From Warm To Hot: 5 Strategies to Keep Candidates Engaged During Interviews

Have you heard the idiom ‘many a slip between the cup and the lip’? 

Recruitment isn’t a straightforward process. There are many bends and curves that recruiters and candidates must navigate in their journey before they reach an outcome. The extended duration of the recruitment process, a job-ripe market favouring candidates, changing hiring priorities, and more can often derail even the most definite and certain hires. So, what can recruiters do to keep their candidates interested and engaged between interviews? 

According to research by Resource Solutions, 94% of candidates felt that the recruitment experience affected their decision to accept or reject an offer. Furthermore, 58% of candidates believed that a positive experience would have increased their likelihood of accepting a position. The candidate experience matters. A ton. And recruiters have a significant role to play in creating enjoyable and engaging candidate experiences. 

Here are five sure-shot strategies that you can use to keep your candidates involved and fired up during the interview process:

Speed is the Key

When it comes to hiring quality employees, you need to be quick. Your top candidates will undoubtedly be on somebody else’s radar, so you must act fast if you want them to join your company. Responding to applications quickly, sharing interview feedback as each round progresses, and most importantly, the final hiring decision are all different touchpoints in the recruitment journey where you should communicate with candidates as quickly as possible.

Often these timelines are beyond your control as a recruiter. You need department heads to review resumes, functional leaders to create space for interviews in their busy schedules… When a candidate doesn’t hear from a company within a few days of applying for a job or attending an interview, they tend to lose interest in the job. In that event, the recruiter must keep all the cogs turning properly with frequent communication that keeps everyone informed on the expected turnaround times (TATs) and delays as they happen. This goes a long way in reducing blank spaces and keeping candidates involved in the process. 

Make your Culture and Ideals Known

Offer your candidates access to everything from the workplace atmosphere to what makes your people tick to help them establish an emotional connection with your company. This can either happen in between different rounds of interviews or even before the interviews begin if you want to impress upon the candidate the company’s culture and values. 

Creating a handbook of the company culture and ideals is a great way to share them with prospective hires to help them reach a decision regarding joining the company. A fantastic showcase of how the culture and values of a company are shared with employees is through Netflix’s employee handbook.

Communicate, Enough

Communication is key when it comes to creating engaging candidate experiences. All of the how’s, when’s, who’s, and where’s are crucial. Being overly communicative is preferable to being under communicative when it comes to hiring.

But it’s not enough to communicate often. It is important that you also stick to your communication plans, even if there is nothing to communicate. For instance, if you are supposed to communicate with a candidate whether they’ve moved to the next round of interviews by a certain time, make sure you do that even if you don’t have any news for them. This will help build trust. Candidates like to be aware of their status every step of the way, and as a recruiter, it’s your job to communicate often and enough with them.

Treat Candidates Like Clients

Most customers associate brands with experiences—the way a brand makes us feel is the basis of our relationship with it and how brand loyalty is forged. A great example in the Indian market is Netflix, which despite being the most expensive OTT platform, is the most popular in the country. Now consider creating the same experiences for your candidates so that you become the preferred choice amongst employers.  

Just like you would do for a customer, take the time and effort to craft unique experiences for applicants. This will go a long way in ensuring that candidates remain plugged in and loyal. Some ways to pamper and delight your potential employees are immersive programmes, live chats, peer-to-peer forums, gamification, and event invites.

Meaningful Interactions 

Let every interaction with your candidate be meaningful, particularly if they haven’t gotten the job. Don’t let your candidates be in the dark, be sure to let them know that they didn’t make the cut and why they lost out on the job. This will ensure greater transparency and honesty with the candidate in the future. 

Keep in mind that looking for a job can be a long and frustrating process. Anything you can do to assist these prospects in obtaining employment is beneficial and keeps them warm for future positions at your organisation. By providing helpful, honest feedback, you can help candidates improve their skills and land the next job they apply for. However, providing constructive input is only half of the equation. It’s also crucial to deliver the feedback on schedule, typically within a few days of their interview. When it comes to rejecting a candidate, strike a balance between facts, compassion, and suggestions.

Follow these five foolproof strategies to keep candidates warm during the hiring process, thereby reducing the risk of losing them through the process. It is a candidate’s job market out there, and as a recruiter, you should do the best you can to deliver memorable candidate experiences that are sure to result in a hire. We’ve got more tips on how to make memorable candidate experiences.  

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