3 Things You Can Do to Improve Candidate Engagement

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Jan 23, 2014

Editor’s note: As sourcers and recruiters, we often refer to candidate engagement as the art of engaging candidates and courting them for a particular role. In this post, Jackye Clayton expands the definition of candidate engagement and makes recommendations on how we should treat candidates after they have been through our recruiting process. 

Do candidates know you? Do they like you? Do you stay in regular contact with your candidates even if they don’t get the job? Do they come to you as a knowledgeable resource when it comes to employment?  If not – congratulations, you are “just like everyone else.”

Finding resumes is easy; finding talent is not. Successful sourcers and recruiters are doing the things those “like everyone else” do not want to do. They take the time to stay engaged with candidates. Employee engagement is a huge focus for companies. They know there isn’t enough talent out there to they want to keep them engaged. To quote Wikipedia:

An engaged employee is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and so takes positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests.

When you have “Candidate Engagement” after the initial interviews take place, a candidate will feel so positively about the candidate/recruiter relationship they willingly and enthusiastically refer people to you.

Here are three ways to influence candidate engagement to foster a collaborative relationship.

The Friend Factor

A good way to judge people is by observing how they treat those who can do them absolutely no good.

– Malcolm Forbes

Lay a foundation of trust when speaking to candidates. Give consistent and constant affirmation that your goal is understanding their job needs and wants and ALWAYS stay in touch. Be a ambivert.

The Vision Statement

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.

– Jonathon Swift

All people want to feel needed and important. Help inspire your candidates by reaffirming that you feel strongly about their ability to contribute to a company they could be working for. It’s the old fashioned WIIFM!

Be “That Guy”

Be the only one. Be your own adjective. Be ubiquitous. Be transparent.

– Scott Ginsberg

Don’t be like everyone else. When top talent starts passively looking for new opportunities, be the obvious choice of whom they should call. When candidates Google “jobs” be the first name that pops up! Find your uniqueness and use it to set you apart. (Remember uniqueness does not equal weirdness!)

Finding resumes is easy; finding talent is hard. Harder still can be candidate engagement – but that is why we get paid the big bucks. You never can tell what job order you will get down the road; that is why you must be proactive. Reactive sourcing is painful. By being a “friend,” creating the vision, and having the reputation as the go to recruiter, you will be the a placement hero.

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