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Is Candidate Experience Different From Candidate Engagement?

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As the job market continues to become competitive, recruiters leave no stone unturned in using every available tool to attract top talent. Many focus on metrics like candidate experience and engagement. Although they sound alike, they are different than you think!

What Is Candidate Experience?

Candidate experience sums up a job seeker’s experience with your company’s recruitment process, right from the job application to onboarding and everything in between. It begins long before a job seeker applies for a job.

An IBM survey suggests that almost 48% of candidates interacted with the company before applying for a job in it.

The relationships or interactions included having a friend or family member working in the organization or being aware of the company through its vast reputation.

Why Is It Important?

One of your goals should be to provide your applicants with the best candidate experience, as it matters a lot!

But why?

Here’s a real-life example organizations can learn from. A poor candidate experience cost Virgin Media an annual loss of $5 million! While in contrast, a positive candidate experience drives business growth.

What Is Candidate Engagement?

Another vital part of the recruitment process is candidate engagement. It is an act of managing your relationship with candidates and focuses on staying in touch with your applicants. It even continues with passive candidates.

It does not matter whether the candidate is a potential employee or a passive candidate, do not skip the candidate engagement process.

Why Is It Important?

But why is candidate engagement a crucial part of the recruitment pipeline? This is because a good candidate stays in the market for only ten days, while the hiring process lasts for 24 days! Maintaining a good candidate engagement is important for getting a hold of great talent for your organization.

Moreover, maintaining a good candidate engagement is essential for:

  • Enhancing your candidate’s interest in your organization.
  • Decreasing their chances of dropout.
  • Spreading your organization’s message to other potential candidates.
  • Enabling new hires to be happier when they start working.

Candidate Experience vs. Candidate Engagement: What’s the Difference?

Candidate experience and engagement are the major metrics of a successful recruitment pipeline.

The basic difference between the two is that candidate experience is an emotion felt by applicants during the overall recruitment process. In contrast, candidate engagement is the communication process between the applicant and the recruiter.

Candidate experience talks about how the recruiter treats the candidate during the recruitment process, starting right from when the candidate applies and ending right at the onboarding stage.

Candidate engagement talks about the communication process between the applicant and the employer throughout the recruitment pipeline to provide a positive experience.

When candidate experience is done right, it provides a starting point for creating an exceptional candidate engagement model, which gives a detailed structure on what needs to be deployed at each stage of the applicant’s journey.

How To Create a Positive Candidate Experience?

Now that you are aware of what is candidate experience and how it differs from candidate engagement, here are some ways in which you can create a positive candidate experience:

1. Build an Attractive Website

57% of candidates start their initial research of an organization by visiting their website. Set an effective career page by giving your applicant necessary details like job opportunities, work environment, and office culture.

2. Provide Accurate Job Description

Create a well-written job description as it is the key to convincing a candidate to apply for the job position. According to research, 72% of hiring managers say that they provide clear job descriptions; however, only 36% of the candidates agree with this.

3. Better Interaction

47% of candidates say that they never receive communication from the recruiter. If organizations respond to candidates even if they are not selected, it leaves a good impression.

4. Tailor Your Hiring Process

A tailored application process can optimize a candidate’s experience. An organization can display job postings in the applicant’s preferred language to make them more comfortable with the hiring process.

5. Positive Interview Experience

An excellent interview experience leaves a good image of the organization before the candidate and improves the odds of them accepting the job offer.

How To Create a Positive Candidate Engagement?

You cannot stop at creating a positive candidate experience. You must also improve communication by fostering positive candidate engagement, which can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

1. Provide a Hiring Timeline

Let your candidates know what steps are included in your recruitment process. Give them timestamps of when to expect different stages.

2. Be Clear

Being clear with the role expectations during the interview is a good practice as 43% of employees leave their jobs within the first 90-days because their tasks weren’t as expected.

3. Send Confirmation Email

96% of candidates want an email to confirm their successful application submission, but only 8% receive it. Automate your communication with the help of an ATS and let candidates know their application is submitted.

4. Ask for Feedback

Asking for your candidate’s feedback shows that you care about their opinions and make them feel valued, increasing your candidate engagement rate.

5. Maintain Employee Engagement

Even after your candidate becomes an employee, do not stop engaging with them. Remind your new hires that they are making a difference by contributing to the team.

6. Personalize Communication

Approximately 90% of recruiting messages a candidate receives are automated. You can grab this opportunity and stand out by personalizing your communication and telling the candidates why you are reaching out to them.

Bottom Line

Both candidate experience and candidate engagement are related to the success of your hiring program. Moreover, these concepts help the organization’s stakeholders understand what candidates feel about their current hiring process and what needs to be changed.

This article is written by Kelly Barcelos. Kelly is a progressive digital marketing manager for Jobsoid – Applicant Tracking System. She is responsible for leading the content and social media teams at work. Her expertise and experience in the field of HR enable her to create value-driven content for her readers – both on Jobsoid’s blog and other guest blogs where she publishes content regularly. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com.

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