How to keep candidates engaged over the holiday season

To keep candidates engaged over the busy holiday season, consider these tips.

Candidate engagement is more important than ever before. According to a report from LinkedIn, 87 percent of job seekers say that a positive interview experience will change their mind about an organization they previously doubted.

During the holiday season, interview processes can slow down as stakeholders leave the office for vacations and larger workloads bog down other members of the enterprise. To keep candidates engaged and happy, consider the following tips:

Send a seasonal greeting

When candidates don't hear from a company for several days, they're likely to move on to another opportunity. Considering the job market is tighter than it has been in recent decades, candidates hold much of the power. Even if it's not your intention to ignore candidates, it may seem like that to someone who is waiting to hear about an important opportunity. However, it can be difficult to follow up with each candidate during the holiday season.

"Generally speaking, job seeking activity will slow down during the holiday season," says Chris Wilcock, Senior Marketing Coordinator at Beacon Hill Staffing Group. "This presents a good opportunity to reallocate energy towards keeping candidates engaged. Spending some extra time reaching out to job seekers for a quick check-in pays dividends, especially when both of you may be distracted by a litany of year-end and holiday-related responsibilities."

A simple way to let candidates know you haven't forgotten about them is to send a seasonal greeting via email or text. A quick message lets candidates know you're still thinking about them, and they'll be less likely to write off a potential opportunity with your organization. Plus, automated technology makes it easy to send many messages without consuming too many resources.

Develop content to send automatically

Hiring managers can leverage automated content delivery systems to send qualified candidates branded collateral throughout the hiring process. Depending on the candidates and the needs of the organization, this content can be more or less personalized.

For example, if you have identified a great candidate, but you don't have an open position for him or her at the moment, you may want to send them a message letting him or her know that you are still looking for a fitting opportunity with your organization. You can use this content to tell targeted candidates more about your company's culture, mission and core values. This content will support your engagement strategy when you don't have the time to call or meet with your top candidates during the busy holiday season.

Use multiple channels of communication to keep candidates engaged.

Don't ignore new applicants

During the holiday, you might see fewer new applicants to your open positions. However, these new candidates may be of a higher quality. Individuals who take the time to apply for new jobs during the holidays are clearly motivated and ready to put in the work necessary to secure a new work opportunity.

Rather than wait until you get back from vacation to respond to new applicants, develop a strategy for engaging these new candidates while you're away from the office. As previously noted, email and text are great channels to automate your outreach efforts. Likewise, you may consider deploying a chatbot to answer common and frequently asked questions.

Request candidate feedback

With the new year approaching, this is the perfect time to solicit feedback regarding candidate experience. Sending a brief survey to the candidates in your pipeline will give you important data on where candidate engagement could be bolstered. For instance, you could learn if the frequency with which you communicate with candidates is sufficient or not, helping you to optimize this process as you start fresh next year. The more data you can collect now, the more prepared you will be to optimize hiring after the bustle of the holiday season dissipates.

Managing your candidate pipeline is a challenge at any time of year. Learn more about how the expert recruiters at Beacon Hill Staffing Group can optimize your hiring process.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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