4 Ways to Improve Candidate Engagement Throughout the Hiring Process

By Beth Kempton,
May 17, 2018

Effective candidate engagement and a positive hiring experience are both critical elements to building your best team. Rather than waiting until a candidate signs an offer letter to kick off your engagement strategy, you should start engaging with each candidate as soon as they apply for the job.

If your business doesn’t continuously engage with candidates throughout the hiring process, you risk candidates losing interest in joining your team and looking elsewhere for their next career move. Below, we’ve pulled together several tips to improve overall candidate engagement.

Quickly Review Applicants

Hireology data found that many businesses wait up to 10 days to simply review each new job applicant. But applicants who are reviewed and acted upon quickly are more likely to be hired. Across Hireology customers using our integrated hiring process, 70 percent of new hires are reviewed within 12 hours of submitting an application. Responding to applicants as soon as possible can help ensure strong candidates stay engaged and excited about the the possibility of working for your business. If you leave applicants waiting around for a response, you might lose qualified candidates to other job opportunities – and even your competitors.

Continuously Communicate with Candidates

Once you’ve initially reviewed applicants, your hiring team should make an effort to regularly communicate with candidates throughout the entire hiring process. If you’re in the process of scheduling interviews and can’t find time in a team member’s schedule for a few days or a week, reach out to the candidate instead of leaving them waiting and wondering when – or if –  the interview will be confirmed. And if it’s taking a while to receive reference or background checks back from a candidate, reach out to check on the status or see if there’s anything you can do to help. Finally, when candidates don’t end up getting an offer, make sure to close the loop by letting them know. This way, if they’re considering a job with your business in the future or know a friend or colleague who would be a great fit for a role, they’ll remember the organized, professional job applicant experience and continuous candidate engagement throughout the process and think positively of your business.

Boost Candidate Engagement with Text Messaging

Email inboxes are filled with noise and messages are constantly lost or overlooked. When it comes to hiring, this results in a lack of engagement between hiring managers and candidates. If a candidate overlooks an email, it can lead to missed interviews or increased time to complete certain hiring steps – such as failing to initiate the background check process when prompted via email. And if a hiring manager misses an email about scheduling an interview or changing the interview time, it can leave a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth.

Rather than risk candidate communication getting lost in a cluttered email inbox, text messaging can increase engagement and ensure candidates see all critical communication throughout the hiring process. While the average open rate for emails is around 30%, about 97% of text messages are read within 15 minutes of delivery, meaning candidates will almost immediately see interview reminders, schedule changes and other important information. Text messaging is an impactful communication channel for both employers and job seekers and can streamline your candidate and new hire communication, keeping candidates engaged.

Collect Candidate Feedback

Whether or not you hire a candidate, you should try to collect candidate feedback as often as possible, so you can continue improving your hiring process and job applicant experience. While few businesses collect candidate feedback, this can help your business attract more quality applicants down the road. Another benefit of collecting feedback is, you can build relationships with candidates. Your business can’t hire every great candidate that walks through your door. But by asking strong candidates who you couldn’t hire for their opinion on the job applicant experience and overall engagement, this will let each candidate know their opinion is valued – and you can stay in touch for future opportunities down the road.

For candidates you do end up hiring, by reaching out for feedback on the candidate experience, you can continue keeping your new hires engaged before their first day on the job. This will ensure new employees continue to be excited about joining your team.

Candidates who are engaged throughout the hiring process are more likely to be productive once they’re on the job – and engaged employees lead to increased profitability. According to Gallup, engaged employees are 17% more productive, achieve a 10% increase in customer ratings, a 20% increase in sales, and 21% greater profitability.

Beyond candidate engagement, a strong employment brand can help you attract top talent to your open roles. To assess your employment brand and see if you’re doing everything possible to attract quality candidates, download our guide, “The Hireology Employment Brand Playbook.”


About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.