Recruiting: How to Make the Candidate Experience More Engaging

It used to be that recruiting meant placing ads in the newspaper and waiting for top talent to stop by with their resumes. It was an exercise in waiting for blessings to fall from the sky. Things do not work that way anymore. Employers committed to hiring the best possible candidates have to actually go out and find them. More importantly, they have to engage.

Candidate engagement was never really an issue up until about 10 years ago. What happened? The financial crisis struck, unemployment rates went through the roof, and lots of people stopped looking for jobs. Needless to say the Great Recession changed the way job seekers think.

Today, workers are less likely to feel obligated to employers. They are more likely to have a willingness to jump from job to job until they find something they like. That makes recruiting tougher than it has ever been. Once again, engagement is the key.

Engaging with job seekers demonstrates that you're actually interested in them. It demonstrates that you need what they have to offer. So, how do you do it? Keep reading to find out.


Communicate like Never Before

The modern mindset in nearly every area of life is centered around being connected. People want to be constantly connected by way of social media, text messaging, media streaming, and so forth. Recruiting has to be up to that standard. As such, the first step in making the candidate experience more engaging is to communicate like never before.

Candidates want to be kept in the loop throughout the recruiting process. They want to know they have not been forgotten. Give them what they need by communicating regularly. Keep them in the loop and you will keep them engaged.


Respond Quickly

An extension of the first point is to respond quickly. Our culture of near instant communications dictates that it is no longer acceptable to wait a day or two before answering an e-mail, returning a phone call, etc. As tough as it might be, engaging with candidates means responding quickly. Communicating in the recruiting arena needs to keep pace with life outside of HR.


Be True to Your Word

Modern recruiting is a lot like maintaining a solid online presence. Just like internet users avoid websites they believe are untrustworthy, job seekers do not have a lot of interest in recruiters who are not true to their word. If you say you're going to do something, do it without fail. If you set an appointment to meet with a candidate, keep that appointment.

This one particular issue is especially poignant in the age of on-demand everything. People have certain expectations for what they want, and they don't mind looking around until they get it. In terms of recruiting, candidates don't want to be jerked around. They want straightforward honesty from recruiters who stay true to their word.


Sell the Opportunity

Another significant difference with modern recruiting is found in the way jobs are posted and interviews conducted. To engage nowadays is to sell the opportunity your company is offering. Another way to look at it is to not fill jobs, but rather, offer career opportunities. Sell yourself to candidates just as you expect them to sell themselves to you.

If your company offers something that would enhance a candidate's career development, sell it hard. Sell whatever it is that differentiates your company from the competition. The point is to convince candidates they should work for your company.

Engagement is key to effective recruiting in the modern era. How well does your company do at engaging with job seekers?