How to Improve Candidate Engagement at Your Company

Imagine a neighbor sends out an invitation to a party. Everyone is talking about it for weeks. Then, on the night of the party you and a hundred other people show up and ring the doorbell. The door opens, the host greets everyone, and chooses a single person to join the party inside. The door slams shut and everyone is left outside without so much as a "goodbye".

How would you feel if you were one of the people left standing outside? Our own talent acquisition research shows that less than five percent of candidates rate their experience as “good” to “excellent”, and more than 70 percent of all job applicants receive no feedback after applying for a position.

This is a missed opportunity to strengthen an employer brand, show appreciation, improve engagement and enlist others in the sharing of open jobs, and even expand networks and future candidate pipelines.

A recent CareerBuilder survey shows that 56 percent of employers who recruited new employees in the last year had a candidate reject their offer. In addition, 44 percent of candidates who received no feedback or communication after applying for a job had a worse opinion of that employer.

Want to improve how candidates perceive your organization? Here are a few candidate engagement tips that work:

Get candidate feedback

The position might not be right for one candidate, but if treated with respect and kindness, most will consider sharing the opportunity with others. If you haven’t done this already, take the time to set up a way to solicit feedback from applicants to improve your processes. There are lots of ways to do this, and the simplest is to send an email (or poll or survey) asking candidates about the overall experience.

Words plus actions matter

Let’s not make the effort to attract talent only to push people away with a bad experience later. To understand the real impact, consider all of the interactions (or touch-points) a candidate might have with your organization. You might start with good marketing and recruiting, but it shouldn’t stop there.

You can spend a lot of time and money telling everyone how awesome your organization is, but you need to use more than the words coming out of your mouth. To connect best, back up words with actions.

If your career website talks about how much you care about your employees, but your employee parking lot is pitch black at night with no lighting, your words might be saying that you care, but your actions show that you don’t.

The candidate experience extends to hiring and on-boarding – and even includes what others hear in the lobby, the too-long wait before the interview, an unprepared manager, and more.

The full experience includes it all. Think about the smell of the kitchen, the guy sleeping in the cube across the hall, and even the negative vibe because someone is yelling at their spouse on the phone. The job of attracting good talent is hard enough. Don’t push away qualified candidates with bad candidate experiences.

Use social to connect

What happens when a highly-qualified candidate, stumbles across your site to check out an open job opportunity, but then leaves empty-handed? Nothing happens.

At the very least, provide a few social media channels for them to visit and connect to. Over time, this will help you expand your talent network and will help to keep people connected to your organization – even well after they leave your site. If you can, make your social media channels visible on your job postings, and on blog pages, promotional videos, testimonial pages, employee stories, and upcoming events.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you capturing the right candidate feedback to improve your processes?
  • Do you provide a way for candidates to engage, even if they don’t apply for a job?
  • Is your brand speaking to right-fit candidates and do your actions truly back it up?
  • Are you following up with candidate in a way that is dignified and courteous?
  • Are you holding the organization back with too many bad candidate experiences?

Take your talent acquisition and recruitment efforts from routine to remarkable with TalentSum 360. For more information on how TalentSum 360 can unlock the full potential of your talent function, get in touch with our team today.

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