5 Ways to Optimize the Candidate Experience with Engagement

5 Ways to Optimize the Candidate Experience with Engagement

Key Takeaways:

  • Organizations aiming to attract top talent must adopt a holistic and diverse strategy that encompasses branding, advertising, and creative candidate engagement tactics.
  • Engaging potential candidates before they apply involves sharing EVP highlights, employee testimonials, and benefits information to optimize the conversion of leads into applicants.
  • Consistent and transparent communication, especially through continuous updates about the hiring process, significantly improves the candidate experience and maintains applicant engagement.
  • Leveraging site analytics and tracking tools enables recruitment teams to identify areas for improvement in the candidate journey, optimizing the career site, landing pages, and engagement strategies.

As job seeker preferences continue to evolve, organizations that want to compete for talent effectively must take a holistic and multi-pronged approach to capturing candidate attention and holding it throughout the recruitment process. In addition to branding and advertising strategies that expand candidate reach and awareness, recruitment teams must also employ creative tactics to improve the candidate experience and keep candidates engaged through the application, interview, and selection process.

From the moment of awareness until a candidate is hired, there are dozens of touchpoints along the way that influence whether someone hits “apply” or loses interest and ultimately applies elsewhere. That’s why the candidate experience is so critical – it can mean the difference between qualified candidates who convert to hires and a lackluster talent pipeline that leaves open positions unfilled. In one survey, individuals who said they had a satisfying candidate experience were 38% more likely to accept a company’s job offer.

Here are five candidate engagement solutions that can help talent acquisition teams improve the candidate experience and convert more applicants into enthusiastic hires:


1. A High-Impact Career Site

While it’s true that prospective applicants have many paths to finding an organization’s open positions, a well-designed career site can be one of the most impactful tools for building awareness and promoting the company brand. In fact, a great career site doesn’t just provide a listing of job opportunities; it delivers a wealth of messaging and resources to help candidates determine whether to apply or not.

According to LinkedIn, 52% of candidates check out a company’s sites and social media before deciding to apply. As a result, organizations must have an easy-to-navigate career site that clearly articulates company culture and the employee value proposition (EVP). With a complete end-to-end talent engagement solution that begins with crafting a dynamic and informative career site, organizations can offer site visitors the following:

  • Relevant content to help candidates understand real employee experiences within the organization
  • A diverse mix of media types, including video, that bring the company culture to life
  • An effective search function that displays the open positions best aligned with candidates’ desired job characteristics
  • A chatbot and other interactive tools to help site visitors personalize their visit

Tip: When designed effectively, a career site can be as helpful to recruitment professionals as it is engaging to candidates. With the benefit of search engine optimization (SEO), seamless ATS integration, and site analytics, recruitment teams can pinpoint opportunities for improvement in the candidate journey and understand how well the career site helps to convert visitors to applicants.

recruitment marketing strategies


2. Landing Pages That Convert

Several variables can cause candidates to drop off before they complete an application, including an application process that is too long and cumbersome, a poorly articulated EVP, or a lack of compelling information about the position. As a result, talent acquisition teams must be laser-focused on using recruitment marketing tools that build candidate interest and encourage them to apply. A landing page is a great solution for accomplishing this because it offers a creative way to engage candidates who have signaled an openness to learning more. When done right, a landing page’s clear messaging and call to action can yield a conversion rate of close to one in ten visitors.

In addition to encouraging visitors to complete an application, recruitment landing pages also serve other purposes. Here are some of the ways organizations can use landing pages to deliver a richer, more informative candidate experience:

  • To promote hiring events such as job fairs, open houses, and campus recruiting days
  • To gather candidate contact information for future communications and nurturing
  • To share EVP highlights and lesser-known benefits of employment at the company
  • To promote incentives for referring other applicants
Tip: Organizations can also experiment with outside-the-box recruiting ideas when crafting landing pages, such as short links and QR codes to point candidates to branding content such as videos, testimonials, and future recruitment activities.


3. Pre-Apply Engagement

Today’s recruitment professionals know that building the talent pipeline with interested and engaged applicants takes a great deal of time and energy. Fortunately, modern recruitment technology enables busy recruitment teams to keep their attention on active candidates moving through the hiring process and keep other candidates in the pipeline engaged.

By evangelizing the EVP across the talent pool, the tech-enabled service optimizes the conversion of leads into applicants. Some examples of pre-apply candidate engagement include:

  • Sending interviewing tips to aid candidates in their job search
  • Sharing employee testimonials and “a day in the life” videos to highlight authentic employee experiences in the organization
  • A spotlight on benefits and total rewards available to new hires

Tip: According to Gartner, when candidates view the employee value proposition as attractive, the organization can reach 50% deeper into the labor market. To position the organization and clearly articulate the benefits it offers to employees, talent acquisition teams should periodically reassess and update the EVP.

candidate experience


4. Post-Apply Engagement

A lot can happen between the time someone completes a job application and the time they potentially receive a job offer. At any point along the way, candidates can change their minds or even engage in ghosting, which can cause once-full talent pipelines to lose applicants. However, post-apply engagement services can help recruitment teams keep applicants fully engaged by continuing to deliver relevant, timely recruitment messaging to candidates as they move through each stage of the candidate journey.

Post-apply engagement with built-in talent navigation tools automatically moves applicants to the next step in the hiring process based on their qualifications and disposition, resulting in a more efficient process for applicants who might otherwise drop off due to gaps or delays in communication.

Tip: In a CareerBuilder job seeker survey, 81% said that continuous communication and regular status updates would greatly improve their candidate experience. An automated post-apply engagement platform ensures applicants stay informed about where they stand in the hiring process.


5. Talent Re-engagement

Optimizing the candidate experience should also extend to former applicants and others who have had previous employment or engagement with the organization. Organizations can convert these individuals into current and active applicants by reintroducing the employer brand, value proposition, and current opportunities to candidates who have previously expressed interest. Re-engagement messaging can be targeted to reach any of the following:

  • Former interns
  • Retired and former employees who could become potential boomerang employees
  • “Silver medallist” candidates who ultimately didn’t receive a job offer
  • Previous applicants for other positions

Optimal candidate re-engagement uses targeted messaging to remind previous applicants of the reasons they initially applied, whether it was more than a year ago or more recently. Additionally, some benefits could have changed since their last interaction with the organization, and could make employment a better fit than before.

Like the career site, landing pages, and other engagement stages, communications can be enhanced with media such as employer and employee-generated videos, featured social media content, and advance invitations to upcoming recruitment events.

Tip: Emails with video can improve click-thru rates by 65%. To build and sustain applicant interest more effectively, talent acquisition teams should look for opportunities to incorporate video into engagement emails and other candidate messaging. 

employee generated content


Achieve a More Engaging Candidate Experience

As competition for talent increases, organizations offering better candidate experiences will be best positioned to attract more quality applicants. Thanks to modern, AI-powered technology, recruitment teams can keep candidates engaged every step of the way without having to rely on manual methods of communicating regularly with the organization’s growing talent pipeline.

For higher candidate engagement from awareness to hire, the team at Recruitics is here to help! Recruitics’ tech-enabled talent engagement services deliver automated communications, optimized career sites, and landing pages, and tools for qualifying and sorting applicants in support of organizational hiring goals.

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