Tips to Improve Candidate Engagement

Candidate engagement is becoming the newest trend in improving the recruitment talent pool. Companies that use candidate engagement strategies are more likely to attract great talent, more likely to keep them interested, more likely to recommend you to others, and much more.

Even without realising it, many companies have strategies in place to create more engagement. For example, if you have testimonials from your employees on your website, that’s a form of engagement. If you have a recruiter connect with candidates on LinkedIn after they apply, you are engaging.

But there are many different ways to engage, and many different ways to improve how you engage.

Consider the following candidate engagement improvement strategies:

  • Treat Every Applicant Like You Want Them On Board – Every single person that applies or shows interest to your company should be treated like they will be an employee someday, even if they are nowhere near being an employee yet. Keep in touch with them, add them to some type of newsletter, let them know about open jobs – maybe even tell them some things they can do to improve their candidacy to you in the future. The more each candidate feels like you want them someday, even if it’s not yet the right time, the more engaged they will be.
  • Create a Broad Recruitment Channel – Run and operate multiple social media channels, have an active role in industry forums, show up at industry events. Do what you can to give exposure to your brand, your recruiters, and more. Create as many avenues as possible for people to get exposed to your business, and make it possible for them to contact you and engage with you from multiple places.
  • Send Them Possible Jobs – We touched on this earlier, but sending them jobs that may fit their skillset is a great way to improve engagement. It is a better strategy with larger companies that are more likely to have positions available, but sending them personalized open positions that may be relevant to their skillset is a great way to show them they matter.
  • Have A Good Recruitment Process – Your recruitment process also plays a role in engagement. Balance your need to get great information with the need to make sure that you’re doing your part to make the candidate comfortable. For example, opening your office for a late interview so that they do not have to take time off work shows them you really care about their time.
  • Give Candidates More and More Reasons – Focus on yourself as a company as well. What can you do to be more attractive as a company to potential candidates? Companies like Google and LinkedIn became famous for the things they do for their employees – free concerts, free food, unlimited days off, and more. You don’t have to become famous for yours, but you should be finding more ways to give people a reason to seek you out as an employer.

Candidate engagement isn’t easy. It takes good ideas, time, and a commitment to find ways to engage current and future applicants. But the time you spend can be a great tool for finding better talent, and getting more people interested in your company.

What is Candidate Engagement?

Recruitment is about finding and hiring the best possible candidates to fill open positions at your company. Every step you take – from the creation of the job advertisement to reviewing candidates to calling and interviewing those that stand out from the rest – is geared towards getting the best possible contributors into your company.But there is something that often gets lost throughout that process – the desire for candidates to want to work for

But there is something that often gets lost throughout that process – the desire for candidates to want to work for you, and to feel as though they actively want to become a part of your company.

Introduction to Candidate Engagement

The idea of engagement has been growing in popularity in businesses all over Australia, but it is often limited to employees. Employee engagement is the idea of integrating strategies that make the employee feel like they are truly a part of the company, where the company’s success is its personal success and those that work with you are family.Candidate engagement is similar.

Candidate engagement is similar. It is the strategy of trying to get candidates to feel like they want to be a part of your company, and that they are not just some random outsider that your company could do without. It’s making you seem like more than just an employer, and giving the candidate ways to interact and engage with the company beyond simply sending in an application.

Examples of Candidate Engagement

There are many different ways to engage candidates and make them feel more connected to your businesses. Some examples include:

  • Creating a marketing campaign that highlights what makes you a great place to work.
  • Engaging in recruitment and outreach on social media.
  • Have everyone in your company treat candidates like customers.

Think about what will make people interested in your business, and what will attract the interested in working for you. It’s important to come up with your own strategies for candidate engagement as well, because there are many opportunities out there, and the payoff for taking advantage of them can be pronounced.

Why is Candidate Engagement Important?

Candidate engagement has many benefits for employers:

  • It increases the frequency of applicants.
  • It increases the interest level of applicants.
  • It reduces the growing problem of candidate dropouts.
  • It helps new hires be more excited when they start work.
  • It spreads the word about your company to other potential applicants.

It can improve the quality of the talent pool, it can help provide damage control for those that aren’t taking the job, and so much more. If you haven’t yet considered candidate engagement, now may be the time to consider it. The earlier you get started, the more likely you will be able to see positive results.

