What is the Difference Between Candidate Engagement and Candidate Experience?

May 25th, 2018 Posted by AI/ML, Candidate Engagement, Mobile, Text Messaging


Over the past few years, a larger emphasis has been placed on the candidate in the recruiting process. Whereas candidates used to have to pine for the attention of recruiters, recruiters are now trying to find ways to woo candidates. There are a number of factors that contribute to this transition. Unemployment is at record-low numbers, giving job seekers the ability to shop around a little more for the perfect job. Social media can now also make anyone’s experience as a candidate amplified for the whole world to see, either in a positive or negative way. Overall, candidates are starting to look more like customers in the eyes of the recruiter.

With this new spotlight on the candidate has come new jargon such as candidate experience and candidate engagement. These terms are often used interchangeably in the recruiting process. While candidate engagement and experience should be related to your overall strategy to bring on the best talent possible to your organization, they are in fact two different practices you can use to your advantage.

Candidate engagement refers to how responsive candidates are throughout the recruiting process. If a candidate is sufficiently engaged, communication seamlessly flows two ways. This is extremely crucial to the hiring process, as it is much more difficult to convert a disengaged candidate to an employee. Not to mention, disengaged candidates that slip through the cracks and wind up as employees, often end up as disengaged employees. This is the worst case scenario for a recruiter. These are the employees that produce mediocre results, complain, and are often detrimental to your company culture. It’s best to take care of this problem from the start with an engaging hiring process.

Candidate experience is defined as how job seekers perceive and react to an employer’s sourcing, recruiting, interview process, hiring, and onboarding. As a recruiter, you are the gatekeeper for your entire company. You are the first contact and first impression from the candidate perspective. This is exactly why candidate experience is so important. It significantly raises your chances of converting your candidates into new hires. In addition to this, if you choose not to move forward with a candidate, giving them a positive experience can seriously benefit you in the long run. Initially, they are more likely to speak positively about their experience with peers. Second and perhaps even more important, a positive experience betters your chance of reaching back out to that candidate if a better opportunity arises.

Overall, while these two concepts are two different entities, they are very much related in how your candidate perceives your company, and there are cheat codes to easily improving them both. Use chatbots to assure that your candidates always have a resource available to them no matter what time of day they are applying. Use texting or other messaging apps to reach candidates where they already are and want to be reached. You can also use shortcodes to provide candidates an easy opt-in to your hiring process that they can use when shopping or out to lunch. The list goes on. Interested in learning more about easy ways to attract talent?


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