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Attracting top talent to your company these days is more competitive than ever. Recruiting the most-qualified candidates to your job posts takes skill and requires a multi-channel approach. To stay on the radar of the industry’s most talented candidates, companies must create a recruitment strategy based on relationship-building and candidate engagement.

With candidate engagement, the focus gets centered on the candidates themselves in ways that build interest and trust. This strategy is a break from the past when companies primarily managed the requisitions and only engaged with candidates, if selected, as part of the interview process after filling out an online application. The communication with the candidate was primarily one-sided, with candidates often left in the dark after applying, not knowing if their application was ever even viewed.

Talent Board’s Annual Report revealed just how important communication with candidates has become. When rejecting applicants, Talent Board’s data showed that a candidate’s favorability rating towards an employer jumps by 28 percent when they receive a phone call rather than the automated email rejection.

Positive communication with candidates is also fundamental to receiving quality candidates through referrals. Talent Board found that “42.7 percent of referred candidates were much more likely to increase their relationship with a potential employer (apply again, refer others, make purchases if and when applicable), more so than if they conducted their own search or if they received unsolicited outreach from a recruiter.”

How Do Companies Implement Candidate Engagement?

It starts with creating a two-way dialogue that is centered around the candidate. After all, candidate communication needs to extend beyond a single channel. The most effective way to communicate with top talent is to open multi-channel conversations with candidates, which starts with creating value-based content that keeps your company top of mind with the candidate. As with all inbound marketing, inbound talent marketing focuses on nurturing candidates by offering them valuable content until they reach a point when they are ready to apply.

Today’s candidates have heard all the stories of companies with micromanaging bosses and toxic cultures, and many have experienced it firsthand, so they know how painful making the wrong career move can be. Therefore, today’s savvy job candidates want to know as much as possible about your organization, their potential boss, and the fields they’re about to enter. Sharing content from your website as well as success statistics and other benchmarks for the field in which they’re looking for a position establishes you as a trusted expert and a desirable employer.

Social media is where companies build online communities and the content gets distributed and consumed. To be successful using social media to recruit, companies must use their social channels to be social (like the name social media suggests) and start real conversations with candidates. What we’ve learned is that candidates want to know they are dealing with real people on the other end. 

Organizations can only be successful in recruiting if they both encourage and generate engagement with candidates. That includes not only answering questions posed in Tweets or comments but actively monitoring brand mentions as well. Marketers have long touted the value of social listening, the act of finding out just what is being said about your brand on social media. By engaging in this practice, recruiters can find potential candidates who may not even have heard of their organization or a specific job posting before the contact.

The most successful candidate engagement programs attract and build relationships with top talent, making them curious to learn more about working there.

Guest Author:

Giridhar Akkineni is the CEO and found of AkkenCloud, the most comprehensive, enterprise, cloud-based platform available for staffing and recruiting agencies, built to streamline front office, interoffice, and back office workflow. With the use of the AkkenCloud platform, customers have seen an increase in efficiency, placements, and profitability. Managing over 14.8 million candidates and 33,000 users within one platform, the size and success of AkkenCloud customers continue to grow daily.Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.