If yours is a long or complicated recruitment process, it’s inevitably going to be a challenge to keep candidates engaged – and this means that you risk losing talent.
There are so many reasons why a strong candidate steps away from a process
- a competitor gets in first with an offer
- they feel a degree of disengagement with the brand in the long silences
- they lose confidence through a lack of clarity about what’s happening next
A candidate from a lower socio-economic background might drop out – not because they couldn’t handle your assessment processes but because they needed you to walk them through the stages much more proactively. And when you’re recruiting at scale, providing this level of personalised input across all your candidates’ different needs feels nigh-on impossible and puts enormous strain on a likely already-stretched recruitment team.
Of course, there are instances where the process itself can-and-should be simplified to avoid talent-waste, but in many cases that’s just not an option – especially where background checks and job allocation delays post-offer are unavoidable.
Some years ago, the best recommendation would have been to implement a really good ATS, with regular scheduled contact points. This is still an incredibly important tool in your kit, but with very long processes and candidates often applying for a range of roles at the same time, having an inbox flooded with messaging from a number of employers can feel very stressful. Some of the SMS and emails employers send are important housekeeping requests – others are just for keeping warm. You can forgive candidates for feeling a degree of comms-fatigue, missing the important messages and getting a bit lost in a sense of overwhelm.
Added to this, in the age of social channels to dip in and out of as and when you feel like it day and night, candidates are wired to prefer a mechanism where they can explore and have a degree of control, rather than simply being told. (That’s almost as true for me at nearly-50, as it is for my Gen Z kids.)
What do candidates feel they need, in process?
When asked: What inclusive processes would you like to see more commonly in applications? 59% of those surveyed by Bright Network wished to see coaching during the application process. For those early in their careers, the proportion of face-to-face activity they’ve experienced over the past few years has been significantly lower than for previous cohorts. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the face-to-face interview is cited by Bright Network as the top concern for graduates in application processes – and candidates would like proactive coaching to prepare for this.
Another question asked in this research was: What are the biggest barriers to pursuing the career path you wish? And – in an increase since 2021 – a significant number of respondents stated: lack of role models. We are all used to liking, following, choosing, exploring virtually, so if candidates search-but-don’t-find people like themselves talking about the meaningful work they do in your organisation, that can be a real turn-off.
89% of students surveyed think about an employer’s commitment to D&I before applying and 91% think about their commitment to employees’ mental wellbeing, so candidates are seeking content that reassures them that an employer’s priorities include genuine duty of care for their employees.
Worryingly for recruiters, 27% of graduates would renege on a job offer they’d accepted for a more exciting role and 15% would renege based on a better experience during the other application process.
So we know that candidates value application support, insight into employers’ commitment to wellbeing initiatives and good works, the prospect of exciting roles and a great candidate experience. And – crucially – they want to feel this, not only at the attraction stage but throughout the recruitment process: employers are still competing for candidate attention and loyalty post-apply.
So what’s the solution?
- Host virtual activity and events that showcases your existing employees, policies, and culture – to enable your candidates to imbibe these things throughout the process
- Provide support that enables candidates to feel confident and prepared for every stage and to self-serve this support at a time that suits them
- Offer content in a style that feels natural to an audience that has moved away from a didactic approach to a more exploratory one, where they feel that they are in control of the flow of information
- Ensure candidates are served relevant prompts and information for each stage, but also inspirational content in the gaps in process, or when waiting for vetting results, for example
- Use technology to offer automated personalisation that caters to a wide range of candidates’ needs and preferences, while removing unrealistic demands from recruiters.
Clients with long recruitment processes, who have implemented our Recruitment Process Nurture product to address these challenges, are finding that candidates consistently give great feedback on the social-style interface and find it easy to navigate.
Candidates are 41% more likely to stay active in the process and, across the various assessment stages, 91% of candidates said that the content shared meant that they felt more confident for each stage. One client, who coupled Recruitment Process Nurture with a regular series of virtual group engagement livestreams, found that candidates were over 21% more likely to pass the behavioural styles test, having joined an event. The candidate comments speak for themselves:
“So far, there’s been so much support to get through each stage.”
“The process so far has been easy to follow. The [Recruitment Process Nurture] system allows you to process the information at your own pace. Listening to the stories of the employees was encouraging and useful. Thank you”
“Amazing information absorbed during the live stream and great vibe.”
“The level of supporting content I’ve had access to at this early stage in application is very encouraging and shows me that my potential role is valued and wanted.”
About Meet & Engage
Meet & Engage is platform to inspire, influence and inform candidates, helping them to navigate the recruitment process. Our products build confidence through connection and engagement.
- Inspire & Nurture – a suite of virtual live events and automated talent nurture – great for the attraction phase of the recruitment journey
- Recruitment Process Nurture – excite and support candidates from the point of application and onwards – all delivered through a fully automated social-style interface
- Timeline for Onboarding – social-media style onboarding portal that lets you create personalised nurture journeys to keep offered candidates engaged.
If this is a subject you’re interested in, we would love to talk more about how businesses such as Rolls-Royce, Diageo and EY are using our candidate engagement platform to support candidates and reduce drop-out rates. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!