Employers know employee engagement is essential to retention and productivity. That’s why smart employers make it a priority. But often, candidate engagement is not given the same weight, although it is just as valuable. What better way to hire and retain great people than by engaging them right out of the gate from the first contact? It’s essential to get off on the right foot by making it easy to apply to get them excited about your brand. Engage candidates throughout the process by using social media to show why people would want to work for you. Also, ensure job descriptions are accurate as to what the job will be like.
What is Employee Engagement and How is it Measured?
Employee engagement is about how invested employees are in their jobs and how likely they are to remain with a company for the long term. Engaged employees are more productive and motivated. They can have a positive impact on the morale of their coworkers and are eager to pitch in as needed.
How can Employers Measure Employee Engagement?
Assess employee engagement can by soliciting employee feedback using a variety of channels. You can also track data you may already have access to. Standard methods of measuring employee engagement include:
- Stay/Exit Interviews
- Employee Surveys
- Turnover Rate
- Absenteeism Rate
Candidate Engagement is Just as Important to Measure
It’s important to know where candidates are coming from and where you’re losing them in the process. Gain this information by evaluating:
- Application Completion Rate
- Candidate Drop-Off
- Time To Fill
- Candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Career Site Stats
Check Out These 5 Tips
As important as it is to ensure candidates are engaged every step along the way, there are steps you can take to improve engagement. Here are five tips to try.
1. Make the Application Process Easy
Too often, applications seem more like obstacles. They are long and involved; sometimes, they can even timeout, requiring applicants to re-enter their information if their WIFI connection is not the highest quality. Job applications can be impossible to complete on a mobile device which is the primary method many job seekers use to look for work. Some systems require applicants to provide resumes (and not all job seekers have them). Others require a resume to be uploaded while asking the applicant to enter information already included in the resume. No wonder people exit the online application without completing it!
Often information that is requested in the application isn’t necessary in order to consider someone for an interview. Additional information can easily be requested if you decide to move to the next steps in the hiring process or if the applicant is hired. For example, you don’t need data such as a candidate’s Social Security number or the exact address of a previous employer before they are even interviewed. It can seem easy from the hiring managers’ perspective to have all that information obtained upfront, but realistically, it’s unnecessary. The simpler you keep the application process, the better your chances of keeping candidates engaged at the top of the funnel.
2. Promote Branding
Employees want to feel proud of where they work. They want other people to be impressed when they tell them what their job is. Maybe you can’t be a household name like Google or Tesla, but you can still develop and communicate a strong brand.
You know what makes your company stand apart from the competition and what makes you proud to be a part of your organization. It’s important to communicate those aspects of your brand to people you would like to attract to the company. Your brand can make you a destination employer – a place where people are eager to work. Effectively communicating your brand will increase the chances that the people you attract will fit well into the organization.
3. Transparency – Keeping Candidates Updated on Status of their Application
Employers often talk about candidates ghosting them – not showing up for interviews or even the first day on the job. An even bigger problem that is often not talked about is recruiters or hiring managers ghosting candidates. They will tell applicants they’ll call them by the end of the week, and they don’t. They’ll tell interviewees they’ll let them know either way whether or not they got the job, and they don’t. They tell candidates they’ll let them know the next step in the hiring process, and they don’t. Don’t be this kind of employer if you want to maintain a positive reputation in the job seeker community. People do talk. They’ll tell people in their network about their bad experiences and leave negative reviews online.
It doesn’t take much effort to avoid this fate. You don’t have to engage in a long conversation. There are many ways to keep candidates informed through the process, many of which can be automated. Give them an automated response that confirms their application has been received, what to expect next, and when.
Best practices will depend on the size of the candidate pool. For example, if you are hiring for a management position with three potential finalists. There is no reason why you can’t call or email them with regular updates.
