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Candidate engagement: the secret to lifelong employees

May 14, 2019

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Candidate engagement: the secret to lifelong employees

Navigation of Recruitee x GroSum interview:

  1. Employee engagement: what is it?
  2. Recruitment marketing to employee experience
  3. Candidate engagement tools
  4. Employee engagement tools
  5. Benefits of overlapping both types of engagement
  6. Conclusion

Employee engagement and candidate engagement are similar. But how similar? After all, your employees were all once candidates. It’s likely that their experience during the recruitment process will set the tone for their life cycle as an employee. Here are some examples of the candidate experience that can leave a positive (or negative) impact on a future hire:

  • Employer branding;
  • Ease of application forms;
  • Interviews;
  • Phone screening;
  • Communication with the team;
  • Scheduling;
  • And job descriptions creating role expectations.

GroSum’s employee performance management software provides the best tools for employee appraisals, feedback and compensation. We spoke with Souvik Majumdar of GroSum to get the inside scoop on engaging with employees. Does it start during recruitment process steps? Read on to find out.

What is employee engagement? How does it relate to candidate engagement during the hiring process?

Employee engagement, simply, is keeping the employee interested in the business and one’s role in it.

It’s about offering such an attractive combo of quality work, pay, and benefits that the employee feels well taken care of and thus pushes oneself to strive to achieve more for the company and keep away thoughts of going elsewhere.

In essence, this thing called engagement starts from the moment the prospective employee is exploring the candidature with the company. From the time the application is submitted to how the interview is conducted to how the job role is explained to be made relevant to the person – each such interaction points creates an impression on the mind.

As they say, any final outburst of discontent is preceded by seeds of doubt laid at various unsatisfactory interaction points in the past.

candidate engagement quote 1

Thus, if a company truly believes in the purpose of an engaged employee, that process starts from the moment they start interacting with the prospect from the very first step of recruitment.

How can a recruiter make sure that candidate engagement starts during recruitment marketing and extends past making the hire?

Humans care about being respected and comfortable, a lot.

So, the more humane and personable any interaction is with any representative of the company – from the recruiter to the interviewer – all these help in making the candidate comfortable.

candidate engagement quote

Cold professionalism only helps in creating fear and discomfort. The clarity in communication, expectations and being made to feel counted as a fellow human being, rather than just an application form, goes a long way in creating the positive impressions that help in reinforcing the decision to join or not, when all other factors are equal.

What tools can help candidate engagement?

Firstly, the recruitment process should be completely automated such that there is no possibility of slippage due to human manual errors. Each step from application to offer should be seamless, error-free and enable clear communication.

What is typically ignored is the stage from recruitment until the point the employee is expected to join. This is where many companies lose candidates to competition or better offers.

So, real candidate engagement starts from the time the candidate accepts the offer.

The following are the key engagement aspects & tools that should be utilized during this stage:

  1. Goal Setting – The Reporting Manager should communicate the work goals and skills classified by priorities that are relevant for the role the employee is going to join for. This helps in setting clarity in what is expected from the employee and early start towards setting expectations.
  2. Feedback – The candidate should be included as part of the Feedback system where they can reach out to colleagues in the organization and seek feedback on different aspects of working in the company.
  3. Development Planning – Once the job role expectations are clear, HR can plan the early development programs that will help the employee be job ready faster after joining
  4. Check-ins with Manager – One on one conversations with future Manager will help establish early rapport and clear doubts or questions that the employee may have.

What tools can help performance management and employee engagement?

Employee engagement and performance management are intertwined – two sides of the same coin.

Think about it, only if an employee is truly engaged will there be a better possibility of high performance. Thus engagement leads to performance or lack of it.

Thus, it is important that employees:

  1. Are clear about their job roles and expectations from the company;
  2. Have a forum to seek/give feedback thus contributing to a culture of collaborative performance improvement;
  3. And have a clear channel of communication with managers such that anyone can view one performance related input.

Thus, [you need] a talent management tool that allows for clear goal settings, open feedback and clear communication with managers.

What are the benefits of practicing continuous candidate engagement and extending it into the life cycle of the employee?

Benefits are life long. After all, the first impression is a lasting impression.

Making a candidate feel respected and treated humanely helps in creating a very strong employer brand.

In the cold-hearted world of corporate profit maximization, ordinary employees need to be given some space to feel comfortable, welcome and time & space to pick up speed to start contributing towards business objectives.

candidate engagement quote 3

An employee, thus, given the opportunity to open up, will remain committed to stretch to help the organization achieve stiff targets and overcome difficult times.

Wrapping up

Special thanks to Souvik Majumdar of GroSum for offering insights into candidate and employee engagement! The platform is all about streamlining your employee performance management. You need to combine a tool like this with talent acquisition software to make the most of your engagement strategy.

To recap, here are a few points to keep in mind when merging candidate engagement into the employee life cycle:

  1. It starts with the first impression of your company;
  2. So focus on employer brand;
  3. And get the job description right!
  4. Broken expectations are usually negative;
  5. So make sure communication is clear.
  6. Automate certain parts of the process to make this possible;
  7. And use talent acquisition software to do so.
  8. Don’t stop engaging with candidates after the hire is made;
  9. Keep up with their performance by using a tool like GroSum!
  10. Visit their blog to learn more about employee engagement and the importance of feedback.

Beth is the HR Community Manager at Recruitee. Based in Pittsburgh, Beth enjoys spreading the word about recruitment innovation.
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