4 Steps for Increasing Candidate Engagement


Candidates often apply for many jobs, but the hiring process is not consistent across the board. Often it looks different depending on role, industry, and level of expertise. Not every candidate will have the most incredible experience when going through the hiring process with a company.

Unfortunately, some companies fail to ignore the candidate engagement process and think that the candidate alone has something to offer when looking to fill a position. Instead, the posture for companies should include mutual respect that both candidate and employer have something to offer and something to gain through the hiring process.

The hiring process is already difficult enough for both parties. For employers, it takes time and effort to schedule candidates to interview for the position, along with having to go through the candidate selection process. For the candidate, they may submit their application to 400 companies and only hear back from 20 of them and then only schedule an interview with 2 of them. The hiring process is not currently the easiest, but there is hope for the way that we as organizations make our candidates feel during the process.

Candidate engagement involves candidate responsiveness, as well as how candidates felt and were treated during the hiring process.

What if this year your team worked to shift the way that your candidate engagement process worked? Would this be beneficial to your organization? If so, let’s take a quick look at 4 tangible steps to create solid candidate engagement strategies within your hiring process.

1. Build an authentic and engaging brand. 

First and foremost, take a look at your brand as a whole. Before you analyze any candidates during the hiring process, look at what you are offering prospective candidates. What does your company represent? What is the story that you are telling? Is it something that engages your prospective candidates? Is there a drive that makes people want to be apart of your organization?

A key factor in the hiring process is ensuring that the story you are telling is authentic yet engaging. Show off your incredible company in a way that displays you at your best while telling a story that is true to who you are and what your company stands for. Candidates want to know who you are as a brand and a culture. Ensure that the vision you are providing to them is accurate and engaging. This helps get your candidate excited about potentially working for you, as well as gives them a deeper insight into who you are and what you stand for.

What does it look like to build an authentic yet engaging brand? Does your company have a website or social media outlets that allow your prospective candidate to take a deeper look into your organization? Is there accessible collateral for them to learn more about your product or service offering? Branding is a major component of the candidate experience. Having consistent branding throughout every stage of the hiring process helps keep credibility and builds brand trust for your candidate. Omitting this small yet important detail when crafting a candidate experience plan can deter prospects from pursuing a career with your organization. Remember, candidates choose you just as you choose them.

2. Craft personalized outreach emails.

This ties back into the story that you are telling to your consumers and prospective candidates. What story are you telling? Do your prospective candidates feel seen and known or do they simply just feel like another application coming through your inbox? By adding in a few personalized touches to your hiring and selection process, you can shift the way your candidates respond to their encounter with your organization.

Think of candidate prospecting like lead prospecting. You wouldn’t shoot in the dark hoping to land the perfect lead. You research, define a target market, and craft a personalized and tailored message. Why wouldn’t you want to take the same approach with your candidates? Do your research, define what your ideal target candidate looks like, then craft a personalized and tailored message just for them. This might include inserting your candidates title or even a highlight about their role. A little intentionality in your outreach efforts will yield greater results and hone your candidate engagement strategies.

3. Follow up on unanswered outreach email. 

Have you ever wondered if following up makes an impact? Or maybe you haven’t yet considered whether a follow up could be helpful to your outreach efforts.

Let’s be honest, life gets busy. Some days we feel like there are not enough hours to match all of the things on our to-do list. I can almost guarantee there has been an email or two that has slipped through the cracks of your inbox, and you’ve missed something important because of it! It happens…

With a tool like vidREACH workFLOW, you can automate your personalized follow-up so a candidate never falls off. This reduces the hassle of looping back in with top talent but still allows your unanswered outreach efforts to have that intentional and personalized touch. This process allows you to create a workFLOW that can be timed, so if you have yet to hear from your candidate after a few rounds of outreach, you can shift the sequence to send a final outreach and then end your process.

4. Simplify your application process. 

Are your candidates having to jump through hoops to apply to your company? There should be more excitement than burden when a candidate applies for a role. One of the biggest ways to increase your candidate engagement is to simplify your candidate engagement plan.

Last week I read an article that described an established tech organization that was interested in an individual. Over a span of eight months, the company interviewed and got to know this candidate. At the end of the eight-month process, they did not offer the candidate the position.

Sound a little ridiculous? Not only is a process like this inefficient, it wastes your time and the candidate’s time. There is a better way to engage and honor our candidates’ time. Think about what steps you can take as an organization to make the process easier and more efficient for your candidate. Can you implement an automated application process? Have you considered video screening? These are just small ways you can streamline your process while still keeping your candidates engaged.

You can do this! For a deeper dive in maximizing your candidate engagement efforts, check out vidREACH workFLOW.