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How to increase candidate engagement throughout the recruitment process

Candidate engagement within the recruitment process is very different to the candidate experience. Both are key to a successful recruitment campaign but at times candidate engagement can be overlooked. You may be thinking what is the difference between the two? Well, the candidate experience is the overall feeling a candidate has about a company and their hiring process, whereas candidate engagement is the continuous communication between yourself and every one of your candidates.

Candidate engagement can cover all areas of communication within the recruitment process and can include staying in touch with all potential candidates, providing all the information they need to make an informed decision about your company, and what they can expect from you as an employer.

With 52% of job seekers saying that a lack of communication from companies is their number 1 complaint about the recruitment process it shows that there is still a lot of work needed to tackle candidate engagement. In this competitive candidate led market keeping your candidates engaged and in the pipeline is important when seeking your next hire.

If improving candidate engagement is one of your priorities in 2023 you may be wondering what you can do and why it’ll benefit you. Let’s take a closer look at three things that can be implemented into the business effectively.

Engaging job descriptions

You need to engage with your prospective candidates before they take the time to submit their application. From an appealing job description to a careers website that arms candidates with all the information they would need about the role, company and culture. By utilising all your existing resources to showcase your business you can generate excitement in your candidates and encourage them that you are the company that they need to be!

When creating an engaging job description it needs to be packed full of information without any jargon or business talk, keep it short and snappy – if you want to give your candidates more information then direct them to your website, where they can research the company further.

Fill your careers website with everything you’d want a candidate to know about your company, think company history, awards, plans for the future, the possibilities are endless here! Why not put a human touch to it too by including your current employees, get them to share a closer look at their roles, photos of team building exercises or even quick fire questions. Get your prospective candidates excited and engaged from the second they see your job advert.

Quick response time and consistent communication

Many organisations wait until the application has closed before reviewing candidates, but you risk losing out on competent applicants. Applicants that are reviewed and contacted within a couple of days of applying are more likely to stay engaged than those that don’t hear from a company for weeks. In the couple of weeks it could take for applications to close many candidates could have felt ignored by you and therefore found employment elsewhere.

At Reach we understand that it is difficult to communicate with every application that comes in to your company, which is why we have automated processes that allow you to send personalised emails to every candidate – from acknowledging their application to sending a response at the end of each stage, there is no reason not to make every single candidate feel valued.

Our candidate relationship management system can set up automated emails at every stage of the recruitment process that outlines the outcome of that stage and what to expect next. If it is a rejection email then make sure that you say you appreciate the time to apply and you hope they apply again in the future. However, if it is a congratulations email then include what will happen next whether that is another interview, a get to know the team meeting or they have secured the position and you will be issuing the contract once they’ve accepted the position.

You don’t have to just rely on email communication either, through Reach you can also utilise text messages to stay in contact with your candidates, whether that is asking them to contact you, confirming interviews 24 hours in advance or letting them know there is an update in their candidate portal. Text messages are a handy way of instantly communicating with your candidates.

Lack of communication is one of the easiest errors a company can rectify in the recruitment process and will leave candidates engaged in the recruitment process.

Candidate feedback

Feedback is a two way street and one that can keep a candidate engaged after the recruitment journey has come to an end. Candidates are eager to know how they did, what they could improve on, or a more detailed reason as to why they were unsuccessful. If you are able to accommodate the request, then with Reach, you can check for any notes left on the candidate’s portal and provide the relevant feedback – just remember that candidates can request access to all data that’s held on them, so when writing notes make sure that everything written is factual and won’t cause repercussions down the line.

In the same way candidates like to seek out feedback you should too! Ask candidates how they felt the recruitment journey was to them, what they liked and disliked and if there is anything you could improve on in the future. It isn’t worth capturing feedback from the initial application stage as you’ll have a larger amount of data to work with and many of those will have been rejected from the process without an interview. Instead, wait until you are further into the process and held at least one round of interviews, this way you can focus on those that were further down the pipeline and experienced a good amount of the recruitment process. When you send your final communication from the process, you could include a ‘How did we do survey’ or an email address where they can send any constructive feedback. Not only will you gain an insight into how your candidates think but candidates will feel that their thoughts are valued by the company.

By creating strong candidate engagement you’ll not only increase the reputation of your company but you’ll also encourage candidates to keep reapplying if they’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion. Reach’s applicant tracking system can help you improve your candidate engagement at every stage by implementing these three ideas along with many more.

Reach can help you create engaging adverts and careers websites that will encourage applicants to apply for your roles, as well as implementing personalised emails that are triggered at each stage of the process. Candidates will be left feeling as engaged and appreciated.

To build candidate engagement within your business contact the Reach team to find out more and arrange a demo of our applicant tracking system.