The companies we work for in our careers are the homes in which we grow ourselves professionally. We create “wish lists” in our heads with the qualities and features that are most important for that next environment to have—growth opportunities, location, prestige/status, earning potential, organisational structure, leadership, autonomy of the role—which determine our interest in new business opportunities.
The elusive employer who collects applications and is only heard from if and when the candidate is chosen for an interview is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Companies that have not adapted to the changing market with better practices for giving candidates a better experience during the hiring process are beginning to feel the repercussions dearly.
These are some ways you can keep candidates engaged with your company throughout the hiring process and prevent them from dropping off.
1. Let candidates know what to expect
Communicate the process for candidates so they know what to expect in terms of timelines, follow up, and method for communication. Instead of a blanket “Thank you for your application. A recruiter will review your CV and contact you if interested in moving forward in the hiring process,” give candidates something interesting to read that leaves them feeling their interest is valued.
Consider setting up an email address just for candidates so they have a way to directly contact your company if they have not heard back within the time frame you have given. Ideally, you will be able to stay within that time frame, but this is a way to avoid candidates from dropping out of the process entirely if you are unable or they slip through the cracks.
2. Prioritise timely communication
Don’t leave candidates in the dark about where they are in the hiring process and what the next steps are. Treat every applicant with the same responsiveness you’d expect from them if you had made an employment offer.
Consider the following scenario.
After spending hours sourcing, interviewing, and evaluating candidates, you’ve found someone that you are excited about hiring and feel that they can be a big part in overcoming a challenge you’ve been experiencing. You then make an offer, they thank you and tell you that they will consider it and get back to you with their response. It sounds reasonable, so you go about your business and await their response. A few days pass. Then a week. Then another. During this time, your voicemails and emails go unreturned and you have no idea what the candidate is thinking or if they are still interested. They seemed interested when you were interviewing, but now you’re confused and frustrated.
How would you respond? You’d likely rescind the offer and view their lack of communication as unprofessional and a sign of disregard for the position. Would you reach out to that candidate again if a new position opens up?
Similarly, a candidate’s application is an offer. But instead of a job, they are offering you their time, work ethic, interest in your company, and talent as a candidate. If you do not make it a priority to keep them engaged during the hiring process, then you may lose out on them for not only the current position, but also the people they could have referred to your business as well as them applying for openings in the future.
3. Be engaging while offering value to your applicants
Utilising technology can help you set up consistent communication systems and processes. The more you can schedule and streamline communication throughout the process, the more consistency you will be able to achieve.
When writing these emails and messages that walk candidates through the process as they move through each step (which you can set up to send automatically if using our system to manage your recruitment process), steer away from corporate jargon and buzzwords as well as blatant self-promotion. Instead, use language that focuses on the candidate and write from the first person point of view (i.e. ‘we,’ ‘our,’ ‘us’). This will help build a stronger connection between candidates and your company.
If you have a recruitment blog, write posts that offer advice for each stage in the process that you can include in this correspondence. Not only will you benefit from the content itself, but you can use it as a resource to give candidates throughout the hiring process. Tips from your recruiters on phone screens, for example, could be very useful to candidates once they’ve applied if that is the next step in the process. You could include a link, or include the advice in the body of your email. Not everyone knows how to effectively communicate their experience or sell themselves when speaking with a prospective employer, so doing this could result in more insightful interviews as well.
4. Make it easy for candidates to apply on the go
Give candidates an option to apply for the job without needing their CV on hand. If you are posting your jobs through our system, select the option to “Apply with LinkedIn” when creating your job. This will allow you to reach candidates who use their phones and mobile devices more than laptops or desktops as well as those who would rather apply that way because of the convenience. Otherwise, candidates may intend to apply, or start to, but drop off because they forget about the position by the time they are at their computers or find that the process is too complicated and time-consuming.
5. Give candidates a way to keep in touch with your brand
Dedicate a social media channel just for candidates. Research and share the type of content they would be interested in and get value from. Use this platform to engage candidates—both passive and active—and create a sense of community with your employer brand.
Include a call to action in your correspondence that guides them to this channel and encourages them to connect. Give them an overview of the types of things you will be sharing as well as how the channel will benefit them beyond alerting them of new jobs.
About the Author
Qandidate.com is a full blown recruitment system, providing you with all the information and tools you need to make your recruiting process effortless. It’s refreshingly easy. More than 8000 companies have subscribed for Qandidate.com’s free recruitment system. Big companies, small companies, complex companies, international companies, in all shapes and sizes. Find out more by joining us for a demo of Qandidate.com in the coming days.
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