Engaging with candidates at the attraction stage of your Recruitment Marketing strategy is a candidate experience best practice.
Engagement is ultra important because it keeps your employer brand top of mind and encourages candidates to deepen their affiliation with your organization.
What do we mean by Engagement in a Talent Acquisition context?
During the attraction stage of your Recruitment Marketing strategy, the first step in Engagement is to grab the attention of your social followers and the candidates who have joined your talent network. The second step is to provide them with content that causes them to take action.
With your social followers, this means publishing great content that they read and share, and responding to their comments and direct messages. With your talent network, this means emailing and texting people with relevant content that they read and share, and responding to any emails or texts you receive in return.
So, how do we keep candidates Engaged?
By focusing on the following essential elements:
- The Message
- The Response
- The Results
1. The Message
To create engaging content, naturally you need to focus on the quality of the messaging you’re crafting. Put simply: if it’s not interesting, entertaining, relevant or useful, candidates won’t take notice or take action.
Here are tips to creating messaging that’s most likely to land and get people to interact:
- Be authentic
- Share photos and stories from a candidate’s future coworkers. Real photos of your employees, work environment, company culture and community events make your employer brand authentic – stock photos just don’t cut it anymore.
- Share useful content
- Provide people with the information they’re seeking out. Anticipate what types of information candidates in your target audience are looking for and provide that content to them. Examples here could include career advice, industry news, company reviews and insight into your hiring process.
- Personalize the message
- Generic messages won’t always land. It’s best to try and create content that speaks as specifically to people as possible whenever you can. Aim to create social media content that describes what it’s like to work for specific teams you’re hiring for to complement some of your general employer brand and culture content. For your talent network, if you’re hiring a lot of sales people, for example, send out an email to only sales professionals in your talent network describing the sales team culture, professional development opportunities and featuring a sales team member employee story.
2. The Response
Now that your great messaging and content is grabbing attention and pulling people in, you’ll want to consider the best approaches for eliciting a response and responding to that interest.
Here are a few best practices on how to communicate with candidates:
- Respond in a timely manner
- During my introductory session at our RallyFwd Virtual Conference, I explained how candidates today expect employers to be always on and easily accessible. Consider what approaches can help you to achieve this. This might include setting standard operating procedure goals around response times to candidate emails or direct messages on social channels.
- Consider what technologies can help
- It’s important that you’re reachable in a number of ways. Turn on the direct message feature on your Facebook page and send out your Talent Network emails from an address that people can actually respond to! If you have a lot of volume, consider what tech tools can help you to communicate with people in a 1:1 manner at scale. Some options here include text recruiting software and AI chatbots for your career site or social media direct messages. You can watch our RallyFwd On Demand sessions on Text Messaging and Chatbots to dive deeper on these tools.
- Think outside the box
- If you’re getting a lot of interest and reach outs, consider new and novel ways for interacting with candidates. For instance, Dignity Health has built an engaged social following and now hosts Virtual Career Fairs over Facebook – and are seeing some amazing hiring results. You can get the full scoop on their approach in this Rally blog: How to Host Virtual Career Fairs on Facebook.
3. The Results
In order to get a baseline understanding of how you’re doing, as well as to improve over time, you naturally will need to measure your engagement levels.
Here are some tips on how to track candidate engagement efficiently:
- On social media
- All of the common social platforms have in-platform analytics that you can monitor and export to Excel. By visiting the “Insights” or “Analytics” section when you’re logged in as an Admin, you can look at post-by-post data to see what your engagement rate looks like on each social media post.
- Alternatively, you can capture and review analytics by using a social media management solution like Hootsuite, Sprout Social or Buffer. These tools provide an easy to use social media performance dashboard. This will allow you to access results more efficiently, with less manual effort, and see cross-platform engagement rates over time. However, these tools will come with a monthly price tag that will vary depending on your team size and the number of social media accounts you have.
- You can also track how you’re doing from a message response perspective on Facebook by looking at the “Message” section in your “Insights” tab.
- By email
- Send emails to your talent network through a software solution to be able to measure and track elements like your open rate and click-through rate (how many people click on your links). Most ATS providers should provide a tool that will do this for you, or you can consider a range of Recruitment Marketing Platforms like Candidate.ID, Clinch, Phenom People, SmashFly, TMP. You could also consider Email Marketing tools like Mail Chimp or Hubspot.
Want more inspiration on engaging with social followers and your talent network?
Download our Rally Ideabook: 11 Ways to Humanize the Candidate Experience, for more info and examples. You’ll find out how to appeal to and engage with modern candidates at multiple stages of your attraction and hiring process.