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5 Effective Candidate Engagement Strategies to Ensure a Strong Funnel

September 8, 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. 

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