10 ways to improve candidate engagement in high-volume hiring

by The Withe Team
March 26, 20248 min read
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Ask any high-volume recruiter what their biggest challenge is, and they will likely tell you that it’s the lack of available qualified talent. In fact, almost 50% of high-volume recruiters say they have a hard time finding quality hires to fill their many roles. But this isn’t an isolated issue.

Many high-volume hiring efforts stumble because even when they do get qualified candidates through the door, they have a hard time keeping them engaged. Complex and inefficient application processes, cumbersome interview experiences, and a lack of consistent communication all negatively impact candidate engagement. Not to mention, competition in the talent market means that candidates are often interacting with more than one recruiting team at a time.

As they navigate a competitive talent market, high-volume recruiters can’t afford to deliver convoluted and unengaging candidate experiences. Instead, they need to do everything they can to keep candidates interested.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered a list of 10 things teams can do to improve candidate engagement throughout their high-volume hiring process.

1. Review your overall process

The first thing you’ll need to do is take a closer look at the candidate journey and the various touchpoints that applicants have with your team. Are they being communicated to frequently enough? Are there any obstacles or points of friction that can be easily addressed? Do candidates have a clear sense of what the process will look like? Are you communicating the value of the employer brand and the role up front?

Take the time to optimize the process for the candidate experience, meeting candidates where they are and proactively addressing their needs. This will help keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.

2. Put the focus on your employer brand

The candidate engagement process starts before candidates even apply for the roles you have available. Having a strong employer brand can be crucial for generating excitement around the roles you have available. You can also leverage employer branding materials as part of your sourcing strategy, using positive sentiment about the brand to create a funnel for general or seasonal volume hiring processes.

3. Set clear expectations (and stick to them)

For many candidates, there’s no bigger turn off than a recruiter who sets expectations and then doesn’t meet them. (For the record, not setting any expectations at all isn’t any better.) Use your job posting to indicate what the hiring process looks like and how long it typically takes for a successful candidate to receive an offer. This will build trust (and engagement) with a candidate and also help them decide whether they want to make the investment of applying or not.

4. Keep the application process simple

Today, up to 92% of candidates will drop off during the application process. For over half of those people, the reason is the length and complexity of the application.

If you want to keep candidates engaged from the very beginning of the process, your application should be simple to navigate and take no longer than five minutes to fill. Not only will this make life easier for your candidates, it will also make it easier for recruiters to review the applications and make selections.

Note: Depending on the role, you can combine the application and interview scheduling process. In other words, candidates apply for the role when they register for a hiring event.

Withe's hiring event platform helps make the candidate experience quick and seamless, improving overall candidate engagement in high-volume hiring.

5. Communicate consistently

There’s a reason the phrase “communication is key” is a staple in various spaces, and high-volume recruiting is no exception. Candidates want to know the status of their application, what the next steps are, and whether they’ve been successful in getting the job (or not). And they don’t want to have to ask for this information. Be proactive in your communication, introduce automation where it makes sense, and have a process for rejecting candidates rather than just ghosting them. Even if a candidate isn’t successful this round, keeping them engaged through the rejection process might encourage them to apply to future roles.

6. Allow for two-way communication

The communication shouldn’t just go one way. Engaged candidates typically want the opportunity to reach out to recruiters with questions or feedback — and they should be able to. And yes, while this may put some more work on recruiters, you can minimize the need for these interactions by proactively answering common questions in general communications and providing as positive an experience as possible.

7. Simplify your interview process

The interview process can also be a sticking point in candidate engagement. In fact, 65% of candidates say that a bad interview experience makes them lose interest in the job.

Fostering engagement at this stage can look like introducing automation and making it easy for candidates to register for or schedule interviews. (62% of candidates would prefer this over lengthy back-and-forth communication to schedule a call or meeting.) Using a hiring event platform like Withe, you can make it easy for candidates to sign up for interviews and join video calls or in-person events at the appropriate time.

8. Offer flexibility throughout the process

Flexibility is another great way to keep candidates engaged. Candidates appreciate the option to state their preferences or access requests and have them met. Without putting too much of a burden on your team, you can introduce flexibility by:

  • Making it easy for candidates to request accommodations
  • Hosting virtual or hybrid hiring events so candidates can choose how to participate
  • Scheduling interview times outside of the 9–5 so that candidates don’t have to lose wages

9. Provide feedback (and ask for it)

Feedback is a core part of the hiring process, and that should also be true in volume recruiting. Consider introducing processes for delivering feedback after an interview or rejection, and allow candidates to offer their own feedback. Sure, it might feel like this is a challenging concept to scale in high-volume hiring, but it can be a valuable input for generating and maintaining candidate engagement. To reduce the burden, give recruiters an easy way to write up a few notes of feedback during or immediately after an interview. For gathering feedback from candidates, you can have an automated email with a survey link. You can then include a survey data review in your quarterly team meetings.

10. Maintain the relationship

Candidate engagement shouldn’t end when a candidate has been rejected for a role — especially if they were in the running as a qualified candidate. If you want to maintain a strong talent pipeline and set yourself up for success for your next round of hiring, keep an open line of communication with the high-quality candidates that go through your hiring process. These should be the first people you go to when you’re planning to open up more roles.

Take your candidate engagement to the next level

Prioritizing candidate engagement may feel unachievable in a high-volume hiring setting, but it doesn’t have to be. Implementing the 10 strategies we’ve outlined in this piece will take time and effort up front, yes — but it will also reduce the burden and improve your success rate down the line.

High-volume hiring candidate engagement FAQs

What is candidate engagement?

Candidate engagement is the process of maintaining a connection with your applicants as they navigate the candidate journey. An engaged candidate is one that feels like their needs are being met and their questions are being proactively answered. They are also interested in participating in the hiring process. To maintain this state, recruiters are responsible for ensuring that candidates remain engaged throughout and between each touchpoint.

Why is candidate engagement important in high-volume hiring?

High-volume hiring processes have a significant candidate engagement problem. Candidates drop off in large numbers at each stage of the process (from application to offer acceptance). Improving candidate engagement across the candidate journey can help mitigate some of this attrition.

What are the common issues of candidate engagement in high-volume hiring?

The nature of high-volume hiring makes it difficult to scale some of the tactics that foster candidate engagement in regular hiring processes. It can be harder to maintain open lines of communication with large numbers of candidates, or provide flexibility in the interview process when you’re interviewing hundreds of candidates at a time. That said, there are tools and platforms that can help deliver better candidate experiences at scale.

Withe’s hiring event platform helps make the candidate experience quick and seamless, improving overall candidate engagement in high-volume hiring. Learn more about our product.

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Author Bio

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The Withe Team

Meet the team behind the revolutionary on-demand video interview software that connects great companies with top talent. Their user-friendly solution streamlines the hiring process and helps people find the right opportunities. With a customer-centric approach, this team of experts is dedicated to helping you find the perfect match.

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