It’s no secret that the job market is fiercely competitive at present, and that hiring top-quality candidates in such an environment is both important and uniquely challenging. This is a critical advantage because companies benefit more through the hiring of superior talent when they can be selective, and that’s become more challenging for a few reasons.
Technology has provided ease and utility in recruiting for companies and recruitment marketing professionals, but it has also provided many benefits for job seekers. This has served to make them more discriminating in regard to the companies they’re seeking to work with and for. Changes in the cultural dynamic have provided a more diverse range within the talent pool, but this also demands that recruiters are familiar with the values and sensibilities of this talent. Finally, the pandemic caused a wholesale transformation of workplaces and attitudes, necessitating a wholesale re-evaluation of many recruiting practices.
As a result, many organizations are struggling to effectively engage with quality candidates throughout the hiring process. Companies can maximize their recruitment ROI by fine-tuning their recruitment strategies to efficiently attract these candidates (versus that less distinguished talent). After all, 75% of professionals “currently working in their companies were influenced to accept the job offer because of the positive candidate experience they had throughout the application process.”
This article will show how organizations can do just that through best practices for candidate engagement and focused recruitment strategies, including Fusion Engage, a new utility that leverages robust AI technology to drive, capture, and convert quality leads into applicants.
Candidate engagement is the method and progression of communication between job seekers and recruiters. Here, recruiters communicate with candidates continuously via numerous channels in their efforts to turn candidates into hires. Since candidate experience has become an increasingly important part of this process, providing a positive candidate experience should be of the highest priority for recruiters.
Thus, the overall quality of candidate engagement is crucial when it comes to courting top-notch candidates.
Candidate engagement is also important for hiring success, in that good candidate engagement facilitates a more effective vetting process on both sides – for the candidate and the company – which leads to higher retention rates and increased productivity. Employees hired through a positive candidate experience are 38% more likely to accept a job offer.
Simply put, candidate engagement is about building a positive rapport with the candidate. In addition to initiating a positive candidate experience, this helps to eliminate candidate 'drop off' through the recruitment process while nurturing interest with meaningful correspondence between parties. Given the high level of networking and research in which today’s job seekers engage, good candidate engagement can help to improve the organization’s employer brand, and ultimately lead to better hiring outcomes. Finally, engaged candidates are more likely to accept job offers and refer other qualified candidates to the company.
We want you. This is a much more encouraging outlook for a job candidate than the dynamic of years’ past. That dynamic involved the candidate, hat-in-hand, so to speak, hoping that they’d measure up in the eyes of the recruiter or manager, and knowing that any one of a hundred candidates lined up behind them could fit the bill just as well, as far as the company is concerned. Don’t call us; we’ll call you, and all that…
Given the changes in workplaces, from culture to values, this dynamic has not been operational for some time. Job seekers have become far more discriminating, and routinely research companies painstakingly during their job searches. Today, they are more on an equal footing with the organizations that seek to hire them; they’re determining if the company is a good fit for them as much as the company is determining if the candidate is a good fit.
According to LinkedIn, there has been a 20% increase in job seeker drop-off from the hiring process over the last several years. This is obviously a concerning trend, since it effectively removes many quality candidates from the talent pool. So, in a competitive job market, conveying that we want you message to active candidates serves organizations far more than that of an aloof potential benefactor.
With the advent of this new dynamic, companies and recruitment marketing professionals have formulated various best practices that work well in the area of candidate engagement. Some of these include:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but having a predetermined and clear hiring process in place is an imperative. Failure to create one can significantly undermine hiring efforts, because if applicants have to wait for decision makers to figure things out at each step, they may become frustrated and take another opportunity. The candidate’s journey and the internal hiring process should be clearly detailed from start to finish.
Using the appropriate messaging, terminology, and descriptors (e.g., for job descriptions and roles) is essential in driving the right candidates to the application phase. When candidates show up identifying incorrectly with a job description, it’s usually the fault of whomever crafted the message that got them there.
Difficult, long, or confusing application processes are a major source of candidate frustration. More than 60% of job seekers cannot complete online applications due to tech hurdles and barriers and 92% of candidates who click apply don’t complete the application. All of the great branding, goodwill, and enthusiasm a company has built up with candidates goes out the window when candidates find the application process daunting. No job seeker wants to deal with scenarios like that, and that goes double for high-caliber candidates. Ensure that applications are clear, concise, and simple, and that the back-end technology supports them.
Tip: Today, well over 70% of job seekers search for jobs on mobile devices, so it’s absolutely critical to ensure that all web pages, careers sites and applications are mobile-friendly!
