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Top 8 Ways to Optimize Candidate Engagement and Reduce Your Drop-Off Rate

August 16, 2023

You spend weeks of time and effort in sourcing candidates, screening, shortlisting and conducting multiple recruitment rounds. If this was not enough, add up to that the incessant competition among brands for quality talent. After all the rigorous recruitment processes, candidates dropping off at the very end of the funnel, 20% more than earlier, has made recruiters’ lives tougher. Wondering what’s the way through? Effective candidate engagement - if executed well with the right strategy, can reduce a majority of the hassle for people at both sides of the table.

It’s not a new practice that needs to be adopted but has more to do with improving the entire recruitment.  We tried solving this critical problem for you and have come up with the top ways you can minimize the candidate drop-off rate.

As recruitment is getting closer to marketing, the idea is to put your feet in candidates’ shoes and optimize for their experience. From the convenient application process to consistent communication, numerous best practices will help you and your organization in hiring the best talent. Let’s now dive straight in for a comprehensive insight on candidate engagement.

What is Candidate Engagement and Why is it Important?

All the touchpoints of an organization’s interaction with candidates sum up to define candidate engagement. To understand it better, let’s try to break down the recruitment process into parts. Take a look at how candidate engagement is connected to each of the stages in the recruitment journey:

  • Sourcing -  The way you define your business, job roles and what you expect from candidates. Outreach and candidate nurturing are also part of engagement while in the sourcing stage.
  • Applications - Once a candidate applies for your role, how do you get in touch and update them about the further process. Are they able to track their application status?
  • Shortlisting - 53% of surveyed candidates said they didn’t get any notifications for 3 months after applying. It’s surely one of the most critical mistakes that recruiters do after shortlisting. Candidate engagement involves notifying all candidates of their results.
  • Assessment - Do you convey clear information about the assessments that they’re expected to overcome? Do you ask for their feedback specifically for the assessment process?

Remember that recruiting doesn’t end with your requirements being met or when you hire a candidate. You need to inform others about the closing. Ensuring a positive candidate experience through active engagement in the recruitment journey builds strong relationships with them and enables the trust factor. Let’s take a look at the most critical reasons why you need to focus on candidate engagement:

  1. Recruitment Space is More Competitive Than Ever

First things first, you are not the only organization looking for candidates. With less than 27% of people in the workforce looking actively for jobs, it’s only becoming trickier for recruiters. The market is purely candidate-driven right now, and you need to do everything possible to ensure a fascinating recruitment experience for them. In fact, 75% of employed people say that positive candidate experience influenced their decision to accept the job offer. Organizations who stand out among the competition through shorter and well-defined hiring processes, inclusive candidate experience and continuous updates – surely have an upper hand in onboarding the top talent.

  1. Engagement Directly Impacts Your Employer Brand

Your reputation as an employer is driven by the kind of candidate engagement that you offer. Digitization has made the world smaller where everyone is closely connected and even a minor negative experience might harm your brand. According to a survey, over 60% of job seekers have been mistreated during recruitment. This is another critical area which you cannot afford to miss out on. It’s not just about maintaining an employer's brand - 80% of recruiters claim that attracting top candidates is a function of a positive reputation. You don’t want candidates to publicly talk about their not-so-good recruiting experiences with your organization, which can be solved with consistent and quality engagement.

  1. You Want To Reduce the Time to Hire

Top talent is available only for 10 days in the market - you probably already know that. What you might not know is how effective engagement helps cut down the time to hire. And it’s a win-win for both the parties involved. How? Modern businesses want to engage at scale and hire fast. The optimal path towards achieving that is capitalizing on candidate engagement. A good amount of interaction and communication with potential candidates pushes them to start and complete the recruitment process faster. 

  1. Reduces Drop-Off at the End of Recruitment Funnel

One of the recruiters’ most painful problems today – is candidates dropping out from the bottom of the funnel. The demand and supply gap in talent acquisition is huge and talented candidates are being approached by multiple organizations at any given time. Passive candidate sourcing has become a norm - and that further makes the talent pool even more volatile. Keeping your candidates deeply involved throughout the recruitment process and assisting them significantly impacts your drop-off rate. How? The more they feel engaged by you, the higher efforts they put into the assessment and to achieve the role. 

Productive engagement strategies do a lot more than just grabbing the eyes of top talent. It should be noted that both employer and consumer brands are connected. Hence, candidate engagement involves both short-term and long-term goals for organizations from all sides. 

Although being a very straightforward concept, candidate engagement is usually quite testing for recruiters. So don’t feel bad at all when a candidate drops out - over 75% of them do this. 

Saying that it’s about keeping candidate-centric throughout recruitment is a very high-level view. We need to dive deep to know how exactly we can reduce candidate drop-off at the end of the recruitment funnel.

Here’s a list of the top ways you can utilize candidate engagement to prevent candidates from dropping off.

How To Optimize Candidate Engagement for Reducing Drop-Off?

As much as 65% of candidates drop off from a job opening due to negative experience in the recruiting process. The need of the hour for recruiters is to make the candidates feel heard and show that you care for them. Moreover, attracting their interest in your primary offerings, brand and mission can be exceptionally beneficial for the overall recruitment results.

