Main image of article 5 Ways to Master the Art of Candidate Engagement

If you’re struggling to build relationships with tech professionals and keep them engaged throughout the candidate journey, you’re not alone. There has been a 20% increase in job seeker drop-off in the hiring process in recent years, according to LinkedIn.

The fact that tech professionals receive an average of 32 messages from recruiters each week is just one reason candidate engagement has become more difficult.

For another, unless you remain vigilant, nurture the relationship and stay top of mind, data shows that that most tech professionals lose interest when the average hiring process takes 44 to 49 days.

The good news is that tech recruiters can gain sustainable competitive advantages, even in today’s competitive market, by following best practices, sharing only relevant information and opportunities and executing the basics better than anyone else.

Here are five ways to improve candidate engagement and reap the rewards.


Become a World-Class Communicator

Consistent, reliable and timely communication is not only they key to developing and sustaining high levels of commitment and connection with technologists, it’s the gold standard by which all other recruiters are judged.

Astonishingly, only 27 percent of employers in a recent survey reported that they haven’t ghosted a job seeker in the last year. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out.

To become a world-class communicator, establish a list of touchpoints, timeframes and expectations for maintaining contact throughout the candidate journey and keep your commitments. Even if you don’t have a status update to share, use the opportunity to get to know the candidate better and sell your employer brand.

Most importantly, master the art of sharing feedback with tech candidates, especially after an interview.

As we’ve pointed out before, tech candidates whose technical abilities fall a little short of the requirements, frequently hone their skills and try again – if they receive constructive feedback and like the company.


Win Them Over With Transparency

Resist the temptation to oversell your company’s upward mobility, decision-making autonomy or innovative culture for fear that revealing the truth will drive highly skilled technologists away.

In fact the opposite is true. Technologists want an honest, authentic picture of what your company is like so they can decide for themselves.

Start building trust from the first interaction by laying out a clear picture of what the job entails, the performance expectations, management style as well as the shared values, goals, attitudes and practices that characterize the organization.

Use virtual open houses, videos, conversations with brand ambassadors and social media campaigns to expose what goes on behind closed doors and promote what makes your career opportunity better than the competition.

Even if a candidate turns you down today, they may be willing to pursue openings down the road if you win them over with transparency and stay in touch.


Be All Ears

A common belief among job-hunters is that if a recruiter shows more interest in talking at you rather than listening to you, it’s best to consider other options.

Listening, on the other hand, encourages candidates to continue the interaction and become more engaged in the relationship. It also builds knowledge, loyalty and trust in your abilities which leads to better matches and quality hires.

Follow the 80/20 rule. Take the time to explore a candidate’s job interests, strengths, workplace preferences and career goals, and then make an effort to offer them what they’re really looking for.


Do Your Homework

Nothing turns off a tech professional faster than pitching them the same job they had five years ago or ignoring the career goals outlined in their professional profiles and resume.

Establish yourself as a credible resource by actually reading the candidate’s online information and anticipating their next career moves before you reach out. Then, focus the early stages of your outreach on asking open-ended questions, fully engaging and making an effort to understand what they want in their next job.

If you are serious about engaging top technical talent you have to give them the flexibility, career progression, learning opportunities and compensation they crave. If you don’t do your homework and ask what they want, you can be sure your top competitors will.


Communicate on Their Terms

Let’s face it top tech professionals are in the driver’s seat and they’re incredibly busy. Tailoring the method, messaging and time of communications to meet a candidate’s schedule and preferences encourages quality, unrushed exchanges and ensures your message is heard.

Reaching out in a way that's most convenient also makes candidate’s feel valued, respected and aligned with your organization’s values. Take note: Nearly 70 percent of candidates believe that how they are treated during the hiring process is a direct reflection of how they will be treated as an employee.

Embracing communication flexibility not only helps foster meaningful relationships, it actually encourages technologists to accept an offer.


Bonus Tip: Leverage Your Employer Brand

Did you know that more than half (59%) of tech professionals say that an employer’s brand is extremely or very important to them when considering a new employer?

Infusing your outreach with stories about what your company stands for, why it exists and what you offer in terms of an employee value proposition can help you attract and engage tech professionals who share similar values and will thrive in your technical environment.

A strong employer brand is the glue that connects you to top candidates and drives them to engage and stay engaged.

If you’re struggling with candidate engagement, we’re here to help! Contact Dice today to learn how we help clients connect and engage with tech professionals that fit their open roles.