Engaging candidates effectively is crucial in today’s competitive recruitment landscape, so we’ve gathered insights from industry experts, including recruitment consultants and managing directors. From maintaining transparency and regular check-ins to engaging candidates via social media, discover the top ten specific communication strategies that have kept candidates interested throughout their recruitment journeys.

Maintain Transparency and Regular Check-Ins

Transparency and constant check-ins with both hiring teams and candidates are very helpful with keeping candidates engaged. You want to ensure that you have a quick communication channel and a clear timeline with the hiring team to provide updates to your candidates.

However, we work with people, and things may arise on both sides. If they do, candidates notice when a recruiter proactively reaches out to them, even when there is no real update and the decision is still pending. Instead of them being worried about whether it is okay to send you a follow-up message, be the one who reaches out first to check in with them, provide an update, and learn about any new developments from their side.

In my opinion, it is all about the relationship that you build along the way. You want to ensure that all parties involved trust you enough to provide clear and timely updates for you to be able to relay these to the other side and facilitate a smooth process.

Katya Lapayeva
Recruitment Consultant, Robert Walters

Implement Micro-Communication Tactics

Micro-communication. There is nothing worse than not communicating with candidates throughout the recruitment process—ghosting should be left in the past. Micro-communication means keeping candidates informed of their position in the application process. People are used to small bites of information and being updated—recruitment is no different. You let them know about the steps in the process, any potential delays, deadlines, or developments, how many candidates are still in the process, and about the next activities.

This does not mean that you overwhelm the candidate with information. On the contrary, the candidate feels confident and valued and does not have the extra stress of missing something.

This also includes sending timely rejection letters and honest feedback about their application. Modern ATS solutions like Teamdash help automate this micro-communication, which leads to a better candidate experience and engaged candidates.

Merilyn Uudmae
Content Manager, Teamdash

Send Immediate Post-Call Summaries

Sending a summary email or text immediately after the phone call is important. This keeps the conversation fresh in the candidate’s mind, which is especially important as they often interact with multiple recruiters and may be employed elsewhere. The summary outlines key points from the call and clearly states the next steps or actions required from the candidate, thereby significantly increasing engagement rates.

Siddhartha Gunti
Co-Founder, Adaface

Automate Initial Outreach and Follow-Ups

Our primary sourcing platform is LinkedIn. We always stress the importance of communicating personally with each and every candidate. However, at the initial stages of outreach to candidates, it doesn’t hurt to automate a few things, especially repetitive messages that are usually sent out using copy-and-paste.

We encourage our HR to eliminate manual routine by sending connection requests or InMails automatically. Many tools for LinkedIn automation or email outreach are empowered with AI: they recognize replies, can alternate different messages to candidates or stop automatic campaigns under certain conditions.

It helps to separate messages that require a more personal answer from those that can be pushed further down the standard pipeline. This way, our recruiters save enough time on repetitive tasks and are able to ensure that every candidate gets answers within one business day, which shows that the recruiter is interested in them and is open to additional questions. When people feel that the company cares and know that none of their questions stay unanswered at any point of their journey, they are eager to participate in the recruitment process.

Daria Erina
Managing Director, Linked Helper

Update Candidates on Application Status

We noticed that candidates feel more confident when we keep them up to date on the status of their application and the overall progress of the hiring process. Doing this not only shows that the company is open and honest but also that it really wants to keep candidates interested.

For example, sending regular emails or personalized messages at important points—like confirming receipt of the application, letting candidates know when they’ve moved on to the next stage, and giving feedback on time—can help manage candidates’ expectations and lower uncertainty. This proactive way of communicating with candidates makes them feel valued and involved, which in turn fosters a positive opinion of the company.

Keeping lines of communication open and regular is beneficial for our company’s image. If candidates feel informed and valued, they are more likely to stay interested in the organization, even if they don’t get the job. This approach helps build long-lasting relationships and a strong reputation in the talent pool.

Bianca Nagac
Marketing Manager, MVP Asia Pacific

Provide Timely Feedback 

In my experience, keeping candidates informed and transparent has been the most successful way to keep them engaged throughout the hiring process.

This method demands communicating via personalized emails or messages at regular intervals. I make it a point to give timely feedback or an update on the decision timeline following each interview. This openness aids in managing candidates’ expectations and lessens uncertainty, two factors that can contribute to disengagement.

Candidates are more invested, and they develop trust in and respect for the company as a result of this transparent channel of communication.

Regardless of the result, candidates benefit from the transparency and consistent communication, which usually makes the process more pleasant.

John Butterwort
Founder and CEO, 10kschools

Prioritize Honesty and Trust-Building in Communication

The art and science of communication, especially among people new to each other, may share a few characteristics. When directing a candidate through the maze of recruitment steps and practices, we strive to focus on the principles of honesty and trust-building.

Our candidates need to experience the pleasure of knowing that their meetings and materials express the reality of our operation. We want candidates to enjoy the process, whereby they will look forward to the next steps and the next meetings, as further opportunities for their learning, not just their interrogation.

Our leaders instruct all staff to answer their questions honestly, even when the details may not place our company in the best light. For example, when a candidate asks about the specific tasks they will be expected to perform, we encourage our team to also include the reality of our production flow. All staff, including our founder and leaders, are expected to accept any task that seems necessary at the time, including the most menial.

When we present that reality to new candidates, we also demonstrate that in real time. We find that our candidates remain interested in our company, wanting to continue their recruitment journey and potentially secure a position among a staff that truly functions as a team.

Ashley Kenny
Co-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

Send Personalized Emails 

In my experience, the most effective communication strategy for engaging candidates throughout the recruitment journey is personalized and transparent communication. For instance, at a tech startup I advised, we implemented a strategy where each candidate received personalized emails at every stage of the recruitment process. These emails included specific details about their application status, what they could expect next and timelines for each stage.

This approach proved highly effective for several reasons. First, it kept candidates informed and engaged, reducing uncertainty and anxiety often associated with job applications. Second, the personalized touch made candidates feel valued and respected, enhancing their perception of the company.

In addition to emails, we also used quick, informal check-in calls, especially before and after significant stages like interviews or assessments. This provided an opportunity for candidates to ask questions and for us to reiterate our excitement about their potential at the company.

Niclas Schlopsna
Managing Consultant and CEO, spectup

Be Clear About the Process

In my experience, the simplest tactic works wonders: keep candidates in the loop. Be clear about the process, respond to inquiries promptly, and update them at every stage, even if it’s just to say “we’re still reviewing applications.”

Open communication builds trust and shows respect, keeping them engaged and invested in the opportunity. Remember, candidates are people, not just resumes. Treat them with transparency, and you’ll attract and retain the best.

Kimberley Tyler-Smith
VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded

Engage Candidates via Social Media

I find that if you are consistent and active on social media, easily contacted, and visibly seen to be engaged in the industry, then you will attract and maintain the interest of potential candidates. This means replying promptly to messages from candidates, sharing industry news and building your brand awareness through articles and thought leadership.

Katharine Gallagher
Founder, Personal and Professional Growth, katharinegallagher.com