How To Engage Candidates During The Hiring Process

January 29, 2021 Catherine Tacopina

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the workplace, but the entire hiring process. In-person interviews have been replaced with video interviews and new hires are meeting their teams for the first time virtually. While hiring (and the overall job market) might look very different today, providing a great candidate experience remains just as paramount to your success. And to accomplish this, you must know how to engage candidates properly at all stages of the hiring process. Continue reading for strategies on keeping top talent engaged for hiring in today’s market and beyond!  

Have an outreach schedule

Before you reach out to candidates, you’ll want to come up with your own timeline and expectations for outreach. This includes setting aside dates and times for initial interviews, making a final decision on a candidate, and having all the necessary documents ready for them to officially join your company. This schedule will help you stay accountable for moving the hiring process along and communicating with candidates—setting the stage for a successful offer acceptance with one of your top choices. Read also: 4 Ways To Speed Up The Hiring Process To Win Over Top Talent 

Be proactive about communicating

Throughout the hiring process, it’s critical that you know how to keep candidates engaged by being proactive about your outreach. Instead of potential hires reaching out to you about next steps in the process, you should be the one to initiate those conversations. For example, if you’re conducting multiple rounds of interviews or waiting on feedback from other hiring managers, proactively keep candidates informed of where they stand as well as what next steps look like. 

Don’t ghost

Communicating professionally with candidates is also important when you don’t have an update! If it’s been a while since you last spoke, make the effort to check in and let them know you are still interested in moving forward with them. If not, you risk losing them to another employer! At the same time, be transparent with candidates when you are changing focus or not moving them forward in the process. Not giving applicants closure can actually hurt your employer brand in the long run. Not only is it unprofessional, but word can spread fast. This can prevent you from attracting new talent, as well as engaging with former candidates you want to revisit for future roles. 

Answer their questions promptly

Even if you’re proactive in your outreach, there’s a good chance that candidates will still have questions during the interview process. While you should be prepared to answer all of their questions, from what remote tools your company is offering to what your expectations are should they be hired, there may be times where you don’t have an immediate answer. In this case, you should promise and commit to quickly getting them a response. If you find yourself in a position like this, set a goal to respond to their request within the day. This way, a potential hire knows that if they do decide to join your company, you’ll be attentive to their needs throughout their time with you.

Set them up for successful onboarding

Once you’ve made your hiring decision and your preferred candidate has accepted their offer, don’t think that the hiring process is over! While you’re close to the finish line, you aren’t actually done with the hiring process until you’ve started onboarding and training your new hire. Before their first day, be sure to give them an overview of your onboarding and training process. As their start date gets closer, be in touch about the details of their first day—including what time they’ll be starting and who they will be meeting with. Starting a new job can come with a mix of emotions, from excitement to nervousness. Setting expectations for their first few weeks can give them the tools needed to start on the right foot! 

Looking for more hiring and onboarding tips? Check out our annual Hiring Outlook!

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