We’re in a job hunter's market. With the unemployment rate at record lows and employers competing to fill open positions, qualified job seekers know they’re in demand. So how do you attract and retain the brightest talent? As an employer, what can you do to stand out among the crowd?
Continuous candidate engagement is a crucial way to attract top talent to your company. With fewer candidates and more job openings, employers must focus on candidate engagement to stay competitive.
So how do you find the right candidate for your company? Take a look at your recruiting methods. Are they candidate-centric? Don't wait to engage them during the interview phase of your process; engage them before they apply for your position.
Here are some ways to boost your candidate engagement during the recruiting process.
Step 1: Promote your company brand and culture
Make sure candidates know who you are. Build an online presence advocating for both your company brand and your culture. Communicate your company’s core values, and show what it’s like to work for your company through pictures, written values, and social media profiles.
Integrate your company brand and culture. In today’s marketplace, your culture is your brand, and candidates want to experience your culture:
- 51% of job candidates want to visit your office to experience your culture
- 46% of candidates wish to visit with your employees
- 27% of candidates go to your website to learn about your culture
Let potential job candidates experience your culture through social media and your website. Highlight employee successes and involvement in the community. Don’t forget to also continually engage with your current employees since they are your primary brand ambassadors. Make sure your current workforce is engaged with your brand through your culture.
If top talent doesn’t know who you are, how can you expect them to be excited about working for you?
Step 2: Introduce technology into your recruiting process
One way to make your company stand out is by implementing technology into your hiring process. Millennials make up the largest segment of the workforce, and Generation Z is on their tail, outnumbering their predecessors. These generations expect digital interactions – meet these expectations with a recruiting process done through social media, websites, and smartphones.
You know that doctor’s appointment reminder that gets texted to you? Well, younger generations want to be reminded of deadlines and appointments during the recruiting process the same way. You have a candidate that’s coming in for a round of interviews? Send a text with the reminder.
Streamline your application process. Over 38 percent of candidates abandon the application process if the application is too long. Another 30 percent abandon the process because the application requires too much information that’s not readily available. Allow candidates to apply for positions on your website or through social media. Make it easy to upload a resume and a cover letter. An applicant should not spend hours completing your application. The entire process should take fifteen minutes or less.
Importantly, make sure your technology is reliable. If your technology crashes or is difficult to use, candidates may move on to the next opportunity. Over 50 percent of candidates who encounter technical difficulties when applying for a job abandon the process. Don’t lose potential talent because of inadequate systems.
Implementing technology, like texting reminders to candidates, is not just the wave of the future; it’s here. Streamline your application process. Implement technology that allows potential candidates to apply online or on their smartphones. Continually communicate with your candidates through emails, social media, and text messages. Keep them engaged throughout the entire process, from the application to the job offer.
Step 3: Interview like a pro
If you haven’t recently reviewed your interviewing process, now’s the time. Remember, it isn’t just about the interview itself but the entire candidate experience. Seventy-five percent of candidates have claimed that they wouldn’t take a job offer if they were treated poorly throughout the process. And this includes candidates that believed they were a fit for the job.
Prepare ahead of time. Have a standard set of questions that you ask all candidates. Engage your employees in the interview process. Let the candidate meet your team. Give them a tour of your office. Involve them in your culture while they’re interviewing.
Keep your interview process streamlined and efficient. Train your team on how to interview. Listen with empathy. Get to know the candidate. Don’t barrage them with company information. You’re trying to figure out if they’re a good fit for the advertised role as well as for your culture. Further, the candidate needs this time to see if they want to work for your company.
Finally, communicate with your candidates about next steps. Don’t leave them in the dark. By keeping candidates informed during the recruiting process, you’re creating potential new employees that will be excited to work for your company.
Step 4: Collect candidate feedback
Collect candidate feedback during and after the recruiting process. Have candidates complete surveys or online polls. Be sure to listen to ideas on how to make your process more efficient. Additionally, make sure you request feedback on how the candidate was treated. Ask about their candidate experience. It’s also key to collect feedback from all candidates, not just those who were extended a job offer.
Don’t limit candidate feedback to the candidates themselves. Survey your employees and your human resources team to collect feedback on the recruiting process. By collecting information both externally and internally, you can continually improve your hiring methods.
Eighty percent of candidates will use the recruiting process to determine how a company treats their employees. Make your hiring experience accessible, easy to use, and informative. The more efficient your recruiting process, the faster you can hire. Although you want to consider your candidates carefully, you also don’t want talent to slip through your fingers.
By continuously engaging candidates each step of the way, not only will you create a memorable candidate experience but you’ll produce future engaged employees.