Most employers have an onboarding program, but few are able to keep candidates invested in the process. 33% of new hires start looking for a new job within six months, and 23% leave in under a year. If you have a hire turnover rate, your recruitment process is likely the culprit.

As the job market becomes more competitive, you can’t afford to lose talent before, during, or after recruitment. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep candidates engaged. 

keep candidates
Job hunting photo created by ijeab –

How to Keep Applicants Engaged During Recruitment

Whether you’re facing staffing shortages or a tight market, an employee engagement strategy can bring quality candidates knocking on your door. 

Here’s how to keep them interested.

Restructure Your Search to Source Better Candidates

Quality candidate sourcing is one of the most important parts of the recruitment process. It’s also where the majority of quality applicants disengage if they’re even interested in the job.

Make Sure The Right Candidates Can Find You

Most roles go by multiple titles. Some candidates will search them all, while others will focus on what’s familiar. Choose 1 main job title and 1 alternate job title to expand your talent tool. Don’t make your search too broad, or you won’t have time to engage with qualified applicants. 

Reply To Candidates As Soon As Possible

Quality candidates don’t expect employers to reply right away, but they do want a response in three business days. If you take too long to respond to their application, your competition will sweep in and take your candidate off the market. Don’t wait too long to go to the next step.

Create a Quick and Painless Application Process

Candidates will exit out of your application if it’s too long or overly complicated. You should only include what’s necessary to instill confidence in applicants and move them along the funnel.

Give Candidates Something to Research

Interview coaches teach candidates to research a company’s culture, perks, benefits, and values before applying. If they can’t find this info or the startup is sporting several red flags, candidates won’t be interested. Clean up your brand and website.

Create Job Descriptions That Make Sense

Candidates need detailed and accurate job descriptions to determine if they’re the right fit for the job. If essential information is missing, like a salary range, skill descriptions, or a benefit plan, you’ll come off as untrustworthy. Be transparent and all-encompassing to find candidates.

Fill in Holes and Gaps in Your Outreach Strategy 

Candidates will exit out of your application if it’s too long or overly complicated. You should only include what’s necessary to instill confidence in applicants and move them along the funnel.

Be Curious About Your Candidate’s Journey

If you have to fill a position quickly, try not to come off too strong. Instead, be curious about your candidate’s journey and ask questions about how they found you and why they’re interested. A hard sell could steer candidates away because you’re implying you have a high turnover rate.

Describe Parts of Your Recruitment Strategy

At every stage of the recruitment process, let your candidates know what’s happening to their application, what will happen at the next stage, and when they can expect another update. By keeping candidates in the loop with fully personalized emails, you maintain their interest.

Reduce Interviewing Challenges and Preparedness 

Interviews are stressful for candidates, but most employers don’t try to ease their fears. If there are too many unknowns, candidates may cancel or appear unprepared for your meeting.

Get Candidates Prepared for the Interview

Employers are often disappointed when their candidates aren’t adequately prepared for interviews, so set them up for success. Before the interview, explain what you need them to do, bring, or say. If you’re doing a video interview, show them how to set up the tool or software.

Stress the Importance of Soft Skills

Hard skills are essential, but traits like collaboration, adaptability, and creativity correlate with longevity. It’s also frustrating when employers don’t recognize transferable skills. If a candidate works in retail, then they have all the necessary skills to work in any customer service job.

Don’t Falter or be Dishonest in the Negotiation Stage

You’ve gone through every stage of the recruitment process, but the last stage is a critical one. If you want to finish strong, you have to respect your candidates and alleviate their concerns.

Discuss Salary and Benefits Up Front

Money isn’t everything, but your candidates need a decent salary and benefits to give it their all. If you don’t discuss these topics upfront, or you offer something that’s lower than advertised, you’re going to turn them off. No candidate will ever willingly work for a dishonest employer.

Finish the Recruitment Process Strong

65% of job candidates have rejected a job offer due to a bad interview experience. Remember that quality talent can opt-out at any time. The last thing you want to do is end the process on a sour note. If candidates bring a recruitment issue to your attention, address it and apologize.