If you are recruiting for a large-scale project where you might have 100 candidates for 50 job openings, it would be unrealistic to call each of them on the phone at every point along the process. That’s where automation can be the ideal solution. A system can be set up to send emails or texts to update them on when you expect to make a decision or a projected start date if appropriate or simply to let them know they are not in the running. No one likes to hear they didn’t get the job but being left handing is worse. When candidates feel they are heard and appreciated, they will remain positive about your company even if they don’t get the job.
4. Leverage Social Media
Employers often underuse social media or don’t use it as strategically as they could. There are many ways that social media can contribute to your hiring process for your employment brand. For example, you can share pictures, stories, and posts about what it’s like to work for your company. You can post what kinds of projects you’re working on, thoughts from current employees about how great it is to work there, or how you participate in the community. Everything important to you is part of your branding. Social media can be used to post specific jobs you’re recruiting for. There’s no limit to what you can do with different kinds of posts. There are free and paid options. In many cases, you can get more mileage by engaging your employees and asking them to share it on their social media accounts. You’ll get increased reach with no additional cost.
5. Clear Job Descriptions
When you post a job opening, it can be tempting to grab the job description from HR to cut and paste it into your job advertisement. This is not the best strategy; job descriptions tend to be dull and often quickly outdated. They are not the best recruiting tool. Consider how the job is changed since the job description was created. Is there new technology required for the job, new tasks expected to be taken on, or duties eliminated? Also, be realistic about what is required of a successful candidate for the position. Does the job really require a college degree, or is a relevant experience just as good? Do you need three years of experience, or would one year be enough? If it’s a job that’s easy to train someone for, maybe you could take on an entry-level candidate and put a little bit of time into working with them and build a loyal employee.
Most importantly, is it engaging to the candidate? Too often, job descriptions are about what the employer needs and not what the candidate does. Job descriptions that read like a list of demands will not inspire a job seeker to apply to your job instead of any of the other many jobs available. Look at your job descriptions through the eyes of your top candidates.
How a Staffing Company Can Improve the Hiring Process for Candidates
Staffing agencies can improve the hiring process for candidates is by keeping the process moving on their end. They can keep them engaged throughout the process and help ensure their resume looks great before it’s submitted to you. Staffing recruiters can give candidates feedback from hiring managers so they know what they can do better next time. An applicant who’s not a great fit now could be the perfect fit candidate later. Also, because staffing agencies maintain active and passive candidate databases, they can reach out to suitable prospects. This gives you an advantage because you get the position filled faster. The candidate also wins because it’s likely a job that they already have their minds on.
Staffing companies have many advantages when it comes to hiring, but one of the most important ones is that they are hiring machines, Sourcing, screening, interviewing – this is what they do all day, every day. It’s not just a part of their job; it’s their whole job. Chances are that your HR department has many other things to worry about over and above hiring. How much time is it taking away from managers to find the time to interview candidates? Wouldn’t you rather have managers interviewing the top three candidates rather than twelve when nine of them are completely off the mark? Your HR department and hiring managers could better spend their time on core tasks instead. This is one of the most important benefits a staffing agency can offer to you.
Promote the Value of Your Company
If you want to hire great candidates, it’s essential to share why your company is a great place to work. Your career page can be a great place to accomplish this. It can welcome candidates to your company, telling them what the organization is about, what it’s like to work there, and what you are most proud of. Use it to tell applicants about your culture, values, and mission. Be sure to provide clear calls to action to remove any roadblocks to their success. By engaging candidates from the start, you are growing your network and creating a source of future hires. Making a great impression on every potential candidate is a smart investment in your long-range success.
Start Attracting Candidates Today!
Since 2002, RPC has been providing quality candidates to employers in the industries including accounting & finance, administrative, light industrial, healthcare, banking, and customer service & call center. We help employers attract and engage candidates in Dallas, Fort Worth, TX, Springfield, MO, and Denver, CO areas for their hiring needs, including temporary, temp-to-hire, direct hire, and more. Contact RPC Company to learn more about the many ways we can help you gain a competitive edge through candidate engagement.