Candidate Engagement at Every Stage

A Guide for Recruiters

Candidate Engagement at Every Stage

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Introduction

In this guide, Glassdoor and Jobvite team up to show recruiters how to adopt a candidate-centric recruiting model. Jobvite calls this new model of recruiting Continuous Candidate Engagement™ (CCE) and it focuses on delivering a unified candidate experience that both excites and delights the candidate — from first look to first day.

Only through this engagement can companies build more interested, engaged leads — informed candidates — who will apply for the right opportunity at the right time. This will also ensure a positive experience post-apply to create more loyal employee advocates and candidates who are more likely to apply again or refer others.

As a result, you’ll find better hires — faster and for a far lower cost — who are likely to stay longer and increase productivity.

Definition

The Informed Candidate is a person who is well-researched and engaged with your company, which means he or she will turn out to be the right fit and — once hired — get onboarded faster and exhibit greater productivity. Recruiting these Informed Candidates on Glassdoor saves employers valuable time throughout the hiring process, reducing the number of unqualified resumes to sift through and speeding up the time to fill.

Candidate-Centric Strategy

When you shift the focus from managing requisitions to creating remarkable candidate journeys, you’re able to engage at the right time, in the right way throughout the recruitment process with high-quality interactions.

Why Recruiting Is Different Today Than in the Past

Thanks to record low unemployment, recruiting is more challenging than ever before. The number of unfilled job openings nationally reached a record 6.1 million this year.1 And it’s taking employers longer to get through the hiring process. In a healthy economic climate like this, smart hiring decisions are critical. After all, people have more choices than ever before when it comes to deciding where to work. And because of Glassdoor, candidates are more informed, which means they can self-select for (or against) coming on board with your company before you even have a chance to engage with them.

It’s essential to build the kind of candidate engagement process that will meet your current hiring needs while also nurturing passive candidates. Jobvite specifically focuses on ensuring that each candidate is engaged with your unique brand — from the first time they view your career website to the first day they walk through the company’s front doors. Because it’s harder than ever to recruit, you want to make sure you have a strategy for engaging with every candidate at every stage, whether or not you’re ready to hire.

PRO TIP

It’s all about building a database of interested candidates that you can own and source from. For example, Jobvite gives recruiters the ability to create talent pools from an existing database of qualified candidates, so that when a great opportunity does arise, recruiters can identify a suitable candidate quickly and efficiently.

Continuous Candidate Engagement

Continuous Candidate Engagement is a candidate-centric recruiting model that encompasses both technology solutions and strategies to engage candidates at the right time, in the right way, at each stage of the expanded candidate journey.

Today’s job seekers don’t experience their search for work in a linear fashion. Understanding the modern candidate’s journey means you’re better able to provide high-quality candidate engagement that’s fast and flawless at every stage.

To achieve that type of candidate engagement, though, you’ll need to incorporate new levels of automation (e.g. AI and machine learning), so you can spend more of your time on the human, strategic work — the meaningful moments that drive better, faster outcomes.

Candidate Experience vs. Candidate Engagement

Candidate Engagement: Series of interactions you have with a candidate. Engagement is within your control.

Candidate Experience: How a candidate feels about those interactions and the impression they have about your brand. It’s up to you to influence candidate experience so they stay in your ecosystem.

Stage 1: Awareness

Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing incorporates every tactic that a talent acquisition team uses to draw qualified candidates into your pipeline. It’s sharing what makes your company a great place to work in everything from your job descriptions to your career site and Glassdoor presence to bring your employer brand to life.

Recruitment Marketing Checklist:
Recruiting
  • Glassdoor
  • Employee referrals
  • Job advertising/campaigns
  • SEO-friendly job descriptions
  • Talent pipelines
Employer Branding
  • Glassdoor
  • Social media
  • Career site
  • Blog posts
Technology
  • Advanced CRM
  • Searchable ATS
  • Sourcing tools
  • Appropriate Boolean lists
Content Marketing
  • Talent pipelines
  • Email/Drip campaigns
  • Job advertising campaigns

The Impact of Branding on Recruiting

An essential component of any recruitment marketing strategy, an authentic, well-defined employer brand, helps you attract and retain quality talent by enabling you to stand out from the competition and build credibility with job seekers.