  1. Share Essential Information About the Hiring Process

No matter what type of engagement it is, communication always holds the key. Over 63% of candidates say that recruiters do not communicate adequately about the hiring process and they are often unaware of essential steps. To ensure maximum candidate retention throughout the recruitment and for optimal recruitment results, it’s vital that you share detailed information covering each step of the hiring journey. From expected skills, experience and the time to complete the whole process – knowing everything would help candidates in preparing for the recruitment optimally. 

The top platform for job seekers looking to apply for roles at your organization is the company website - 24.82%, followed by job boards - 24.5%. Hence, it is equally important that the information which is presented on your website and job boards is comprehensive.

  1. Respond to Applicants Faster

It’s one of the severe issues faced by a majority of job applicants. Over 53% of the surveyed candidates did not get any response from employers for 3 months after applying. This practice harms your candidate engagement and needs to be solved. Try staying completely transparent with candidates about the hiring standards, this would help you standardize the shortlisting and for them - it would help in understanding the expectations.

On the other hand, no job seeker applies just for one company. You might also lose out on pulling the talent down the funnel if you wait and don’t act.

  1. Create a Fixed Timeline and Stick to it

The best thing you can ever do for a smooth recruitment process, optimal candidate experience and for quality talent acquisition is to develop a strict yet realistic timeline and constantly move along with it. As per a candidate engagement survey, it was found that over 50% of job seekers declined a job offer due to poor candidate experience.

Having a predefined schedule for various stages of recruitment immensely enhances candidate engagement and experience. Additionally, note that having a timeline doesn’t mean that you need to have fixed dates for recruitment activities. You can move forward with deciding timeframes and informing your candidates about the same while the time of application.

  1. Get Candidates Excited about Working for You: Employee Branding

What comes to your mind when you hear - employer branding? For candidates - it’s undoubtedly one of the most impactful factors while applying for a job. 53% of job seekers mentioned poor employer brand and reputation as one of the reasons for leaving a previous job. Additionally, 20% mentioned that it was the main reason they resigned from their jobs. It is evident that building your brand as an employer is more important than ever. How do you do that?

  • Position your organization as the most preferable workplace through internal and external communications.
  • Put serious efforts into improving your overall workspace environment 
  • Proactively market your brand and attract candidates to your website careers page and social media handles.
  • Promote your work culture, employee stories and community extensively.

  1. Set up Automation to Speed Up Candidate Engagement 

Engaging consistently and sharing timely reminders manually with hundreds of applicants ends up being too overwhelming for recruiters. But you can’t afford to be inconsistent with updating the candidates at the same time. It’s not just about the tedious tasks, but the accuracy could duffer too which can directly impact your employer's brand and candidate experience. 

If you’re also sourcing passive candidates, which is a common practice now – automating the outreach, nurturing and engagement would help get rid of the heavy admin work. As a recruiter, your efforts should be focused on analytical assessment tasks. That helps you attain maximum productivity.

You can use automation software and delegate the pipeline management, candidate outreach and engagement. 

  1. Discuss Interview Timings

A common mistake that recruiters unknowingly do is to schedule an interview without discussing the candidate’s availability. It was a preferred practice in traditional face-to-face physical interviews, but with virtual interviews becoming the primary mode of interaction – it’s not the case now. Before scheduling an interview with candidates, you should discuss the date and time well in advance. 

It’s one of the direct factors contributing to the drop-off rate too. You need to understand candidates might have more interviews or they might be busy with some other work.

A lot of companies even ask candidates to choose among a number of available interview slots. Such flexibility ensures convenient candidate engagement and a fascinating candidate experience. 

  1. Follow Up Inactive Candidates

The slow repliers and people not responding after a while should be followed up consistently by recruiters. You should always take care of the possibility of candidates missing out on your outreach due to various reasons. Especially, if you feel that a candidate can be a great addition to your organization’s talent pool, follow up multiple times and try a getting response. 

Following up in recruitment is similar to that in sales. So, if a candidate doesn't respond at all, you should drop the idea and focus on other candidates.

  1. Ask for Feedback and Deliver it

A successful candidate engagement strategy cannot be complete without feedback. Similarly, the recruitment process is hard to optimize without input from candidates about their experience. At every stage of the hiring journey, candidates should be provided with constructive feedback. Not only does this improve the candidate experience, but being transparent and active also helps in developing a positive relationship with them. They take away actionable pointers and often appreciate your efforts in improving them professionally.

On the other hand, asking for feedback from all of your candidates - regardless of their results would help immensely help you in the long run. You get to see your recruitment process through numerous perspectives and hence extract insights from your recruitment that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. Ask for feedback proactively to learn and grow as an employer.

Boost Your Candidate Engagement With NurtureBox

Candidate engagement covers all the stages of the recruitment journey. When you scale your recruitment, which you need to do for the organization’s growth - handling various tasks and executing them to perfection cannot be done manually. You need an automated solution that assists you in optimizing your candidate engagement and experience - Nurturebox enables you and your recruitment teams to 

  • Automate multi-channel outreach, 
  • Engage proactively with candidates at a scale
  • Manage candidate pipeline effectively
  • Measure and analyze the performance of candidate engagement campaigns

Along with delegating the mundane tasks and ensuring a better life for your recruitment teams, automation also helps you serve a prolific candidate experience along with productive engagement.

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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