Tips to Reduce Candidate Dropout

Much of hiring is focused on what you need as a company. It’s about finding the talent that matches your company culture, the production needed at the position, and more. From the interview questions to the recruitment process, the focus is mostly on what you can do to make sure you’re identifying the right talent.

But it’s important not to lose track of the candidate experience as well, and one of the major challenges that many companies are facing is candidate dropout. This is when a good candidate – possible the candidate you planned to hire – decides to withdraw their name from contention or turns down the job in some way.

The Problem of Candidate Dropout

For many companies, candidate dropout is a real problem. Indeed, candidate dropout is, itself, a warning sign that something may be wrong with your hiring process. Usually, when someone receives an interview for a job they are happy, and stay in contention until the moment they are either hired, or told that the company is going to go a different direction.

If someone is turning down interviews, or has decided they are no longer interested in the position in some way, it may mean:

  • You’re losing out on great applicants.
  • You’re doing something wrong that is affecting their interest.
  • Your company may have some type of negative PR, etc.

Perhaps the greatest issue is the first one. The most likely candidates to drop out of contention are those that feel they can get a job elsewhere, and often that implies that they know they are good candidates for other positions.

How to Reduce Candidate Dropout

Luckily, there are many different techniques, strategies, and tips that you can use to reduce candidate dropout. If dropout has become a problem in your hiring process, consider the following tips:

  • Make Yourself Available at Better Times – Not all dropout is due to something your company did or didn’t do. Sometimes it is caused by simply not being able to take time off for the interview. One strategy to consider is to make yourself available at times more convenient to the applicant, like after work. This helps ensure that you can hire those that are employed at demanding jobs.
  • Communicate With Them Often – Dropout sometimes occurs as a result of a lack of communication. Many companies spend weeks at a time failing to communicate whether or not the person got the job (or even the next interview). Frequent updates go a long way towards ensuring that the candidate retains their interest.
  • Respect Their Time – Similar to making yourself available, you should also make sure you’re respecting their time. That means trying to bunch interviews together, rather than forcing the individual to travel for 3, 4, or 5 interviews. It means knowing that they are taking time off work, and not dilly-dallying around and wasting their valuable sick days. Respect the time of each candidate you call.
  • Shorten Your Hiring Time – The longer it takes for you to make a decision, the more likely the candidate is going to move on. Try to hire quickly and efficiently to keep interest level in the position high, and reduce the risk of the applicants finding other positions they get more excited about.
  • Know What the Employee Sees About You Online – If you have negative reviews of your workplace, or any PR that may turn people off from working for you, the applicant is going to see it. Be aware of this feedback and address it in some way, because everyone that is applying for your job will do their research.
  • Give Them Reasons to Work With You – We discuss this a lot here at Recruit Shop, but as a company, it’s important to make sure you’re offering something that other companies are not offering. They should have a desire to work for you, because you represent something more than just a salary. Try integrating strategies into your business that will turn on possible talent.
  • Show Them How You Match Them – Sometimes all you need to do is make sure they recognise how well you fit their needs. Consider what you have learned about them through the interview process and show them that you’re the employer best suited both for their abilities and their personality.
  • Make the Interviews Engaging – When an interview is too rigid and formal, it can be an intimidating and discomforting experience for the applicant. Make the interviews more engaging. You can do this by having them take place at a coffee shop, telling them more about the great parts of your workplace, etc.
  • Offer Jobs Fast – If you think you may hire them, don’t waste any time letting them know. One of the greatest mistakes companies make is taking too much time. The applicant is looking for an answer, because they need to move on with their needs as well. Companies that take too long to offer the job tend to cause applicants to look for better work.

Each of these strategies has the potential to reduce candidate dropout, which should be a priority for all companies. The more likely someone is to withdraw their name, the more you’re losing out on potentially great contributors.

Are You Recruiting on the Lesser Known Social Media Sites?

Lesser known social media sites

LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are some of the most highly recognised social networks in the world. Companies use these social media websites every day to find and evaluating some of the top talent in the local area and around the world.

But they’re also not the only social media websites out there. There are hundreds of others, all of which have their own unique user base. While many of them are still up and coming, companies that want to expand their talent pool may want to consider using these social media sites to find some of the talent that would otherwise be missed.