5 Steps to Make Your Employer Brand Irresistible on Glassdoor:
  1. Sign up for a Glassdoor Free Employer Account and brand your company page.
  2. See candidate demographics, and understand how they engage with your jobs and content on Glassdoor.
  3. Customize your profile with a “Why Work For Us” tab.
  4. Broaden your recruiting search with Jobs Spotlight display campaigns.
  5. Benchmark against the competition: profile traffic, employee and interview rating trends, benefits and more.

Stage 2: Candidate Consideration

Warming the Pipeline and Generating Interest

Providing valuable content through social media and Glassdoor keeps people in the pipeline warm and generates interest. With peer influence stronger than ever, it’s critical to leverage employee stories everywhere you can.

Additionally, a branded career site is also critical to both keeping the pipeline warm and generating candidate interest. After all, your career site is a place to not only educate candidates about your company but also to make a lasting first impression. Enable general applications so that even if a candidate doesn’t find a perfect fit at that moment, they can still be continually nurtured until the right job opportunity presents itself.

30% of hires come directly from your career site, according to Jobvite. So it’s crucial to use your career site as a tool to not only build talent pools, but attract and retain candidates.5

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Leverage company stories to bring your company culture to life and fuel your recruiting. Employee stories are an authentic way to reiterate your company’s high-level messages and emphasize them on a gut level.

 The New Etiquette of Outreach

Thanks to evolving technology, the workplace has become more transparent than ever. Yet despite this shift, many candidates still complain of the “black hole” that exists within the application process.

If you promote a culture that values transparency, but still have a recruiting process that leaves candidates in the dark, it doesn’t work. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to nurture a candidate and set up a relationship that encourages and improves retention.

Creating a unified multi-touch applicant tracking system is key to ensuring that candidate applications do not fall into a black hole.

By having a transparent application and interview process, candidates are informed of their status at every step of the way. For example, the Jobvite ATS logs every instance of an email or phone exchange with the candidate, whether it be the hiring manager, recruiter or otherwise, to help ensure that candidate communication is not falling through the cracks.

Furthermore, at each step of the interview process, the hiring team can see what actions need to be taken, including providing feedback on a candidate’s resume, interview, etc., to also ensure a transparent and timely recruiting workflow.

4 Ways to Leverage Mission-Driven Language to Get Applicants

A consistent mission inspires passion in employees, whether or not their job relates to creating the core product. Here are four ways your company can attract informed candidates with your mission and purpose:

1. Show how each job fulfills the mission. Candidates will have an easier time of getting on board with your mission if they understand how the job fulfills it.
2. Tell customer stories. By sharing stories of happy customers, prospective employees can see how their work will contribute to the whole.
3. Differentiate with your mission. A compelling mission that’s tailored to each job listing attracts informed candidates with similar values.
4. Find out why employees stay. Start with Glassdoor reviews, employee surveys, and internal focus groups to find common threads.

Stage 3: Candidate Interest

 7 Tricks to Spark Further Interest in Hard-to-Fill Roles

For hard-to-fill positions, content is critical to recruiting the right people.

J&J Shine, Johnson & Johnson’s custom-built talent acquisition platform, for example, serves job seekers with stage-specific content and career advice, as well as content from the company to help nurture candidates wherever they’re at.

Here are seven ways your company can nurture candidates for hard-to-fill roles with content:

1. Monitor job performance. Use your Glassdoor Employer Center to see what prospective candidates are clicking on and applying for. Any drop-offs or gaps in interest can help identify where you need better content.

2. Encourage employee referrals. According to ERE, employee referrals are the most powerful source of finding quality candidates — especially for hard-to-fill roles. They typically close quicker (#1 in time-to-fill) and stick around longer.

3. Get smart with content marketing. By creating and publishing unique and interesting recruiting content that matters to your prospective candidates, you can build your reputation as an employer of choice, generate and capture interest in your organization, and help applicants find your company easily online.

4. Revise your job descriptions. Use attractive language that highlights the benefits and rewards of working at your
organization. And be sure to include links to your company’s social media accounts and Glassdoor profile.

