Nick Thompson is Global Employer Brand Manager at IBM and also sits on the Meet & Engage strategic advisory board. To find out more about Nick, have a read of our other post Challenges and Trends in Recruitment.

New Ideas For Better Candidate Engagement

Let’s face it, competing for the brightest talents in a highly competitive market nowadays requires finding new ways to reach and engage with them. The world is changing so fast now, so us, as employers, must evolve with it or we’ll be ‘out of the game’.

Controversial bits first, finding candidates isn’t difficult, getting them to talk to you is!

Almost everyone has a digital footprint these days making them easy to find through one source or another (not just LinkedIn by the way) the hard part is getting them to talk to you and giving them the love they want/need to consider a future with you.

Far too often I hear people sending the same vanilla communications to all of their candidates, expecting them all to feel like individuals and valued by the business. It’s absurd. Whatever happened to being personable?

This doesn’t have to be a forced call or meeting with every single candidate, but give them choices and don’t ask, sorry – tell them – to fit into the same box as each other.

There are so many ways to communicate, yet as an industry, we still find email the easiest for us and so continue to use it on mass.

I firmly believe that communication and interactions are vital for a candidate to get a feel for what your company is about and for you to build a first impression.

When was the last time you asked a candidate what’s best for them? A text, a call, WhatsApp or even a postcard? It’s not about what method they ask for it’s the fact you asked. Would it really take any extra time for you if your candidate responded immediately through their chosen channel?

At Vodafone, we have been using webchat and live engagement for the last few years powered by Meet & Engage and it’s helped us to engage so many different communities at a time that suits them.

It’s something that we’ve used at various touchpoints of the recruitment process and seen great success.

We set up a meeting and invited all the candidates to drop-in (virtually) pre-assessment centre to ask any questions they might have and prep them for the day. This helped us achieve 100% attendance rate for assessment days and those of you in this space know how important that is.

We also use the platform very heavily in future talent recruitment whilst at campus events and afterwards where we were available during core hours to answer any questions candidates might have.

We didn’t answer the questions as a resourcing function. We connected the candidates to people like them, our current grads. We were able to get full transcripts from the chats and that’s helped us shape our content for the next campaign.

Personally, I think the most interesting place we used the platform was for some project management recruitment we were doing, we had a pool of candidates we wanted to discuss some opportunities with, but they weren’t responding to us.

We invited these candidates to a webchat to discuss why they hadn’t applied and asked what they needed to know before they did consider applying. 

The uptake was brilliant, and we had so many questions and gained so much insight in the 30 minutes the session ran for. This session totally changed our adverts, approaches and even converted some of those die-hard ‘no’s’ into applicants and hires.

If you haven’t already, check your recruitment journey and ask yourself, do you give candidates the choice or are you the one with all the power?

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