What Is Candidate Engagement in Recruitment?

January 23rd 2019


Over the past decades, recruitment has been shaped, in large part, by the internet. Not only has the internet changed our daily lives but it also has modified the way we communicate, connect, and find the right talent for the job. However, we see a disconnect between how recruitment perceives this revolutionary communicational and behavioral change, and the tactics they use to address this problem

For many companies, modernizing recruitment starts with a focus on tactics such as creating a flashy career site, developing a mobile-friendly website, or implementing a new ATS system. These efforts by no means will allow you to stand out from the crowd in a candidate-driven job market.

Understanding the online dynamics and adapting to the new fundamental elements in a modern-day digital recruitment strategy will not only help you to strike a chord with potential candidates on a much deeper level but also provide an advanced and modern approach to help you move beyond the tactics.

While digital marketing strategies like online marketing are relatively new to the recruitment industry, it is a necessary skill set for modern-day recruitment. Today’s recruiters must know the basic recruitment marketing elements in order to create a successful digital recruitment strategy. This article will focus on candidate engagement in the recruitment framework.


What Is Candidate Engagement?

At its core, candidate engagement is about building relationships with prospective talent. It is an overall system that contains the different candidate touchpoints in the recruitment process to help candidates understand, relate to, and trust career proposals and employer value propositions (EVP) to ultimately activate, cultivate, and manage candidate relationships.

The goal of recruitment is to help candidates maneuver effectively through the recruitment marketing process and to make sure that they understand why they should work for your company and what differentiates your company from the rest. To do this, recruiters must have an in-depth understanding of candidate behavior, where candidates are online, and what motivates them to take action.


Types of Engagement

Online engagement is directly linked to digital marketing and consists of the four distinct categories.

• Active engagement

is repeated interaction with prospective candidates over various channels, including social media, messaging, and mobile. It requires candidate activity such as reading post, liking, sharing, replying, or even asking a question through real-time support.

• Emotional engagement

is an interaction designed to connect with the candidates on an emotional level either by owning a product, recognizing the services, standing for the company believes, or having a lifestyle that fits the EVP of the company.

• Rational engagement

is interaction where candidates can rationalize company values, beliefs, product or services with their own career prospectives in order to create an understanding and the co-creation of personal and company success.

• Ethical engagement

goes beyond interaction and is the collection of shared assets that companies present on- and offline that need to align with the perceived and experienced values in a recruitment process.

Each of these categories of engagement has its own short and long-term focus that requires a different set of marketing tactics to trigger in engagement. At Tulsie, we understand how the recruitment process affects the candidate engagement. We realize that to maximize the effectiveness of our sourcing strategies within the recruitment process, we must use a combination of these engagement categories. For example, we combine action and rational engagement elements to create a customized EVP and a smart messaging campaign to actively involve candidate and help them gather the information they need to make career decisions.


Key Fundamentals for Online Engagement

Candidate engagement is not only about building a brand identity and creating a flashy career site. While this might draw attention, it will not provide lasting hiring results. Engagement is about connecting with the candidate and going beyond the job posting and application process to foster a real relationship with the candidate. It’s about creating a clear message to the candidate that is relevant to their unique needs and about finding a way to differentiate your company from your competitors.

To do this, you must understand your target candidate and know how to connect the dots on a much deeper level. At Tulsie, we focus on understanding the candidate. We use behavior science and enhanced engagement tactics to better understand how the candidate thinks, behaves online, and what motivates him. These valuable insight allow us to create a messaging campaign that resonates with your ideal candidate across all touchpoints.


Candidate Engagement within the Recruitment Marketing Framework

Online engagement is more than just posting a job online and waiting for candidates to apply. While this post-and-pray method may have worked in the past, it is no longer effective in today’s highly competitive, candidate-driven job market. You need more if you hope to recruit the top talent candidates your company needs.

This is where candidate engagement comes in. This modern marketing approach uses different strategies than traditional recruitment tactics, but it also allows you to connect with your prime candidates on a deeper and more meaningful level. Enhanced candidate engagement enables you to create leads that will not only visit, consider, and acknowledge your job offers but who also will share and actually give permission to start building a relationship. At Tulsie, we see that in a candidate-driven job market having a modern approach to recruitment is necessary to hire the best candidate faster. We help you do this by taking a different approach, through various marketing tactics, at each stage of the recruitment process.


New Skills for Recruitment

Using online engagement tactics as part of an overall recruitment strategy is a new concept for many marketers and recruitment professionals. It requires new skill-sets. Recruitment professionals must have an in-depth understanding of how their target candidates behave online. They must determine which social media channels these candidates use, how they want to connect, and what motivates them to take action. Without this insight, it will be challenging to develop a hiring strategy in today’s competitive market that drives results.

At, Tulsie, we use data and candidate behavior elements to create smart messaging campaigns that help you go beyond the post-and-pray method to help you attract your ideal candidates, even if they didn’t apply the first time. Our comprehensive solutions will help your company develop modern recruitment strategies that enable you to attract, connect, and engage with your target candidates. Enhanced candidate engagement has the power to increase job offer acceptance rates, speed up the assimilation process, and improve overall retention rates. Contact Tulsie to learn more about how to use candidate behavior insights to develop a strong and effective candidate engagement strategy that offers improved hiring results.

Written by: Sushila Ramkisoensing

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