3 Ways to Stimulate Candidate Engagement Through Hiring Process

It is common that candidates sometimes have to deal with the serious competition when applying to a certain job. But you’d be surprised that companies have to deal with the same problem when it comes to candidate engagement during the recruitment process.

According to the International Labor Organization, although the amount of jobs on the Asian labor market continues to grow, the majority of them remain low-quality, which shows very little change since 2017. Poor recruitment practices that lead to the shortage of top talent, are not only the issue on the Asian labor market. In the USA, according to Jobbatical, 72% of employers have a difficult time finding skilled candidates. The source also reports that poor candidate experience may even negatively influence the purchase decisions of potential customers.

As you can see, low-quality job offers and a disengaging recruitment process are among the factors that may cost you not only top talent but also your reputation. Keeping candidate engagement rates up through the hiring process requires your willingness, as an employer, to engage some innovative strategies in the recruitment process to make the top talent candidates want to choose your job offer among others on the market. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some top strategies to stimulate candidate engagement through the hiring process.

  1. Be an Active Participant at Job Fairs

The majority of recruitment process goes behind-the-scenes. It is quite rare when the companies choose to get out there and present themselves to the wide public. Participating in a job fair is a good method not only to introduce your company but also to meet talented candidates in person.

Job fairs are still popular around the world and people, seeking for a job, eagerly attend them. For you, it is also a good way to find young talented specialists. In the U.S., according to Statista, the highest percentage of attendees at the job fairs is represented by the people aged 18-29 years:


Image credit: Statista

How does participating in job fairs stimulates candidate engagement?

  • Meeting candidates in person. A job fair is a more informal occasion, where you can talk to the candidates in a more relaxed setting, without the pressure of your office room. This informal setting allows you to take a look at a candidate from a different perspective, and for them, it is an opportunity to relax and ask as many questions as they want.
  • You’ll meet face to face with your competitors. During a job fair, there may be several companies that offer the same job positions. This is your opportunity to take a look at their strategies to stimulate candidate engagement and offer something different.
  • Leaving a lasting impression. Job fair involves a lot of communication with potential candidates, which is not always about just talking. Creating handouts, sharing presentations, introducing them to your products and attracting them with the interactive content – all these methods leave a lasting impression on the candidates and stimulate candidate engagement.

The easiest way to look for a career fair that fits your company profile is by using resources like Global Careers. Such comprehensive online resources allow you to not only find job fairs around your area but also online job fairs, which is another opportunity for you to engage with potential candidates.

  1. Let AI into the Hiring Process

Technology keeps evolving, and you should keep up with it. The traditional recruitment process is familiar to every employer and every candidate. But with technology, you can one-up the hiring experience, thus boosting candidate engagement. Let’s take job interviews – the basic level of the hiring process. If your company has a lot of applicants for a certain job position, you might not have enough time to interview all of them. As a result, you may lose the attention of very talented candidates, who’d fit your company well.

By letting technology interview your candidates you not only get a helping hand during the interview process but also create an interesting experience for your candidates.

For instance, Maya Systems, an AI-based technology, developed two years ago and aimed at interviewing potential candidates, answered the questions so realistically that 72% of the candidates thought it was a human. This is possible due to the integration of a cloud-based technology that, thanks to Machine Learning, has data stored for every question, asked by a potential candidate. The advantage of introducing technology to the interview process is that it provides you with unbiased information about a candidate, letting you to also take unbiased decisions. As for the candidate engagement, letting AI into the hiring process will help you tackle the interviews with every single candidate, while they get positive experience as well.

  1. Hold Meetups

This is a rather unusual strategy for stimulating candidate engagement, and this is why it works so well. Unlike a job fair, this event is organized by your company directly and you may choose any format you like. Company meetups with potential employees are usually promoted through social media, where you create an event using geolocation. Pay attention to how the invitation you intend to post is written and how it looks. Ask professional writers, designers and SMM-specialists on a freelance basis or within your company for help if needed. As a result, your event appears on the search tab for all those who are interested in your company.

Holding regular meetups with potential candidates also establishes your authority in your industry. For instance, the organization Women in Linux hosts such meetups every Wednesday, which helped them achieve an incredible level of outreach and has made the organization known for its strong position about women in technology:

Image credit: TechItalia

Among many benefits for candidate engagement, hosting regular meetups will also allow you to:

  • Represent your company in a more engaging way. Meeting with potential candidates of a cup of coffee opens you for a variety of topics to discuss. You can discuss your opinion on the latest trends in the industry, encouraging the participants to be active in this discussion. This will allow you to select the most knowledgeable and active candidates.
  • Engage candidates with interactive activities. If you sell a certain product, you can introduce the potential candidates to it during your informal meetup and see, whether they are interested in working with it. Thus, you create a hands-on experience for the candidates, stimulating their engagement and interest in your company.

As it was already mentioned, your meetups can be held in different forms. It can either be a meetup over a cup of coffee, a lecture or even an online webinar. The trick is to let the candidates learn about your company in an engaging way rather than overwhelming them. And, as meetups are often informal, you should maintain this tone to create an appropriate atmosphere.

Company Branding and Candidate Engagement

There’s one thing that can negatively influence a candidate’s experience during the hiring process, and it’s googling your company.

Image credit: 9GAG

Moreover, your company isn’t safe too when it comes to the candidates reporting their negative feedback during the hiring process online. According to the statistics by the Human Capital Institute:

  • 60% of candidates report a negative experience with the employers they engage
  • 72% of candidates report sharing a negative experience with the employers they engage
  • 55% of candidates claim they avoid certain companies after reading negative online reviews

Thus, the online image of your brand greatly influences candidate engagement. And with websites like Yelp and Glassdoor, where anyone can easily leave negative feedback, it may be very hard to keep up.

Your task is to be as responsive as possible, and, in some cases even be ready to own your mistakes. Candidates are always looking up to the companies that are constantly evolving and getting better.

The Bottom Line

There are many factors that negatively influence candidate engagement. When looking for a job, candidates are looking for new experiences, and you have to keep that in mind.

Start their introduction to your company by implementing the strategies, mentioned above, in the hiring process. These strategies will not only create unique experiences and stimulate candidate engagement but also will make your company stand out.


Daniela McVicker is a career coach at  studyclerk.com and a contributor to RatedbyStudents. She’s also a business communication coach, helping future job applicants to write business emails to help them achieve success on their career paths.