread the word! This stage often begins with recruitment marketing. It’s a system that helps you attract and fill your pipeline with qualified candidates, from the job descriptions to career pages on Glassdoor. 

If you are using an outbound recruiting strategy, make sure to use multi-channel recruiting. This means that you should use more than one channel to attract candidates. In this case, you can use outbound recruitment tools to make the journey as smooth as possible.

Candidate engagement action for this stage: 

To create a successful recruitment marketing strategy, you need to leverage the right technology (like applicant tracking systems and sourcing tools), empower your employees to share referrals, and focus on building an employer brand.

  • Leverage the importance of employer brand: An employer brand that is authentic and well-defined gives you a competitive advantage by enabling you to attract the right talent. This is the key to attracting the best candidates for your roles and reducing your time to fill them. You can hire faster and at a lower cost when you attract more talent.
  • Get them excited about your company: Show candidates how much your existing employees love working for you, and make sure the careers section of your website is set up so that it's easy for them to find. Promote generous community involvement in addition to what makes your company unique—make potential hires feel like they would be a valuable asset from day one! 

Stage 2: Consideration 

Once the candidate is aware of the job opening at your organization, they will start hunting for trustworthy information about your organization to decide whether to apply for the position or not. Thus, ensuring a solid and positive presence on social media and Glassdoor will help you gain traction. 

Candidate engagement action for this stage: 

  • Make positive impressions on your company: People are more likely to trust recommendations from others they know than ever before, so companies need to use social media platforms such as Twitter and Glassdoor. You can make your social media content like “life at (your organization)” to give a better impression. 
  • Make them captivated to work with your company: You can show potential candidates about your company using company videos. Engage candidates with something captivating. Visiting your workplace, watching a video of what it's like to work there, and chatting with other employees online can give people an idea of what they'd be missing by not joining the company.
  • Have a branded career site: On top of everything, a branded career site is essential for keeping the pipeline warm and generating candidate interest. Your career site should educate candidates about your company while making a lasting first impression—so it's critical to treat this channel as such! 

Pro tip: Establish a network of contacts that keeps candidates in the loop about available opportunities, even when they are not necessarily a perfect fit for anything.

Stage 3: Interest 

Now you have the talents on the hook; you just need to roll them in! In this stage, the candidate will start scanning the job descriptions to check their compatibility with your job opening. It is possible to end up waving off talented people if you have used a cookie-cutter job description. 

Candidate engagement action for this stage:

  • Create compelling job descriptions: The first step is building rock-solid and engaging job descriptions that stand out from others. Write persuasive job advertisements that hook the interest and inform candidates to ensure a large pool of high-quality applicants.
  • Be straightforward with your language: Use language that conveys the benefits and rewards of working at your organization, and redirect them to your company career page or social media handles. This pushes them a step closer to the application stage. 
  • Leverage the power of content marketing: Build your reputation as an employer of choice by creating and publishing unique and interesting recruiting content that matters to prospective candidates. Generate interest in your organization, capturing attention online, so applicants find it easily when looking for jobs.
  • Use chatbots to fill hidden gaps: You cannot personally respond to every candidate's question about your positions, processes, and opportunities, but many of these questions will be repeated. In this scenario, you can use chatbots to answer common questions. Chatbots could be the difference between your candidates losing interest and staying engaged with your recruitment process.
  • Create more transparency in the recruitment process: To help job seekers to make informed decisions, you should provide the candidates with all the information they need. This includes the job description, salary range, and benefits information, as well as company culture. A report from Career plug suggests that around 39% of respondents expected to be informed about compensation in the initial job post, as well as many other details. This can help you attract people who are looking for a specific type of position, as well as those who are ready to learn and grow. 

Stage 4: Evaluation 

It’s the stage where you rack your shelves with the right talents. You will want to identify whether the candidate is a good match for your organization. While you don’t want to turn candidates off of your job opportunities due to an interview process that takes too long, you also do not want one that is too short and doesn’t give enough information about the position or company.

Be sure to train hiring managers on effective interview techniques, such as providing prompt updates and answers.

Candidate engagement action for this stage:

  • Inform the candidates about the progress: If you receive an application, send a confirmation message to the applicant regarding their submission and the following steps rather than throwing them in the dark. You should treat these notifications as an opportunity to strengthen your relationships with candidates who do not make the next round of interviews. You can do these with power automation without worrying about the efforts involved. 
  • Don’t rely on a single platform: Now, you have to contact all the applicants and inform them about the shortlisting process! And another challenge is you can’t rely on the emails alone. A week could pass before potential candidates see your job alerts, allowing your competitors to beat you to top talent! That’s why it’s essential to contact talents where they are more active. Automation tool like Nurturebox lets you use multi-channel messages, such as emails, calls, and text messages, to communicate with job seekers to get the perfect talents. 
  • Build an engaging process: If you have many applications, conducting tons of interviews is impossible as it will cost you effort and money. Instead, shortlist the best talents by completing a short assessment. To make it more engaging, try including, 
  • Gamified assessment 
  • Situational judgemental tests 
  • Open-ended questions 

Use a technology that lets you do this and score the candidates accordingly. You can shortlist the best talents from this short assessment. This process helps you to find and eliminate toxic candidates while sticking with the right candidates. 

Stage 5: Close the candidate 

Congratulations! You've convinced the candidate to apply, identified them as a good match for your company, and extended an offer. But even after they accept, your work isn't done yet—there are still some things you need to prepare before you welcome that new employee into their first day on the job.

If you want your new employee to be productive from day one, they must begin their training and induction process as soon as they've accepted the job.

Candidate engagement action for this stage:

  • Send them feedback: Feedback is a crucial part of the hiring process. When applicants don't hear back from you, they often worry that their application was unsuccessful and feel frustrated at not knowing what happened next in the hiring process. So ensure that you keep them informed of their application status. Even if they are not selected, send them an email thanking them for applying and letting them know they were a strong candidate. This helps candidates feel like they've been heard, which is especially important if they don't get the job. 
  • Engagingly greet them: To welcome new team members, have existing members reach out to them ahead of their first day and provide a schedule for the person's first week on your project. These interactions are about creating meaningful connections and building a network of support for team members. It’s about helping them feel like they belong, which helps with retention and engagement.
  • Make the onboarding process memorable: Greet them by sending company swag or other gifts as a welcome. It’s not about the gift itself but about showing that you care about them and want to make them feel comfortable in their new role. This makes it easier for people to start contributing immediately and feel good about working for your company.

And last but not least, ask new hires to write a Glassdoor review about their experience interviewing at your company.

Nurture your candidates never like before with Nurturebox

To this point, you must understand the primary thing in your recruitment journey: candidate engagement. You may lose a bright talent in the dark without proper candidate engagement and nurturing. 

And if you have too many applications, juggling between interviews, it can be hard to get a good feel for each applicant. In this case, 

  • How about having an automation tool that can send a sequence of automated messages on the active platforms where your candidates are?
  • How about an assistant who can collect all the information about the candidate and fill your pipeline with qualified candidates?
  • How about analyzing the candidate engagement campaign at a glance?

If you have imagined a positive and pleasant result for your endeavors, you require such software that can wear multiple hats–which is nothing but Nurturebox. Apart from easing the works of your recruitment team and lubricating the pipeline friction, Nurturebox lets you serve better candidate engagement as well! 

Are you wondering about how it even helps you to work efficiently in your recruitment process? You are just a click away from starting your free account! Don’t hesitate to deliver better candidate engagement; at the end of the day, it helps you attract the right talent to your spot. 

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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