10 ways to re-engage disengaged candidates

Nov 3, 2022

Invest in technology that reduces time to fill and that supports your recruiters in finding and communicating with the right candidates. Don’t forget that candidate engagement isn’t a one-time activity, but something that your recruiters can do throughout the recruitment process — and beyond.

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With the use of automation and technology it is not as difficult as you might think, writes Katarina Marais, Head of Marketing at Globus.ai

It’s a challenge that feels as old as time itself. If you maintain any kind of talent pool, be it for in-house internal mobility or for future recruitment, you will have disengaged candidates make up a certain percentage of that talent pool. What that figure hits, is largely up to your actions. Although with the clients that come to us, more often than not we hear that a whopping 90% of their candidate base is disengaged.

But with automation and other innovative technologies, this doesn’t have to be the status quo in your organization. In fact, it’s easier than ever to reconnect with disengaged candidates. Read on to discover ten simple ways to get started.

The cost of disengaged candidates

Considering that many recruiters deal with thousands of candidates every year… that’s potentially hundreds or thousands of people who are not engaging with your recruiters. That drives up your cost per hire and time to hire. Plus it can have a negative impact on your employer brand (72% of recruiting leaders worldwide feel that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring success).

1. Have the right conversations

Encouraging your recruiters to speak to candidates is one thing, but success really comes when they’re talking about the right stuff. The way you go about this will look different for each talent pool and candidate. You wouldn’t approach a leadership candidate in the same way as someone who is one or two years into their career. Consider the demographics of your candidate base — in many ways, this is where recruiters would do well to borrow some tactics from their marketing colleagues. Look at your audience, where they often spend their time online and ask them how they like to be communicated with.

2. Test different communication channels

Not all communication channels are equal in the eyes of your candidates. Don’t be afraid to test a few different channels, such as email, SMS or social media, to see what resonates the most with candidates. Likewise, experiment with the content of your messages. Some candidates might like to have informal check-ins from their recruiters every few weeks. Others might want regular tips and tricks, or insights about their chosen career path, sent every couple of months. Whatever works for your candidates, make sure you set up processes so they are getting a regular touchpoint from your recruiters that opens the door for further engagement.

3. Automate your communication

You can use automation to send out messages at key points in the candidate journey so they feel like they are still part of the process and won’t drop out due to a lack of communication. A straightforward email sharing relevant opportunities or tips to get hired can go a long way in re-engaging a candidate.

4. Ask candidates for their feedback

If you don’t know whether your recruitment process is too long, to begin with, ask your current candidates their opinion. Surveying and asking for feedback at every stage of your process will help you identify painpoints that are disengaging your candidates.
5. Tidy up your data
A large part of your disengaged talent pool might be due to outdated or inaccurate data. If you have a pile of resumes and forgotten candidates in your recruitment systems, it’s a lot harder to find the best people for a job. Regularly updating your data is critical, by removing unavailable candidates or incorrect details, and making sure their skills and experience are up-to-date.

6. Sending soft requests

Sending out soft requests to candidates can help to keep you informed of any changes. This involves sharing a multi-send of job orders to multiple candidates, with the hopes that either one of the orders sparks interest (and re-engages them) or that you can gather important data based on their response (if someone says they aren’t interested, find out why).

7. Engage consistently

Consistency is vital when communicating with candidates. If you are regularly speaking with candidates, then you are priming them ready for when the perfect role does come in. But beyond this, every communication needs to be a reflection of your brand, from your social media and job board adverts to the personal messages that your recruiters are sending. This makes your brand instantly recognisable when a candidate does see your emails in their inbox or comes across an ad on LinkedIn.

8. Become a thought leader

For even more impact, consider how you can position your staffing agency as a leader in the space. Not just for roles, but also for thought leadership. Sharing advice and insights with candidates to improve their job hunt can make it more likely that they’ll look at your emails and SMS messages when the all-important last-minute job order comes in.

9. Offer a personal experience

Personalisation is also critical. Sharing available roles is important, but if they are irrelevant candidates will quickly tune out your communications. Take time to understand the kind of roles they’re interested in so you can share only the most suitable ones with them. Again, this is where the automatic matching of candidates to roles based on their skills and availability can come in useful. Extend this personalisation to every communication you send them, including advice pieces or industry trends.

10. Streamline your recruitment process

The length of a recruitment process is a big driver of disengagement, 32% of candidates have abandoned a potential employer because the recruitment process was too long. Chatbots can help to answer any questions and screen candidates early on in the process. Automation and AI can intelligently match candidates to roles and draw up shortlists so recruiters can focus on the best possible candidates based on their roles, experience, and availability.

A continuous activity

Invest in technology that reduces time to fill and that supports your recruiters in finding and communicating with the right candidates. Don’t forget that candidate engagement isn’t a one-time activity, but something that your recruiters can do throughout the recruitment process — and beyond. This keeps candidates in the pipeline for future opportunities. By offering your candidates a personal and consistent experience, your agency will get an edge in a competitive and noisy job market.

This article was published in The Global Recruiter Magazine, 28 October 2022.

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