5 Ways to Win at Candidate Engagement

October 28, 2016
Guest Post
Friend of Drafted

Spiders. Ghouls. Zombies. Poorly personalized InMails. While everyone loves a good scare now and then, there’s nothing more terrifying to a recruitment team than spooking away talent with poorly thought out candidate engagement. While you’re pushing to fill your 2021 headcount, make sure your teammates aren't scaring off the warm, delicious bodies… er candidates... you’re bringing in for interviews.

5 Ways to Win at Candidate Engagement

1. Skip the zombie InMails

Image of skeleton scaring away candidates

There’s no worse turn-off than a poorly researched, poorly executed InMail to a candidate.  If your recruiter is sending cold outreached that could have been penned by the walking dead, you’re likely missing out on 100s of candidates who will never enter your pipeline. Even worse, they just had a poor interaction with your employer brand. Take time to train your team on the most effective outreach techniques, including targeted research and personalization, and using their network to get email introductions.

2. Boil down that culture pitch to a magic potion

You’re lucky enough to get a candidate to say yes to a phone conversation, and they’re excited about the role on your team. After discussing the role, the candidate asks your recruiter about the workplace culture. Your recruiter shares their personal experience: How they like playing ping-pong at lunch and drinking the beer on tap. The candidate is never heard from again. Make sure you have an executive team-approved “pitch” on your company values, and that your recruiting team can casually articulate those values at any time.

Image of potion bottle to get  magical culture pitch

You work hard to build a culture and brand that employees want to participate in. Make sure you always put your best foot forward when a candidate asks, “What is it like to work at [your company]?”

3. Keep your roles consistent

Talk about a terrifying tale: A candidate applies for a role that's a perfect fit. They talk to your recruiter and agree that it makes sense for to come in for an interview.

Then, somewhere along the way, the role undergoes a hideous transformation. It shifts from a team-lead to an individual contributor, or the hiring manager decides to blend two roles, adding extra skills and responsibilities to the current req.

In any instance, the candidate is standing face-to-face with a franken-role that they never signed up for. And in their mind, it's your team of mad scientists that manufactured this monstrous mistake. As soon as they break free from your evil laboratory, they run screaming into town to warn the other villagers.

Image of two eyes

Make sure your recruiting team and hiring managers establish the exact skills required, experience, and responsibilities for a role. Stick to it. If priorities change revisit the open role and decide what to do as a team. Be as transparent with candidates as early as possible. Stitching and bolting a new role together is sure to have unwanted side-effects for everyone.

4. Conduct interview training

You and your candidates never know what’s lurking around the corner! While you trust that your hiring managers and their employees won’t ask truly terrifying questions (“So, have you always had that mole?”), you don’t have standard interview protocol. You haven't trained employees on the proper way to conduct an interview. They’re allowed to “spook” interviewees with any question, at any time.

Image of a dungeon that confuses candidates

After spending hours on edge, in a dungeon of wandering questions, your candidate leaves exhausted and vows never to enter that house of horrors again.

5. Don't "ghost" your candidates.

After a great on-site interview, your candidate leaves your office elated. They contact the other companies they’re speaking with and pause interviews. This is it.

Your team, on the other hand, is putting out fires and finalizing interviews with a few other candidates. They’ll get back to him as soon as you can. Hours turn to days, days turn to weeks, and like a cold chill that creeps slowly up your spine, your candidate becomes haunted by one singular thought: Your team ghosted him.

After a few attempts to reach the hiring manager and your recruiter, the candidate gives up. After all, you should be pursuing him. He searches for other roles and is never heard from again. Quote the candidate, “Nevermore.”

Image of crow saying nevermore

No matter where you are in the hiring process, make sure that you're communicating often and honestly with candidates. If there's a delay on your end, don't wait for a resolution, instead communicate the delay and an expected timeline — and ask the candidate if a little more time in the dark is too scary to handle.

Job hunting can be a scary time for candidates so take care not to spook them. Using these 5 tips to win over talent during the hiring process will help you keep candidate engagement high. Want more inspo for building a powerhouse candidate engagement strategy? Check out these candidate engagement tips from Undercover Recruiter, Lever, Hireology, and Recruiting Brief.

About Drafted

Your company network is your biggest competitive advantage when it comes to building best-in-class referral programs and making great hires.

Create your free account to join companies like Better.com and Karat who use Drafted to power their referral hiring.