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It can be difficult to keep candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process. When initially contacted by a recruiter, prospective employees are understandably excited. All too often, however, their attention can drift during the process. LinkedIn recently reported a 20% increase in job seeker drop-off during the hiring process. 


How to keep candidates engaged

So then, how do you keep candidates engaged? The answer lies in understanding that recruiting is a multifaceted relationship – the candidate, recruiter, business, hiring manager, employer brand, etc. – not just an internal process. To see greater success, here are simple ways to cultivate lasting relationships with candidates. 

Discuss outcomes, not tasks 

To capture a promising candidate’s interest, recruiters need to be as enthusiastic as job seekers. Paint a vivid, exciting, and values-based picture of what it’s like to work at your company. Will they have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, for instance? Or, will they be part of a world-leading customer team? Job seekers want a broad picture of what they will be doing, rather than detailing everyday BAU.

Be transparent

Lack of transparency is a hot topic and can create negative employment brand perceptions.

Candidates will share frustrations with anyone who will listen, including online. As such it’s always better to play difficult situations with a straight bat. If a person isn’t the right fit, for example, be tactfully honest and explain you have other candidates better suited to this position.

This also relates to the transparency around the process, timelines, changes, package, etc. For example, if you agree you’ll get back to a candidate by a set date, do it, even if you don’t have anything to report. 

Keep the application process simple 

Most of us have been exposed to recruitment processes that took too long or was overly complex. So:

  1. Try to keep application forms short, for example, try not to get candidates to duplicate their CV. As a rule of thumb, an application should no take more than 10 minutes.
  2. Narrow the list of interviewers to essential personnel only.
  3. Try to keep interviews to a maximum of three, use panels or recruitment agency to reduce the numbers if necessary.
  4. Try not to have lengthy delays between interviews, and run concurrent activity timelines to complete testing, references, etc.
  5. And, if you require testing, try online remote testing so there’s some flexibility for the candidate.

Communicate - stay in touch with prospects

One of the biggest frustrations for candidates are recruiters that don’t stay in touch. It’s easier than you may think: send them articles of interest, check-in to see how their job search is going, or even just email them occasionally to update them on the process.

Good communications can be the difference between a candidate being engaged or ghosting a recruiter halfway through the process.

And for those that don’t respond or don’t go forward, keep nurturing them as they may still be good for other roles.


Candidate engagement is all about how you serve your candidates and how you make them feel. If you focus on creating value, convenience, and empathy, the tactics fall into place. You’ll also see reductions in time to interview, you’ll see better open rates/response rates, and you’ll make more quality placements.

Recruiting is not the same as it was a few years ago. With no shortage of quality opportunities for job seekers, you'll need a strong recruitment strategy to attract engaged candidates that will give your business a competitive advantage.

As you move through the interview process, identify the target candidate’s current career goals and how your role stacks up. Try to identify what’s important to the candidate and rank these considerations. To help with this, download our “How to convert top talent during interviews” guide.

Interactive interview checklist guide for recruiters and company employers

About CGC Recruitment

CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SME’s and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.

If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.


How to keep candidates engaged, LinkedIn Talent Solutions [LINK]

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