How to Keep Engaged & Retain Candidates During Hiring Process

How to Keep Engaged & Retain Candidates During Hiring Process- Sushma
After the interview, companies finalize candidates who are the best fit for the job. Similarly, even candidates weigh the options before accepting the offer. 

Implementing strategy, enhancing productivity, reducing costs, improving sales, or multiplying revenue, right talent plays a huge role because great organizations are made by equally greater people. Attracting good talent has thus become a constant focal point for HR and Hiring Managers

It has evolved over the years from being a need-based activity to a continuous one; from being transactional to experiential; from approaching for a particular position to creating and developing relationships with candidates who would someday become prospective employees. 

After the interview, companies finalize candidates who are the best fit for the job. Similarly, even candidates weigh the options before accepting the offer. Apart from the company, nature of work, compensation, and benefits, other important aspects that influence this decision are the way they were approached by the organization, quality of communication and connect before the interview, experiences created during the interview, whether the policies and practices are people friendly and any other thing that gives a glimpse of the prevailing culture.   

Just like a name represents an identity and holds deeper significance, job titles are equally important in the corporate world.  Companies are getting more creative by having unique job titles like Chief Happiness Officer, Brand Evangelist, Payroll Champion, Director Remote work, Chief-Hybrid Workforce etc. These unique job titles create curiosity for the candidates and become a USP for the organization to attract and engage candidates.        

In the current scenario, the Recruiter has assumed the role of Relationship Manager or Candidate Attraction Specialist.  Right from sourcing to screening and interviewing to finalizing, the hiring process usually remains the same.  

However, what makes the difference is when we add that ‘wow factor’ or create those ‘special effects’ at every stage of the hiring process that takes the experience a notch above than the usual one. Engaging talent begins right from the time connect is established with the candidates. Some of the ways to make the candidates experience uniqueness and create a lasting impression are:  

Create Excitement

Nowadays it is possible to gather information about the company through various sources. When organizations want to attract talent who are responsible to bring remarkable results, they also need to go the extra mile to create excitement for them through various means. 

Company websites having success stories, captivating videos about the company, display boards on best practices, various platforms for employee and family engagement, fun-at-work initiatives etc., will make the candidates excited about the organization.

Quality of Communication

Swift, prompt, and clear communication is the key to keep the candidates engaged.  Apart from these, displaying warmth, empathy, friendliness, and being considerate are equally impactful.   

Right from initial screening, and scheduling interviews to having that final conversation to finalize the offer and terms of appointment, quality of conversations reflect the values and culture of the organization and makes them feel interested and engaged. 

Provide Clarity

Many times candidate is not sure about the grading structure or what will be their position in the hierarchy of the organization. They join with some perceptions in mind, going by the standard assumption associated with designations, roles, salary, and perks.  

However, later it may differ, or they realise the gap in their understanding. It is always better to explain these things clearly during the hiring process itself, to rule out any confusion later. 

Establish Connect

Digitization and technology are being used at every step to ease the recruitment process. While that is fine for speed and accuracy, it is equally important to connect with the candidates.  

Using chatbots to answer a range of queries is quite common. But if some of the questions are not answered, there should be a process to route it to someone from the hiring team to respond. It is not just about candidate interactions, but relationship building. 

Show That You Care

Creating a positive and happy experience doesn’t seem like an impossible task when there are only a few roles or candidates. But when dealing with a greater number of roles or a larger group of people, it seems like a daunting task. 

However, exhibiting ‘We Care’ attitude is possible by bringing warmth in communications (personalize even the automated messages), respecting the time of the candidates (don’t make them wait too long), help them through hiring process (sharing interview tips, letting them know about the panel) and quick revert (avoid undue hiring timelines, give feedback after every round and further expectations).  

Address the Concerns

One of the ways to keep the candidates engaged during the hiring process is to share content on company background, role, team members, latest blogs-articles-accolades, steps of hiring process with a timeline etc. 

Apart from that, simplifying the application process, accessibility of a resource to clarify their doubts, letting them know the outcome of the interview, and giving categorical feedback if not selected, will make the hiring process experiential and not just transactional.  

Make Them Experience the Culture

According to Gallup’s research, company culture may make or break the chances of attracting the top 20% of talent.  Hence, instead of only speaking about it, we should ensure that the candidates experience it throughout the hiring process. 

The recruiting team interacts with the candidates more and hence, to exhibit the right culture of the organization they need to be well-trained and well-oriented so that the candidates get glimpses of it in every communication. 

Final Words

Nowadays, millennials don’t worry much about losing a job because there are umpteen opportunities available.  One of the ways to win the war of talent is by making the hiring process engaging, through direct and indirect means, not only for the candidates going through the interview but also to attract candidates in the future. 

A great candidate experience results in remarkable improvement in the quality of hiring and thereby creating exponential growth opportunities for the organization.  


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