5 Steps to Candidate Engagement in a Tough Market

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Employers are facing a tough market as the search continues for quality candidates. The time it takes to engage and find a strong candidate has reportedly been getting longer. High performers are well engaged with their companies and reluctant to seek other employment, so what is an employer to do?

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when hiring for your organization.

1. Prioritize what you need versus what you want: Sometimes when we look for new talent to add to an organization, we are looking for a perfect fit. It’s important to understand what the top 3 must-haves you are looking for in a qualified candidate. What are the things you cannot train? What are skillsets you absolutely don’t have in your organization that you need in this hire?

2. What is the market offering me now? Look at the candidates applying to your job currently or what candidates are being presented by your recruiter. Do these candidates offer a skill set that could help you fill the gap? Could these candidates be trainable to achieve your objectives?

3. What is your Employer Value Proposition? Many employers don’t realize the best candidates are those that may not be actively looking for a job. They are highly engaged with their own organization. For this reason, your job posting needs to clearly illustrate the positive things you can sell to an employee. Robust vacation and benefit programs, defined career paths, and even free lunches can be an opportunity for a company to promote to candidates some intangible benefits they will gain from working at your organization.

4. Use the interview process to keep marketing your position and company: An interview is not just a time for you to evaluate prospective talent, but it is also an opportunity for the candidate to learn about the company. It is the moment a candidate speaks with you, where your job opportunity becomes a reality. It’s important to make these first impressions count. Use the time to reiterate what value a prospective employee would have in being employed by you. The candidate needs to feel welcome and part of your organization's culture and mission to feel connected and want to work with you.

5. Follow-up can be crucial: If you have great interest in a candidate, have a senior member of your team or hiring manager thank them for coming in to meet with you. Sometimes, just reaching out can make an individual feel valued.