6 Trailblazing Candidate Engagement Strategies For Great Hires

Trailblazing Candidate Engagement Strategies

If promising talent keeps dropping out of your hiring process, your candidate engagement strategies may have gone stale. Candidate engagement is a key driver of candidate experience. It can also be a moving target. To be effective, your candidate engagement strategy should be responsive to your changing talent pool and advances in the every-day technology your candidates use.

The six trailblazing ideas that follow are delivering results for recruiting teams in healthcare, financial services, engineering and more. They may help spark a refresh of candidate engagement in your organization.

  1. Let’s start with a 2-for-1 candidate engagement story. At one innovative healthcare organization, when recruiters extend a job offer, candidates have the option to select where they’d like to work from a list of three locations. What a way to build engagement! After the TA team started delighting candidates with this strategy, they noticed one location in particular was attracting more new hires. When they visited the location, here’s what they found: Before candidates come to tour, the hiring manager there preps her staff so they take an active role in showing off their organization. She sets an expectation that her staff will help make candidates feel welcome, and the numbers say it’s a candidate engagement strategy that works.
  2. Give same-day feedback, at scale. New Talent Board research indicates candidates are 52% more likely to increase their relationship with a company (refer others, apply again, and make purchases as a customer) if they receive job-related feedback the same day as their interview.Companies are finding ways to give same-day feedback, at scale, in order to increase candidate engagement.

To implement this strategy in your organization, you’ll need to put a few things in place:

  • Solidify same-day feedback as a TA goal, and set up tracking
  • Encourage hiring managers to get on board. To make your case, let them know that speed is the competitive advantage in modern hiring, and that they’ll benefit on two fronts if they commit to your goal. First, their positions will likely be filled faster, and second, the increase in candidate engagement can help protect against the “ghosting” trend that’s become such a problem in many industries.  
  • Deploy an interviewing platform that can automate recruiting logistics, enable you to do on-demand and live voice and video interviews, and facilitates online collaboration with your hiring managers. If you’re aiming for same-day feedback for more than just a handful of candidates, technology’s essential.

3. Transition recruiters to job coach roles. This is another candidate engagement strategy that’s been effective for healthcare organizations: creation of the nurse recruiter position. Nurse recruiters help recent nursing graduates find their best-fit role in the organization. Not only do they help candidates and new hires understand the opportunities they offer as an employer, but they go further to help candidates define their job path based on their interests. Healthcare organizations are grooming experienced recruiters to transition to these new responsibilities, which require they know much more about their organization beyond job specifications. To build the levels of candidate engagement healthcare organizations are looking for, it also calls for coaching and relationship-building skills at new levels. It’s a dream job for recruiters whose passion is helping others find their dream job.

4. Build candidate engagement prior to application. Talent Board research found a 69% increase between 2017 and 2018 in employers using chatbots on their career sites, which is the go-to source of information for job seekers.  

Candidate Engagement chatbots

5. Extend the mindset about hiring as an experience, not a process. Most TA professionals say candidate experience is their top priority. Ways to drive candidate engagement go hand-in-hand. Now, TA teams are more effectively extending excellence in the candidate experience to the final stages in hiring. The period between job acceptance and Day One is prime time for increasing candidate engagement, reducing pre-start quits, and laying the foundation for long-term retention.

Companies are ramping up engagement during this onboarding phase with

  • AI-enabled onboarding systems that simplify forms management for new hires and reduce the time it takes to complete them
  • Interviewing platforms that let TA teams share welcome videos with new hires, and conversely, share videos made by new hires within the company prior to their start date.
  • Visual roadmaps that help new hires know what to expect in onboarding
  • An increase in phone communication by recruiters and hiring managers with candidates prior to Day One

6. Amplify your careers site with recruitment marketing. Recruiters are following the footsteps of their colleagues in Marketing to drive candidate engagement like never before. They’re applying the same proven communication strategies marketers use in order to build deeper connection with candidates. Think of your careers site as a window into the employment experience in your organization. How can you share that information and that feeling with candidates? Get candidates engaged and excited about working for you with employee testimonials, messages from company leaders, and images from social and team-building events. Be sure to describe your recruitment process, so they know what to expect and how they can proactively build the relationship with you.

As you consider new or refined approaches to your candidate engagement, make technology a factor. Text, AI-enabled chatbots, mobile apps and more have become vital candidate engagement tools. You can learn more about ways to get candidates to see you as their next employer in this brief article, The Truth About What's Hurting Your Candidate Experience.

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