Does the careers page sell what it’s like to work at the company in a compelling manner? Incorporating engaging content, videos (of real team members) and testimonials can go a long way toward cultivating a positive perception of the company. 67% of job seekers believe that job ads should contain information about salaries, benefits, location, commute time and employee reviews. A good career site provides opportunities to interact with the recruiting team (e.g., live chat, messaging, or following the company’s social channels) are also excellent measures.
Better candidate engagement throughout the application process positively impacts application rates, candidate experience, quality of applicants, time-to-fill, offer acceptance rates, and employee retention.
As technology continues to progress at breakneck speed, recruiters should remember that a lot of these innovations are geared toward simplifying and/or improving the hiring process. Today, technology can be used to automate the engagement process and to provide a more positive candidate experience.
In short, strong candidate engagement fosters positive mental and emotional responses in candidates. Ultimately, the objective is to leverage these responses into action, leaning on the positive candidate experience to help ensure the completion of the job application. The following strategies that can be used to engage with candidates effectively include:
Companies that engage with candidates on a personal level immediately set themselves apart from their competitors. Given the technological resources currently available, there’s no excuse for companies and recruiters not to avail themselves of this prime opportunity to engage. From the first contact with the candidate to post-hire onboarding, personalizing the hiring process is quickly becoming standard practice.
In many cases, a candidate won’t know whether they’re interacting with a person or robot, so humanizing the process through personalization and including the recruiter’s profile and photo on communications helps to reinforce positive candidate perceptions. Candidates should be addressed by name in all communications, and referencing relevant factors, such as the job title, role, employer, or geographic location is also helpful.
On the careers site, delivering a personalized candidate experience can also foster positive engagement. Recommending jobs based on the job seeker’s historical data, search history, or location, or based on information aggregated from their resume or CV is a great way to make an impact on potential candidates and drive conversion.
Candidate segmentation is a method through which recruiters divide job candidates by specific criteria, then craft talent acquisition strategies to source, recruit, and hire candidates based on the skills, experience, and traits particular to each role. This is a highly effective tool in that it allows recruiters to identify weak areas in the recruiting strategy, refine conversion metrics, measure overall efforts, and individually examine pipeline health.
The tools currently available for candidate segmentation allow for a high level of customization, so metrics can be tweaked to serve a particular organization’s talent requirements – which facilitates recruiters’ establishing predictability and scalability into the hiring framework. Discrete candidate groupings allow recruitment marketers to better track deliverables, trends, and outcomes – which provides greater insight into how the hiring process is performing for each open position.
Multi-channel employer branding is a strategy that has quickly become another imperative in the recruiter’s toolkit. One reason is that due to the proliferation of online resources (e.g., social media platforms, jobs sites, message boards), many candidates frequent multiple channels, so it only makes sense for recruiters and companies to be there as well.
While the specific verbiage and presentation may vary across channels, having a consistent message is vital to attracting talent and keeping them engaged throughout the hiring process.
Communication across multiple channels helps companies stand out from their competitors by offering a unique experience for candidates – who are often weary of being overwhelmed with messaging from numerous companies. It aids in establishing credibility and trust with candidates, engages candidates on their terms (and where they spend most of their time) and helps recruiters reach multiple candidates. Finally, it allows recruiters to tailor messaging to different audiences.
As mentioned earlier, the tech tools and utilities that are available to simplify and improve the recruiting process are multiplying with dizzying speed. Thus, technology can play a key role in helping organizations engage with candidates effectively and efficiently. This includes tools like candidate engagement platforms, automation, and AI-powered recruiting tools.
Among these is Recruitics’ Fusion Engage Candidate Engagement Platform, a utility that can help organizations effectively engage with quality candidates. Fusion Engage delivers a rich and rewarding candidate experience and seamlessly integrates with top ATS and recruitment marketing software systems.
Fusion Engage leverages advanced AI engagement technology to drive, capture, nurture, and convert candidate leads into full applications. Boasting both Business and Enterprise career sites and hosted job pages, the platform features tools such as personalized communication, real-time analytics, custom landing pages and AI-enabled screening services, to name just a few.
As technology continues to evolve, there’s little doubt that the way organizations engage with candidates is likely to change as well. As such, it is important for recruitment marketing professionals to stay up-to-date on trends, breakthroughs, and innovations in recruitment tools and technologies. In so doing, and by adhering to best practices, organizations can improve both their hiring success and the caliber of candidates they attract.
If your organization is ready to supercharge its candidate engagement efforts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Recruitics specializes in custom recruitment marketing solutions and strategic support to assist organizations in hiring talent year-round, irrespective of market conditions.