5. Don’t go unicorn hunting. Align with the hiring manager to set expectations on what an ideal candidate would look like — what are need to haves vs. nice to haves? Make sure you’re not setting the bar too high. Read the job description and ask yourself: Is this job realistic? Do I know people like this who really exist? Is this job description inviting to my target candidate?

6. Focus on college recruiting. Implement job shadowing programs for high school students, create internship programs for high school and college students, participate in college recruiting, and hire as many entry-level grads as possible.

7. Look Inside. Often times we have a pool of great candidates that may have made it to the final rounds of interview but are not quite right for the role at that time. Don’t lose these candidates! Instead, tag them accordingly, so that when a new role does open up, you’ll have a qualified candidate ready to go.

Hiring decision-makers say tactics to recruit passive candidates are less effective. 79% of hiring decision makers report a concern or challenge in attracting and hiring passive candidates as they have grown weary of contact through networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn) and respond at a much lower rate.1

Stage 4: Evaluation

Evaluation Checklist

At this point, you shouldn’t have to focus on telling candidates why your company is a great place to work — they’ll have already picked up on that. You want to engage with the candidate by providing a valuable interview experience that keeps them in the loop. 

  • Send an initial confirmation email with an overview of what to expect. Reaching out and demystifying the process goes a long way toward making candidates feel at ease and happy.
  • Provide consistent feedback throughout the interview process. Rather than “going dark,” remember to close the loop with every applicant who reaches out by following up on each interview appearance.
  • Make sure your interview process isn’t just a heavy-handed screening. Go beyond checking off boxes, and conduct behavioral interviews to determine how a candidate’s past performance supports your company’s future needs.
  • Assign different interviewers specific questions. Ensure that all members of the hiring team are communicating with each other effectively, so questions are not unnecessarily repeated.
  • Let your interview team do the heavy lifting on the sell. At this stage, it’s not about selling the company — it’s about selling the specific team and the specific projects owned by that team. Encourage the hiring manager to share photos or videos featuring the team they would be joining.

Interview Confirmation Email Checklist

Reaching out and demystifying the process goes a long way toward making candidates feel at ease and happy, a feeling that will stay with them however long they stay in the funnel stage.

Overview of what you should include in your outreach message:
  • A warm opening line like this: Hi, [first name], I’m happy to let you know that I’ve finalized your interview arrangements. Please take a moment to reply to this email so I know you’ve received this information and that we’re confirmed.
  • Date and time of the confirmed interview, including time zone especially if the interview is by phone or video conference.
  • A direct-line phone number to call if the candidate is running late.
  • Any specific tips or friendly reminders that relate to the meeting. If this is an in-person meeting, it might include details about where to park. If this is a call or video conference, it might be a reminder to find a quiet environment and use a reliable phone line.
  • Some notes on how to prepare specifically for this interview, including a link to your company’s Glassdoor profile, links to any recent exciting news about your company, and links to any other online resources that might help the candidate feel ready.
  • Closing remarks including notes about your diversity and inclusion policy, making sure that the candidate feels comfortable asking for accommodations if they have a disability.
  • Sign off using your first name, and let the candidate know that they are welcome to reach out with any questions.

5 Screening Questions to Ensure Nothing is Missed

Here are five interview questions that will help you identify quality candidates in a short amount of time.

Interview question:

What’s your availability for this job?

What to look for:

The candidate’s expectations for hours, location and availability should be in line with what your company is offering. Guide the conversation to the candidate’s preferences for onsite versus remote work, expected hours per day and yearly vacation and benefits to get a sense of what is negotiable and what is not.

Interview question:

What attracts you most about this position?

What to look for:

What attracts the candidate to the job should be in line with your vision for the job. If it’s not, the prospective hire will likely get frustrated or bored with the position and decide to move on in the future.

Interview question:

What was the best thing about your last job? 

What to look for:

Answering this question requires candidates to assign value to the experience they had in their last job. Look for candidates who loved something about their last job that they can also love about the new job — similar tasks and goals, a comparable team dynamic, etc.

Interview question:

What was the worst thing about your former job?

What to look for:

Even if a candidate is coming from the worst job in the world, a prospective hire with poise and a positive attitude will be able to answer in a productive way. Look for evidence of understanding complex problems within the industry or an ability to overcome challenges.

