The number of job opportunities have dropped since Quarter 4 of 2019 and certain industries are hit harder than others by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, there is an abundance of quality talent waiting to be recruited into your team. While your company is on the lookout for talent, consideration should also be given to central components to the recruitment process like candidate engagement. This concept is especially critical to businesses now as the job market shifts in the wake of recovery from the pandemic. Since not everyone might be aware of what candidate engagement is, let’s start with that.
What is Candidate Engagement?
Candidate engagement is the process and subsequent measurement of continually communicating with your pool of candidates via text, mail or face-to-face whether or not you have vacancies available. It places importance on how candidates feel during the whole recruitment and hiring process. Candidate engagement differs from candidate experience in that candidate engagement doesn’t just deal with the candidate’s short term perception of the company. How then, is candidate engagement important?
Costs of Mismanagement of Candidate Engagement
The costs of mismanagement of candidate engagement can be astonishing. Data from a survey by CareerBuilder shows that 42% of candidates who have had bad experiences when applying to a company will never apply there again, and 22% of them will tell other people to not apply. This leads to a huge downstream impact on your employer brand (hyperlink) or your brand as a whole. On the other hand, a positive candidate experience nets you an ambassador (of sorts) for your company.
While you might think candidate engagement applies only to traditional recruitment, it actually applies to e-recruiting as well. What are some of the things you can do to improve candidate engagement in terms of e-recruitment?
How to Improve Candidate Engagement
Hiring when there’s only a couple of vacancies and relatively few candidates doesn’t seem to be very hard. The difficulty ramps up once the volume of hiring increases. It can get tricky to keep track of everything. That’s why recruiters should ideally have a proper system in place to collate candidate info, personal data storage and so on. Tools like JustLogin and RecruiterPal can assist recruiter and HR personnel in their daily tasks.
Transparency is the Best Policy
Something else that’s related and worth nothing is: provide timelines to candidates, and stick to them. Leaving candidates wondering where their application went will most likely leave a bad impression, or worse, discourage them from working at your company. Keep them up to date as the recruiting process progresses. Most candidates also appreciate any feedback you can give them, especially if they were unsuccessful in their endeavour. Research done by TalentBoard shows that job seekers are 52% more likely to be invested in maintaining a relationship with a company if they receive feedback the same day after an interview. That’s markedly higher than the 41% of candidates that only received process related communications from the recruiter.
It’s all well and good to be professional in the course of work, but there are tangible benefits to taking the vantage point as a friend (or at least friendly) with candidates. Top tier recruiters have a very rich talent pipeline that stems from their networking skills. Candidates don’t exist in a vacuum. Engage with them continuously, talk to them, and you’ll eventually connect with them enough to know whether they’ve joined another company in the same industry. It might be an opportunity for future collaborations. Candidates that you keep in touch with may recommend people to apply at your company. You never know.
More Talent Pipeline “Hacks”
Let’s wrap up the candidate engagement segment with a couple of good things to remember. First, recruiters should be building pipelines even when there are 0 vacancies. It seems counterintuitive, but you’ll have the resumes on hand when hiring season kicks in. Set up a nice career page that details how good an employer you are, let candidates know that they can drop you their resumes any time.
Recruiters should also remember to tap on the company’s existing workforce. Never underestimate referrals from their own employees. In our previous article, we mentioned that candidates tend to trust employees more than the employers on whether the company is a great place to work at. This applies here as well.
There are multiple factors to consider – company culture, the candidate’s personality, their quality of work, and more. That’s why it can be a good idea to bring candidates in to see if they’re a good fit. Job sharing, internships and career trials are viable ways to get to know whether a candidate is suitable for a company, even if it’s on a part-time basis.
As we recover from the worldwide pandemic, and when the economy picks up, it will be increasingly challenging for recruiters to improve candidate engagement. Be that as it may, it is well worth the time and effort to treat candidates as more than mere numbers. Treating candidates right is the long term move to make both for recruitment and your brand as a whole.
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