Common Candidate Engagement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Almost all businesses have workers. Part of the HR function’s responsibilities revolves around executing talent acquisition strategies. Workforce management and employee retention are also a chunk of the HR function’s duties. Most employers and recruiters agree that employee engagement is one of the best ways to retain workers, but too few consider the value of candidate engagement. This can often impair a business’s ability to onboard the kind of talent that they need the most.

Certain engagement mistakes are common across a range of recruitment functions, from mortgage recruiters to video interviewers. Before progressing to specific problems, take a moment to understand why candidate engagement is essential.

The hiring process is the first point of contact every business has with a potential new hire. That means the recruiting experience often sets the tone for the employment period that follows. Otherwise, employers would discourage candidates from accepting a job offer even before the actual offer is made.

Given how candidates already have existing networks, you could quickly acquire an undesirable reputation. This impairs your ability to source great candidates for contract-to-hire, permanent, or even temp roles in the future. Candidate engagement is just as essential as worker engagement for long-term sustainability.

To keep attracting and hiring better candidates, offering a better candidate experience is critical at every stage. This also includes a component of keeping them engaged as well. Here are some mistakes to avoid if you want to do it right:

Gaps In Understanding and Communication

The first point of consideration is how well recruiters understand their candidate pool. In most interactions, you will be able to deliver a stronger and clearer message if you understand your audience. When you deliver a message designed around that particular audience, you stand a better chance of generating positive results.

Therefore, recruiters need to adopt a more dynamic approach. The means of engaging with cybersecurity consulting candidates should be different from that of financial advisory candidates.

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Offering a Fragmented or Disruptive Hiring Process

While recruiters need to tailor their approach around candidates, the process itself should always be cohesive. That involves ensuring all candidates are aware of where they are in the hiring process and what the next step is. Hiring teams need to frequently touch base with candidates. But they also need to work on delivering a more streamlined and disruption-free experience.

That means links to HR policies, such as those governing workplace investigation, should work as designed. Primary contact email addresses and phone numbers should be accurate. Any hiring materials need to be carefully indexed. In essence, recruiters may need to assess the quality of the candidate experience they offer and shape it accordingly.

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Not Screening Out Irrelevant Candidates

Candidate screening helps with candidate engagement in an indirect way. Recruiters typically must interview several candidates a day for a single open role. The interviews can drag on for weeks until a suitable candidate is determined. Of course, that means recruitment professionals typically have a full day when hiring.

Irrelevant candidates usually translate to a waste of time, but they still involve input from recruiters, which can eat into their energy reserves. A series of irrelevant candidates may even put a harried recruiter in a bad mood. This can impact the next candidate they interview and deliver an impression that may not be accurate at all.

Moreover, the longer candidates wait to hear from a potential employer, the more time they have to look elsewhere. If they feel disengaged, they may well move onto another employer by the time recruiters are ready to move to the next stage. Screening ensures recruiters have more time to offer a better experience to each candidate.

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Focusing on Candidate Volume Over Candidate Quality

Most professional recruiters understand the need for quality over quantity. But in-house hiring can often become overzealous to get a better result on their own performance appraisals. If your recruiters have been focusing on gathering as many candidates as possible, this could indicate inefficient use of your HR budget.

Improving candidate quality should command more focus than quantity. This also streamlines the candidate experience. Recruiters will find it much easier to engage with a smaller number of high-quality candidates, instead of a huge candidate list with a mix of relevant and irrelevant individuals.

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