Do You Value Candidate Engagement?

Barry Lenson

If you were applying for a job, which of these two companies would you rather work for?

Company A, which is hiring, feels like a castle that is protected by a moat and a drawbridge. You can see it, you think it is impressive, but exactly how can you get inside? What is going on in there? You have no idea. So you apply for a job there online and wait to see if the drawbridge comes down and you are invited in for an interview. Maybe that happens. Maybe that never happens. You sort of think it might be good to work for that company. But you can’t be sure.

Company B, which is also hiring, seems open, caring, receptive and accessible. After you apply for a job, you hear back and begin to get a better idea of what happens inside the company. You start to feel like a member of the organization – or at the very least, you feel like you would like to be part of it. You get excited, you become engaged. You jump at the chance to have an interview, just to get to know people who work for the company. So when an offer comes, you will jump at it.

Keys to Candidate Engagement

Obviously, you would be more likely to accept an offer of employment from Company B, which has found a way to engage you during the hiring process.

And if you are the company that is hiring, how can you become like that company? Here are some things to do.

Respond incredibly quickly. Applicants who apply online don’t sit around for a day, or even for an hour, waiting for an acknowledgement. They apply and – bang! – they hear back from you.

Keep building candidate engagement. One way is to simply contact your applicants after every contact. Another is to provide feedback after interviews. The more you interact, the greater the likelihood good applicants will accept your offer if you make one.

Get personal. In your communications, make it “Dear Chris” and not “Dear Applicant.” A little personalization helps build engagement. And of course, it is easy to do with Comeet.

Respond to questions . . . fast! Have a mechanism in place that brings questions and communications to your immediate attention, so you can answer immediately! Making people wait only builds feelings of distance and alienation.

Start a stream of communications with applicants. As soon as people apply, for example, you can blast them a video about your company, or information about your products, or about what a great place you are . . . or anything else you want. The more you communicate, the more connected people will feel.

Don’t just tell applicants about the job, explain your company’s values and vision. The more people know about your organization, they more they will feel simpatico with you. And the more likely they will be to eagerly await an interview or a job offer.

Establish contact with a real person within your organization. A simple statement like, “Hi, this is Kim Davis, I’m your contact during the hiring process” goes a long way toward building engagement with your company. (Compare that to “Thank you for contacting the hiring company.”)

If your answer is no, tell applicants directly. Always let candidates know if you decide not to continue the process with them, preferably by phone if you actually met them in person or they completed an assignment for your company. The applicant who wasn’t just right for the job you are trying to fill today could be just right for another job you are hiring for tomorrow. So conclude your discussions cordially and professionally . . . .and keep their materials organized and available for your future hiring needs.

Connect More, Hire Better Candidates

The more you can engage with potential employees, the more applications you will generate. And more important, the more good candidates will accept offers of employment when you make them.

Engage more, hire better. Comeet makes it all automatic, efficient and powerful.  

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