Nurturing candidates has one overarching purpose. To convert top talent into new hires for your open positions. By continuously engaging with candidates — whether passive or active — through multiple engagement strategies across the hiring journey, you can offer a seamless experience that delivers results for your recruiting function.
Candidate engagement typically is a continuum that spans recruitment marketing, the hiring experience, and new hire engagement. Simply, engaging candidates means you should focus on interactions from first look to first day.
But before going any further, let’s take time to differentiate candidate engagement from candidate experience. Candidate engagement is about a series of interactions you have with a candidate. You can determine what that engagement looks like. ‘Engagement’ is within your control.
On the other hand, candidate experience is about how a candidate feels about those interactions and the impression they have about your brand. ‘Experience’ is not in your control. In other words, you can’t dictate a candidate’s experience. You can only deliver candidate engagement that influences the candidate’s impression of your company.
Focusing on building your employer brand, streamlining your sourcing function, and building robust talent pools using a CRM all goes into candidate nurturing. But it’s the continuous drumbeat of interactions that can make a difference for your hiring outcomes.
Ask These 15 Questions to Determine Where You Can Improve Candidate Engagement
No matter the level of sophistication of your recruiting organization, you can always work to improve your candidate engagement efforts. Take a look at these 15 questions across the three areas of recruitment marketing, the hiring experience, and the onboarding experience to determine ways you can enhance how you nurture and engage candidates.
1. Do you have segmented talent pools that you consistently nurture with social and email campaigns?
2. How well do you keep ‘silver medalists’, or those candidates who made it to the final interview stage, but did not receive an offer, engaged with your employer brand?
3. Do you have a compelling career site that showcases what it’s like to work at your company and offers a mobile-first experience?
4. How well are you managing your social channels and promoting employer brand content?
5. Are you leveraging your own employees to recruit new talent and leverage as a source of employee referrals?
6. Is it easy for a candidate to apply to your jobs on a mobile device?
7. Is it easy for a candidate to schedule or reschedule interviews?
8. Is your hiring team trained to engage candidates in their interactions and welcome them either by video or onsite?
9. Are you responsive to candidate questions throughout the process? Do you have AI and automated messaging that can answer questions when you’re not available?
10. Do candidates receive timely feedback and do you track overall candidate feedback time?
12. Is your onboarding experience seamlessly connected to your hiring experience?
12. Are all of your new hire forms digital so that new hires don’t have to fill out forms by hand?
13. Do you have an onboarding portal that prioritizes all of a new hire’s tasks?
14. Does your onboarding portal work on mobile?
15. Do you offer preboarding? In other words, is your onboarding portal available to candidates before they start, so they can get a head start on the process?
Nurturing Candidates Delivers Results
To improve the recruiting process, you need to understand that you can make a tangible difference in engaging candidates — whether job seekers are taking an initial look at your business or they are ready to start in their new role. A candidate-centric approach shifts the focus from managing requisitions to creating remarkable candidate journeys that enable you to engage at the right time, in the right way, throughout the entire process.
Companies that have figured this out are seeing increases in social hires, higher rates of referrals that turn into applicants, increased application rates, greater candidate response rates, decreased time to fill, decreased time in screening applicants, and faster time to onboard.
Remember, nurturing candidates is the one area you can actually impact, so it’s important to orchestrate high-quality interactions across the entire recruiting process to create an exceptional candidate experience for job seekers.
Forward-thinking talent acquisition leaders and recruiting professionals need to think more strategically about how to improve the quality, speed, and effectiveness of engagement across a broader candidate journey, and in turn, an expanded recruiting cycle — from recruitment marketing to hiring to new hire engagement.
Take Hiring to the Next Level with Candidate Engagement Scoring
As your organization begins to tackle candidate engagement and identifies ways to improve how you nurture candidates, you may be ready to optimize your hiring and take recruiting to the next level. Candidate engagement scoring offers recruiters the ability to dig deeper into applicant activity and find ways to better nurture candidates in their talent journey.
Download the Candidate Engagement Scoring Guide to find out everything you need to know about candidate engagement scoring. Discover how you can measure and score candidate engagement, how you can save time and better nurture top talent, and how using engagement scores can enhance your recruiting initiatives.