11 creative ways to increase candidate engagement

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By The Fetcher Team

11 creative ways to increase candidate engagement

8 mins read

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What strategies and tools are hiring teams using to increase candidate engagement? We asked business leaders and hiring managers this question and shared their advice for talent acquisition professionals.

From creating on-brand copy to connecting with applicants on LinkedIn, there are several unique tips that may help you expand candidate engagement in this ultra-competitive market.

Here are 11 unique ways for recruiters to increase candidate engagement:

1. Embrace Practices that Your Competitors Don't

Two decades ago, we relied so heavily on phone calls to build relationships with candidates, but today few people answer calls from unrecognized numbers (or at all). Candidates also ignore emails and text messages from unknown senders. But phone calls — voicemails — actually can give us a way to stand out when reaching out to new candidates.

For example, call first, then email. If an email is your first introduction, it’s more likely to be deleted. But if you call first and leave a voicemail message saying that you’ll follow up by email, that email is more likely to be opened. Who leaves a voicemail these days? Your competitors don’t.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, Workology

2. Recruit Quickly

The only way to keep a candidate engaged during the hiring process is constantly being in touch with them, especially if we are talking about the tech sphere. IT specialists have several job offers at once, that is why it's important to make your presence felt, show that you are interested in the candidate, and give prompt feedback on every recruiting stage.

If your recruitment processes are rather slow, you risk losing a candidate’s interest in your vacancy and missing out on a worthy specialist. Recruit quickly, constantly be in touch with the specialist and advise the candidate of all the updates. As a result, your candidate will be highly engaged in the recruitment process.

Tatiana Melnichuk, Lucky Hunter

3. Craft Unique, On-Brand Copy

One unique way for a recruiter to increase candidate engagement is to write communications in the brand's voice. Applicants are so used to the cookie-cutter language of applications that any deviation from the standard format is sure to stand out and be memorable.

Adding your own style and flair to copy on the job listing, application, interview request, and other hiring materials humanizes your brand and makes applicants take notice. For example, we use a Mad-Libs style fill-in mechanism on our job page that inserts the candidate's name into our employment manifesto. We also ask offbeat questions in the application.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

4. Follow Through on Promises

First thing’s first: you should always keep your promises. If you said that you would contact your applicant with a decision by a specific date, make sure to reach out to them. Even if you haven't made the decision yet, it's a sign of respect to inform candidates about the status of their application. Such an approach will increase your candidates' engagement and positively impact your employer branding.

Also, many companies make the mistake of not keeping their candidates updated during the recruitment process. By doing so, they often risk that candidates will lose their interest and decide to work somewhere else.

That's why you need to overcommunicate to keep your candidate engaged and excited about their potential new role. This is true, especially if you require more time to make your hiring decision and don't want to lose top candidates along the way.

Dorota Lysienia, LiveCareer

5. Send Newsletters for Job Seekers

Newsletters are commonly used for the marketing of products and services, but they are also great ways to engage potential job candidates. Designing newsletters that specifically address job seekers’ interests, keeps your business at the forefront for their consideration.

Creating ongoing narratives, question and answer sections, and calls to action that encourage responses, are an excellent way to not only increase engagement but heighten your business brand while diversifying your database. By using regular newsletter communication, you can improve your chances of reaching the talent you desire.

Yuvi Alpert, Noémie

6. Respect Their Time

We live in a world of instantaneous feedback. Candidates should receive the same level of response time as you expect of them. Be quick with your responses and respect their time. This will quickly increase your candidate engagements overall. Plus, you will gain their respect.

Katie Keirnan,

7. Simplify the Application Process

Don’t make the application process too complicated for people. For instance, if the job ad lists more requirements besides the resume and cover letter, such as a short essay or a quiz, people may be less likely to apply for the position.

Job hunting is already time-consuming enough, and it can be stressful, so consider this as you’re creating your job ads. Make things easy for those who wish to send in an application, and you can deal with any other requirements later once people get further into the interview rounds.

Joaquín Roca, Minerva

8. Keep in Touch With Candidates

After you've reviewed the initial applicants, your hiring team should make an effort to communicate with candidates on a frequent basis throughout the hiring process.

If you're scheduling interviews and can't find time in a team member's calendar for a few days or a week, contact the candidate instead of leaving them wondering when – or if – the interview will be confirmed. And, if it's taking a while for a candidate to return a reference or background check, contact them to check on the status or see if there's anything you can do to assist.

Finally, if a candidate does not receive an offer, make sure to finish the loop by informing them. If they are considering a job with your company in the future or know a friend or colleague who would be a good fit for a role, they will remember the organized, professional job applicant experience and continuous candidate engagement throughout the process and will think positively of your company.

Edward Mellett, Wikijob

9. Share Recruitment Process Details Upfront

Communicating recruitment process steps, qualification criteria, and timeframes is one of the best ways to increase candidate engagement. It prevents abandonment which is often the consequence of unclear processes and preconceptions based on information found online.

Being upfront with recruitment stages and expected work start dates makes candidates more eager. It also results in reciprocity, more open communication of changing circumstances, and more relevant applications.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

10. Utilize Your Current Employees

Utilizing your current employees to draw in new candidates can help increase engagement during the hiring process. Your employees should be your biggest brand ambassadors when it comes to attracting new people to apply for open positions.

Rather than just talking about your company’s mission and culture, create videos of your employees giving their insights on what makes it a great place to work. This can help illustrate to applicants why they should be excited to apply and help them want to stay engaged throughout the process.

Nathalie Walton, Expectful

11. Add Candidates on LinkedIn

A great way to increase candidate engagement with a recruiter is by adding candidates on LinkedIn. This makes the experience much more personal and helps facilitate effective communication.

It is a simple step that goes a long way in showing that you care as a recruiter about this candidate and are serious about considering them for the position. This will help increase candidate engagement and provide a more personalized candidate experience during the hiring process.

John Wu, Gryphon Connect

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