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Let’s challenge your thoughts on candidate engagement (and why that matters)

Posted by Alexandra Kane on Jan 29, 2019 8:00:00 AM
Alexandra Kane

When you do, read or say something on an almost daily basis, it can be hard to look it objectively. As staffing leaders, you probably don’t think about candidate engagement all the time. It’s something you just do. You’ve always done. And that’s that.

Except that candidates today are in the driver’s seat. They are in demand and willing to listen, but they are demanding more from recruiters.

It’s time to take a fresh look at your approach to candidate engagement.

First, let’s talk about the “why.”

Why is candidate engagement suddenly such a buzzworthy topic in staffing circles? Because today’s candidates are more connected and savvy than at any time in recent history. They expect -- even demand -- more from employers. Fall short of their expectations, and not only are they less likely to respond to your jobs, they’re also likely to share their negative perceptions of you with their family, friends and professional networks. Actually, 72% of candidates who have a poor experience will leave a negative review or tell a friend.

Ouch.

Here are a few areas where many staffing firms (and employers in general) fall short:

They don’t have time to follow up with candidates.

You have a new client job posting and have identified some perfect candidates for the role. You’re excited; they’re excited. Those early days of excitement for everyone seem like a flurry of communication and connection. The candidate interviews, then...what? Did they get the job? If so, did they hear from you while waiting to begin? After starting? Ever again?!

Your days are jam packed with to-do lists a mile long. It’s understandable that follow up communication fell by the wayside.

But that’s exactly what candidates want and expect from recruiters today.

Those early, exciting days establish a baseline for candidates. Impress them here, and they’ll hold you to it throughout the candidate life cycle. If your communication drops off at any point, it can feel like a bait and switch. It’s difficult to come back from this critical mistake to regain the trust of a candidate.

They only communicate with candidates who are an immediate match.

We know that you’re busy. You’ve got dozens, hundreds, even thousands of jobs to fill. It’s understandable that you seem to focus on what’s right in front of you at any given moment. The reality is that most candidates form an opinion of you well before they apply for a job.

Candidates are interacting with your employer brand across multiple channels and probably have an opinion about you before they are even a blip on your radar. Engaging with potential candidates is as critical as with current job applicants. The strength of your talent pool depends on it.

They haven’t moved beyond standard templates and generalities.

Automation is a powerful tool for staffing firms today, and can be strategically applied across the candidate lifecycle. Yet, the most powerful and successful technology today doesn’t sterilize communications and candidate engagement -- it personalizes it and provides very real, human connection across devices and platforms.

Candidates can see when they’ve been BCCd on a mass email, and can usually pinpoint when they are receiving poorly-applied templated messages that don’t quite match up with their history or interests. They have robust sets of skills, interests and career goals. Embrace and speak directly to those differences and earn the trust of candidates while standing out from the pack of templates and impersonal recruiters.

Looking for a place to start?

We dug even deeper into candidate engagement to create a robust whitepaper with our friends at ClearEdge Marketing. Packed chock full of insights and actionable advice, it’s an excellent place to start mapping out a strategic to overhaul your candidate engagement efforts. Download the eBook here, then contact us to learn more about our robust talent engagement and communication platform.

Topics: recruiting, staffing and recruiting, temporary workers, candidate engagement, staffing trends

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