Candidate engagement has been a trending topic in recruiting for quite some time now (including here on this blog). And considering the sudden about-face recruiting has taken since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that many recruiters and companies have possibly shifted their thoughts away from candidate engagement.
After all, with so many Americans out of work, why focus on candidate engagement?
Although there are certainly a myriad of priorities on your plate right now, including recruiting talent, it’s imperative that candidate engagement remain one of your top recruiting priorities — now and for the foreseeable future. In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to say that demand for a positive candidate experience isn’t going anywhere at all.
Prioritizing candidate engagement is key
It’s not just enough to acknowledge the importance of candidate engagement, though. Now is an incredibly important time to actively invest in candidate engagement. Here’s why:
Candidates are counting on you to keep them informed.
With so much seemingly outside of our control during these uncertain times, talent welcomes an opportunity to feel “in control” of something. By providing them with useful information, you’re not only engaging candidates, you’re helping them through an extremely stressful time.
From updates and information about unemployment or other publicly-available resources aimed toward job seekers, to information about webinars, networking events and other career assistance, short, personalized messages to your talent network offers literal value to the recipients, while building trust in your brand and keeping your company top of mind with talent.
More talent than ever is looking for work.
There’s some measurable benefit here, so it’s not all warm fuzzies (although it’s always nice to do the right thing and help people out when you can). Keeping candidates informed about hot jobs and other openings can literally speed up your recruiting time and reduce your recruiting costs.
Of course, in addition to reaching candidates who need work right now, you’ll also likely increase your referrals — many of us know at least a handful of people who are looking for work.
Sending personalized messages via email or more often, via text (which in our experience, produces a significantly-higher open and engagement rate) that include your latest, most in-demand or “hot” jobs is a great way to showcase your company, help people find jobs and again, to stay top of mind at a time when there is so much competing for the attention of talent.
Strong candidate engagement is the best employer branding.
If you scroll through LinkedIn on any given day recently, you’ll find horror stories of candidate experiences with potential employers. Although the economy and current situation have created more of an employer-centric market, candidates — especially highly qualified ones — still expect a strong, positive and personalized candidate experience.
And if you don’t give them one? They’re going to post about it online. And potentially reach thousands of people.
If you’re not prioritizing candidate engagement, you’ll not only feel the effects while you recruit now, you may feel the negative effects for many years — once COVID-19 is (hopefully) a distant memory.
Engaged candidates deliver better results.
All of us here at Matlen Silver are committed to delivering a strong candidate experience for our network of talent. And the results speak for themselves — our clients build and nurture strong, long-term relationships with us because they know they can count on us for exceptional talent that is genuinely excited to work with them (and feel like a valued part of our team).
Highly-engaged talent requires shorter ramp-up time, and can significantly increase productivity. You can feel and measure the difference! And our clients are certainly reaping the benefits. By prioritizing candidate engagement in your organization, you can do the same.
Investing in candidate engagement can include a LOT.
One reason many companies that want to invest in candidate engagement don’t is that, well, it takes a lot of investment. In time and cost. Who has time to send hundreds or even thousands of texts every day? Who will take ownership of candidate engagement?
Especially when your team is already maxed out, adding a strong candidate engagement strategy may not seem feasible. This is just one of the many reasons clients choose to partner with us here at Matlen Silver. At every level of our organization, we are committed to creating a positive candidate experience, and to delivering truly elite service to our clients. We’ve invested heavily in the right technologies and systems, which empower us to keep candidates engaged and excited to work with us (and you!).