Given the tight labor market, most top talent is already employed once they start looking for new roles, job seekers have countless job opportunities at the tips of their fingers. Because of this, once you get job seekers interested in your open roles, your team needs to put in extra effort to keep them engaged, but this isn't always the case.
A recent study from Phenom People, a talent experience management provider, found that 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies do not further communicate status with applicants after they confirm they received an application. For the study, Phenom People audited and ranked Fortune 500 based on how they attract, engage and convert job seekers.
If your team doesn't keep candidates updated about application status, you'll risk losing top talent to other job opportunities -- either because they become frustrated with the lack of communication or assume your team isn't interested in moving forward. Below, I've outlined steps to keep candidates engaged each step of the way.
1. Quickly review job applicants.
With more open roles than qualified talent to fill them in today's competitive hiring market, most job seekers consider multiple jobs at once. And if you don't move your hiring process along quickly, your best candidates will accept job offers from other employers who move quickly.
Make sure your hiring managers make an effort to review job applicants on a daily basis. Responding to applicants as soon as possible can help ensure strong candidates stay engaged and excited about joining your team.
2. Continuously communicate with candidates.
Once you've initially reviewed applicants, your hiring team should make an effort to regularly communicate with candidates throughout each step of the hiring process.
For example, if you're trying to schedule interviews and can't find time in a team member's schedule for a few days or a week, reach out to the candidate instead of leaving them waiting and wondering when -- or if -- the interview will be scheduled. Taking small steps like this can help ensure candidates don't lose interest in moving forward with the hiring process.
3. Leverage text messaging to boost engagement.
Throughout the hiring process, emails can easily get overlooked and job seekers who are already employed might miss your phone calls. Instead of relying on emails and phone calls, your team can keep candidates engaged by tapping into text messaging.
While the average open rate for emails is around 30 percent, about 97 percent of text messages are read within 15 minutes of delivery, meaning candidates will almost immediately see your text messages. You can leverage text messaging to send interview reminders, schedule changes and remind candidates to take action on certain required hiring steps, such as completing a background check form. .
4. Close the loop with all candidates.
Whether a job applicant doesn't get through the initial application phase or makes it all the way to the final interview, it's important to close the loop with all candidates. When candidates don't receive an offer, let them know either by email or over the phone, rather than leaving them to wonder about the status of their application.
By offering a great candidate experience -- even to those who don't receive a job offer - you can make a positive impression on job seekers. For all you know, they might end up being a fit for a different role down the road, or have a friend or colleague who is qualified to join your team.
If you don't give your job seekers the courtesy of closing the loop, they'll be less likely to consider your open roles in the future, or recommend others apply to join your team.
Candidate communication can make or break the success or your hiring efforts, and, ultimately your business. By continuously touching base with candidates during each step of the hiring process, you can keep them engaged and increase the likelihood of top talent joining your team.