Examples of Social Media Sites to Target

There are social media sites for every profession, every type of worker – even every income level. There are social media accounts for different races, genders, ages, and so much more. All it takes is a bit of a search and you’d be shocked what you can find.

But for those that would like a good place to start, consider the following:

  • Angellist – Although better for marketing your open positions than it is for networking, Angellist is a very popular social media website for startups looking to improve their online presence and reach an audience that is specifically interested in Startup culture.
  • Makerbase – An interesting social media site useful for those in the tech world, Makerbase connects you to the people that worked on projects that you’re familiar with, so that you can see what they’ve done and who they are.
  • Xing – Xing is essentially a smaller LinkedIn. But it may have benefits for those looking internationally for new employees, especially if you want to reach German speaking countries and European talent.
  • Jobcase – Jobcase is similar to LinkedIn, especially their group feature. It is a social media site for people to ask and share information, almost like an advanced forum. You can often spot people that have significant expertise in their field.

You should also look for any websites that are tailored to the industry that you are most passionate about, and see if there are any difference makers that you can bring into your organisation. While of the people you want are going to be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other popular social media platforms, you may still find that the person you want most is in a location that you had never before considered.

Why You May Want to Always Accept Job Applications

Human resources may not like to admit it, but most companies hire at the last minute. They wait until a position is open, and then run to try to fill the position as quickly as possible. At Recruit Shop, we’ve written frequently about how beneficial it can be to use recruitment services before you even need to hire someone – when you’re not rushed:

  • You have more time to select the right candidates.
  • You can fill the position quicker.
  • You are able to select from a larger pool.

It’s why we actively encourage companies to consider using some of their hiring budget to get a head start on positions that may open, even though they may not open yet.

However, recruitment is only one of several ways you can advertise to potential job seekers before a job is open. Another strategy, which all companies should consider is accepting applications on your website all year.

Why You May Want to Always Accept Job Applications

Even if you have no specific job openings, and you are not sure what will open in the near future, it helps to have a page on your website where you accept job applications – for example, a page that talks about the benefits of working for your company, and an email address where potential job seekers can send resumes.

There are many reasons that this can be a highly valuable tool for your business:

  • It Attracts Those that Want to Work For You

It is in your best interest as an organisation to find people that want to work specifically for your company – not just those that see an open job and apply. When someone wants to work for you, it increases the likelihood that they know what your job entails, that they like your company, and that they will stick around. It also decreases risk. Keeping a page open to accept job applications means that the person chose you over all the companies that actually had open positions. That is always advantageous.

  • You May Need the Person Now

Sometimes an applicant fills a need you didn’t even know you had. For example, if you have someone that that applies for a position as a sales manager (with a very strong resume), and you have a sales staff that has been managed by the marketing department – not a sales specialist – you may find you want to consider them even if you hadn’t originally considered the need.

  • It’s Free and You May Need Them

Even though the position may not be currently open, you never know when it might be. Accepting applications on your website is free, simple, and doesn’t require much extra work from your HR staff. It’s a great way to collect names and plan for the future should the need arise, without having to seek out people later.

  • More Talent

Highly talented job seekers are not on the market that often. They may look for a job only a few days a year, especially if they are employed but still open to other work. There is an advantage to being able to collect their resume now. In the future, if they are employed, you can still send them an email and let them know that you have an open position. This allows you to find passive, rather than active job seekers on the market.

  • A Simple Website Change for Better Hiring

There is no guaranteeing that everyone that applies to jobs via your website is going to be worth hiring. You may still not find that difference maker you are looking for. But adding a page to a website is easy, and it does not necessarily require a lot of extra work from those on staff to organise the applications they receive. If you’re looking for a free, simple way to improve recruitment, it may be a strategy worth considering.

How a Third Party Recruiter Can Take Bias Out of Talent Acquisition

Objective hiring practices

No one wants to admit it to themselves. But we all have implicit biases. Implicit biases are biases and prejudices that we have instinctually that we do not know about or think about consciously.

Consciously we may know that all people are equal. Yet subconsciously, we all have feelings that we’ve created about men, women, people of different religions, people of different skin colours, young people, older people, and more. None of these are on purpose, nor do they imply that you are a hateful or prejudiced person. It is simply a human behaviour that we are still learning to control.

Implicit Bias and Professional Talent

Your personal biases and prejudices are your own business. But when it comes to building a successful company, what you need more than anything is talent. Whether that person is black or white, young or old, male or female, it doesn’t matter as long as they are going to bring you the revenue and productivity that you need from your staff.

