Recruiters are facing a tough market right now. More applicants than openings. Pressure to fill roles fast.
It's tempting to blast generic job posts then ghost most applicants. But this disengagement hurts your employer brand long-term.
Candidates remember poor engagement. And those left hanging make mental notes to avoid your agency in future.
To break this cycle, agency recruiters must prioritise engaging meaningfully with every applicant, even when the market is saturated. When done effectively, you build rapport, identify top talent, and create brand advocates even among those you don't hire.
You lose talent to competitors who engage better. Here are our tips to master candidate engagement despite the crunch:
Make Meaningful First Contact
Your opening outreach often determines whether passive candidates engage or ignore you, so it’s crucial to avoid impersonal greetings like "Dear Applicant."
Instead, reference something specific that shows you reviewed their background and see them as an individual. For example:
Making first contact thoughtful and personal shows genuine interest in candidates as people, not just CVs. It gets their attention instantly and kickstarts productive dialogue, whatever their background.
Highlight Any Mutual Connections
Before contacting applicants, LinkedIn offers an easy way to research whether you have any shared connections. Then, you can mention this in your outreach which can help in several ways:
Pointing out shared connections makes candidates feel you're already invested in them before even meeting, and facilitates a relationship-based approach from the initial outreach through the hiring process.
So take a minute to search for mutual connections before engaging applicants. That small extra effort often yields big returns in building rapport and credibility.
Ask Smart, Strategic Questions
Avoid basic questions like "How are you?" that don't further the conversation. Instead, prepare thoughtful tailored questions which can provide invaluable insights while also making candidates feel heard.
Strategic questions help you identify top talent and assess culture fit. And they allow candidates to showcase their skills early on, and encourage a two-way dialogue rather than just a Q&A session.
Share Inside Perspectives
Give candidates insights beyond the job posting to get them invested in the role and company. You can do this by:
Informed candidates ask better questions and have more meaningful interview discussions. When they understand the role and company realities, they get more enthusiastic about real opportunities rather than imagined ones.
Providing insider perspectives shows you want candidates to make decisions based on an accurate preview rather than just selling them generically. The more context they have, the more engaged and committed they become.
Set Realistic Expectations
Present the opportunity in an appealing yet honest light. Avoid overpromising specifics like compensation, advancement timeline, or responsibilities that may not materialise.
Instead, have candid conversations about concrete positives like training programs, work-life balance, leadership quality, culture, and growth potential. Explain typical career trajectories and timelines. Be transparent about challenges they may face in the role and provide a realistic preview so candidates can determine fit based on accurate expectations vs generic sales patter.
Candidates become frustrated and disengaged if the reality doesn't match the original pitch. To build trust, it pays to sell the role realistically rather than inflating its positives.
Be diligent and timely in all communication, whenever possible. Lagging response times signal disrespect for your applicants’ time and causes even passionate candidates to lose interest.
Technology like auto-responders can help keep candidates updated when you’re busy juggling many applications. While not a replacement for personal outreach, they ensure applicants don't feel completely forgotten.
Instead of waiting to be chased, you can proactively provide application process updates. Clearly set expectations on timelines and next steps, then follow through. If delays arise, apologise and explain reasons for the hold up.
Quick responses and proactive updates make candidates feel prioritised, not forgotten. Ongoing communication keeps momentum high and prevents drop off from process frustration.
Close Communication Loops
Always close the loop after interviews. Provide brief but constructive feedback that applicants can learn and improve from. The goal is to provide value and leave candidates with a positive impression, for example:
Closing communication loops respectfully shows that candidates' time and priorities matter to you, regardless of outcome. It reinforces a positive experience and develops your reputation as an agency that actually cares about your candidates.
Keep Candidate Experience Top of Mind
In competitive hiring markets, the best candidates have options. Your candidate experience will determine whether top talent chooses to work with you, or whether they go elsewhere.
And as your talent pool grows, you need the tools to convert candidates and nurture your pipeline. idibu offers:
With idibu, you can connect to talent like never before, convert more candidates, and build an engaged pipeline.
Get the tools you need to engage talent in today's job market. Contact our team today to learn more.