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Candidate Engagement: Why It Matters, How To Measure & Improve

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Getting your job openings in front of the right candidates is no small feat. But even with a successful recruitment strategy, convincing applications to engage with your opportunity can be challenging — and it's the key to finding top talent for any role. In this blog post, we'll discuss how candidate engagement affects your success rate throughout the recruitment process and provide strategies on how you can measure and improve it. From enhancing employer branding initiatives through influential content marketing to building a personalized outreach program, there are many steps recruiters should take when seeking out qualified applicants. Get ready to reap the rewards of engaged candidates!

1. Define candidate engagement 

Candidate engagement is an increasingly important concept in the realm of recruiting. It refers to building and maintaining a positive relationship with job applicants, typically through providing regular updates, timely feedback, and opportunities for two-way communication, which helps ensure they feel valued and appreciated throughout the recruitment process.

By establishing an open dialogue and a level of trust between the recruiter and the candidate through personal conversations, both parties can get a much better idea if it will be an optimal pair for success.

2. Why candidate engagement matter

Having active candidate engagement is more than just a nice-to-have in the recruitment process — it’s essential for building relationships with potential employees and attracting top talent. Here are why:

  • Improved Communication - Candidate engagement helps to ensure timely, relevant communication between recruiters and job applicants. This can help the recruitment process run more smoothly, leading to better relationships and increased trust between all parties involved.
  • Increased Retention - When candidates feel like they are being heard and respected, they are far more likely to stick around for longer periods of time in the hiring process, which leads to higher retention rates overall.
  • Enhanced Employer Branding - Positive candidate experiences will lead to happier employees and potential hires who spread positive word-of-mouth about your company's brand image — thus making it easier for you to attract top talent in the future! 
  • More Insightful Decision Making - By engaging with applicants on a personal level during their recruitment journey, recruiters have access to more insight into each individual’s skill set and personality traits than before — making it easier for them to make informed decisions when considering new hires or promoting existing ones within their organization.  
  • Faster Time To Hire Rate - A successful candidate engagement strategy helps cut down on total recruiting cycles by quickly giving candidates an answer as soon as possible so that everyone can move forward without any delays or confusion about their place in the process.

3. Candidate Engagement VS Candidate Experience 

Candidate engagement and candidate experience are two terms that are often used interchangeably in the recruitment process. Despite the apparent similarities between the two concepts, they still differ in their focus and scope. 

3.1 Candidate Experience

Candidate experience is centered around the feeling felt by the candidate throughout their recruitment journey and can determine whether a candidate accepts a position or not. It includes all the touchpoints and interactions that candidates have with the recruiter. Aside from this, candidates are able to judge their candidacy based on how they are treated and valued from start to finish. 

3.2 Candidate Engagement

It can be said that candidate engagement is an important part of a good candidate experience. Recruiters strive to provide excellent customer service by sending regular updates on job search progress, providing helpful advice on resume preparation and interview tips, answering any questions a candidate has about the job posting or organization, and acknowledging any feedback given to ensure a positive candidate experience.

Candidate engagement involves creating meaningful interactions between job seekers and recruiters, with both parties feeling heard, respected, and informed. By using this approach, recruiters can establish relationships that are built on trust and make for greater chances of success when finding the right fit for each role.

While these two concepts may be closely linked together, it's important for recruiters to know and understand the difference between them if they want to ensure a successful recruitment process.

4. Common Issues of Candidate Engagement

The lack of engagement is one of the most common issues in candidate engagement. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Poor communication - Candidates may not feel heard or understood if recruitment processes are too lengthy and complicated, or if recruiters do not respond promptly to inquiries. 
  • Unclear expectations - Candidates may be unsure of what is expected from them during the recruitment process if job descriptions and requirements are unclear or vague. 
  • Lack of feedback - If candidates don't receive regular feedback throughout the recruitment process, they can quickly lose interest in the role offered. Providing informative and timely feedback can help keep candidates interested and engaged. 
  • Uncompetitive salary - If an organization cannot offer a competitive salary for the position, then candidates may become less interested in the role.
  • Poor employer branding - Candidates may not feel positive about the organization if there's no clear indication of its values or its mission statement, or if there's a lack of social media presence. 

By addressing these common issues, organizations can ensure that their recruitment process is as engaging and effective as possible. 

5. How to improve your candidate engagement

Improving candidate engagement should be a priority for recruiters, as this can help create positive experiences and relationships between the organization and potential hires. Here are some strategies to consider when improving your overall candidate engagement:

5.1 Automated Processes

Utilizing automation recruitment in certain processes within the recruitment cycle can help to streamline the process for both recruiters and job seekers alike. Automated emails or messages can be sent out to keep candidates up-to-date on their progress throughout the recruitment process, helping them feel heard and respected. Additionally, automated scheduling can speed up the process of setting up interviews, reducing delays and long waiting times. 

5.2 Engaging Content

Writing informative yet engaging job postings can encourage potential candidates to apply and be interested in the role being offered. Keep your job postings concise while highlighting what makes your organization stand out from the rest to make sure you're attracting the right kind of talent. 

5.3 Personalized Messages

While automated messages can help keep candidates updated, personalized messages or calls from recruiters can further engage and strengthen relationships with potential hires. Crafting a message that feels tailored to each candidate's skills, experience, and career goals can give them a deeper sense of appreciation for the organization. 

5.4 Build Your Brand

The recruitment process should also be seen as a marketing opportunity for the organization, allowing it to build its brand and improve relationships with potential hires. Creating social media content that’s tailored to job seekers, engaging in career-focused conversations on different platforms, and building an Employer Branding strategy are all great ways to reach out and engage with potential candidates. 

6. How is candidate engagement measured?

Candidate engagement can be measured through a variety of metrics and indicators, which can provide insight into how interested and invested candidates are in the recruitment process. Some of the key ways that candidate engagement can be measured include:

  • Application completion rate - The application completion rate is a measure of the percentage of candidates who complete the entire application process, from start to finish. A low completion rate could indicate a lack of interest or engagement in the job position. 
  • The response rate to outreach -  It measures how many candidates respond to recruitment outreach, such as emails or phone calls. A low response rate means that candidates feel they need more interest or trust in the recruitment process.
  • Acceptance rates also provide great information - A higher acceptance rate could mean that candidates were sufficiently engaged and interested enough in the job to accept the offer.
  • Candidate retention - High retention rates can indicate a high level of candidate engagement and a good fit between the candidate and the job. 
  • Time-to-hire - Candidates may lose interest or accept other job offers during the recruiting process if the time-to-hire is too long.

By looking at these statistics, recruiters can understand how well their recruitment process works and what needs to be adjusted to ensure they are sourcing top talent more effectively.

7. Conclusion

In conclusion, candidate engagement is a key factor in the recruitment process that cannot be overlooked. Engaging with them on an online platform allows you to show yourself in the best light and create a lasting impression. Taking the time to stay connected to candidates can demonstrate that you genuinely care about their overall experience. From responding quickly to requests for information to keeping an eye out for opportunities of interest to them, staying engaged will build strong loyalty and trust in your organization and its brand ambassadors. That’s why keeping prospective candidates engaged, recruiters can ensure they have access to top-tier talent.


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