Your goal is to hire the best of the best. But implicit biases are everywhere. So how do you avoid letting these biases affect your hiring practices?

  • You can have a staff member remove names from resumes before you review them. This helps eliminate any accidental bias towards someone whose name gives away something about their demographics. This is a good practice to implement.
  • You can have a diverse team provide independent scores for resumes. This can help reduce at least some implicit biases (though of course they can all have the same biases, so it’s not clear how much that would affect).
  • You can use a scoring system that tries to use objective scoring. These are very effective but they take years of experience to study and use.

Yet another strategy that can be very useful to implement is simply using a third party, like Recruit Shop, for your recruitment needs. We use our own unique methodology to ensure that we’re looking at people’s talent. We score resumes using a specific system, find the ones that make the most sense for you, and then send the list to you. You can be certain that each and every person on that list, regardless of their demographics, is qualified for the job. Then you can give each one a chance and see which one feels like the best fit.

When you work in recruitment, your priority is finding talent. Learning more about implicit biases and controlling for those biases by using a recruitment company (as well as some of those other strategies above), and prioritising talent above anything else.

Why People Don’t Show Up For Interviews

When a company asks a candidate to a job interview, the company usually expects the candidate is going to be happy about it. Indeed, the applicant applied for the job, indicating they want to work for the company, and the company took time out of their day to plan for the person’s interview and see if they are the right person for the job.

In many ways, getting called into an interview is an honour. Yet a surprisingly large percentage of candidates do not show up to their interviews, and that can be both disheartening and frustrating as an employer.

Types of Candidates That Do Not Show Up

There are a number of different reasons why a candidate may not show up for a job interview. Just a small sample of the reasons include:

  • Anxious – Interviews can cause people to become extremely anxious, and in the time leading up to the interview, the person may simply feel like they aren’t ready to go and skip it. It may seem uncommon, but anxiety can bring down even the best of applicants, and those that are too nervous showing up for an interview may simply not bother to show up at all.
  • Not Properly Prepared by Company – This is a very common reason that people do not show up for job interviews – they weren’t well informed by the company. For example, the company may not have done a good job communicating the time, or the location. It’s also possible the person forgot about the interview because it was scheduled too far in advance. If that happens, even if they realize they missed it, it is likely they would not bother showing up at all.
  • Working – Working candidates often struggle to fit in time to go to job interviews. In many cases, they may sneak out of work or take a long lunch because they do not want to upset their employer. If something comes up at the last minute and they can’t leave their jobs, they may simply have to skip the interview and be left knowing that they have no chance at the job.
  • Lazy/Negative Quality – Finally, of course, there may be a negative quality that causes them to skip the job interview. That’s one of the issues you’re trying to watch out for the most, which is likely why a missed job interview damages someone’s chances so thoroughly.

Often there is no way to know which factor was involved, but if it was the first 3, then you may still have a good candidate that you’re missing out on if they do not follow up with the interview.

How to Make Sure Your Candidates Show Up

It is in your best interests to do everything you can to help applicants show up for the interview, because you don’t want to miss out on some of these great candidates. Consider the following tips:

  • Help the Candidate Be Organized – Yes, you want a candidate that is organized and professional, but sometimes scheduling and managing job interviews can be challenging. Make sure that the candidate knows where to go, how to get there, what the interview will entail, what time it is, where to meet, and more. You may even want to follow up with the candidate once or twice in the days leading up to the interview to make sure they remember it, especially if it is scheduled in advance.
  • Be Friendly – Find a way to make sure that you sound friendly to the applicant to reduce their anxiety, and use strategies that make sure they are not too anxious. One way is to have a brief phone conversation between the lead interviewer and the candidate before the interview starts, so they are less nervous. Another way is to provide them with a few questions to prepare for. Little things like this can help reduce applicant anxiety.
  • Be Flexible with Scheduling – If the applicant is currently working, you may want to find a way to be more flexible with scheduling. Make time available after work hours, or let them know that you’ll be able to reschedule as long as they call in advance. These little things can help working applicants a great deal.

There is a limit to what you can do to make a candidate show up for the interview, but the one thing you can do is “your part.” Make sure that you’re doing whatever you can for the applicant, so that you know that when they show up that it’s probably for the best.