PRO TIP

When you find a great candidate, but there is no current open role that’s an exact fit, be sure to keep them in a calendar that tracks outreach, and follow up regularly. And when you find the right candidate for a current role, you want to close the deal. With all the time and energy you and your team have invested, it’s time to get a signature of acceptance.

Interview question:

How would you solve this problem?

What to look for:

It’s not always realistic to thoroughly test a candidate’s technical skills or arrange for a trial project. But you can ascertain how a candidate approaches a common problem they might experience on the job. Whether they answer the question correctly or not, you’ll still gain insight into how they communicate and solve problems.

Stage 5: Closing the Candidate

Building a Relationship for Long-Term Success

Onboarding is pivotal to get your new employee up to speed and producing at a high level, but it is even more important for the new hire to feel like the company is investing in them to be successful.

Here are a few tips to help you get it right:
  • Confirm source of hire. This will be a powerful metric when analyzing hiring strategy and retention for years to come.
  • Spread the paperwork out over a few days. Or better yet, send it to them ahead of time, so they can hit the ground running on the first day.
  • Have members of the team reach out to them ahead of their first day to welcome them, and provide an agenda for their first week ahead of their first day.
  • On their first day, welcome them with a gift and a handwritten card signed by every member of the team. And include time for your new hire to socialize with their team.
  • Ask new hires to write a Glassdoor review about your interview process.
PRO TIP

 Check in with new hires at 30-, 60- and 90-day intervals to solicit feedback on how satisfied they are with the company and how confident they are that they made the right decision to come on board.

Recap: Quick Content Hacks for the Candidate Journey

Continuous candidate engagement requires building and nurturing a steady cadence of communication, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Use the quick checklist below to make sure there are no gaps when you implement — and scale — an authentic and human continuous candidate engagement program at your company.

Engage in comprehensive recruitment marketing.

Leverage Glassdoor events, referrals, job marketing, mobile recruiting, talent networks, social media, career site, CRM, recruitment automation, and email lead nurturing to attract the right candidates to your company

 Use Jobvite for a unified multi-touch applicant tracking system.

This approach ensures that candidate applications do not fall into a black hole.

Use Glassdoor Jobs Spotlight to broaden your recruiting search.

Display campaigns allow you to target your employer brand and open positions to the candidates you want to hire that may not already be aware of you.

Leverage mission-driven language.

Craft job descriptions thoughtfully to attract people who feel passionately about the overarching purpose of your company and the role they will play in carrying out that vision.

Make your employer brand irresistible.

Sign up for a Glassdoor Enhanced Profile and brand your company page.

Provide consistent feedback throughout the interview process.

Personally shepherd the candidate through a challenging, thorough and delightful experience.

Respond to your reviews on Glassdoor.

Make a regular practice of closing the feedback loop on both positive and negative reviews.

Onboard every new hire comprehensively.

Be sure they feel confident that your company is investing in them to be successful.

About Jobvite

Jobvite is leading the next wave of recruitment innovation with Continuous Candidate Engagement (CCE), a candidate-centric recruiting model that helps companies engage candidates with meaningful experiences at the right time, in the right way, from first look to first day. The Jobvite Platform infuses automation and intelligence into today’s expanded recruiting cycle to increase the speed, quality, and cost-effectiveness of talent acquisition. Focused exclusively on recruiting software since 2006 and headquartered in San Mateo, Jobvite has thousands of customers including LinkedIn, Schneider Electric, Premise Health, Zappos.com, and Blizzard Entertainment. Jobvite was named a leader in the in the “Forrester Wave for Talent Acquisition, Q3 2015,” and a leader in IDC’s MarketScape: Worldwide Modern Talent Acquisition Systems 2017. To learn more, visit www.jobvite.com and follow us @Jobvite.

For more recruiting resources and candidate engagement best practices, visit www.jobvite.com/resources for the latest guides, whitepapers, and webinars, or reach out directly to us at recruit@jobvite-inc.com.

Citations

1. Source: BLS “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey”
2. Source: Aptitude Research Partners, 2017
3. Source: Glassdoor Harris Poll, April 2017
4. Source: Glassdoor Internal Data, September 2016 - March 2017
5. Source: Jobvite 2018 Recruiting Benchmark Report

Citations