Keeping Candidates Warm and Engaged | WorkLLama

Understanding how to keep candidates warm during the recruiting process has long been a struggle for employers. Any sales leader will tell you it costs far more ⎯ anywhere from five to ten times more ⎯ to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. The same principle applies to talent acquisition. When you start every talent search with a blank page, filling a job is a bigger challenge that takes longer and typically costs more. Consider how talent sourcing would look if you had a pool of warm, pre-screened candidates available to you. One way to get there is to implement a talent community platform and benefit from total talent engagement

Think of all the candidates you have already connected with during prior job searches. You invested both time and money to attract applicants, then you screened them to identify the handful that made it to the interview stage. At the end of the process, you only hired a single individual. What are you doing to maintain a connection with all those qualified candidates who didn’t cross the finish line but showed great promise? What’s the return on investment when high-potential candidates are turned away?

A talent community platform is an excellent resource for keeping candidates warm and engaged with your employer brand until the right opportunity comes along. That talent engagement can make it easier, faster and more cost-effective to source talent, get referrals, and fill jobs. It also presents multiple opportunities to share insights into your company culture. That can ensure better job fit, deeper loyalty, and higher retention.


Keeping Candidates Warm (and Waiting) Is Not a New Idea


Talent acquisition experts have long known the value of developing relationships with high-potential candidates who are either rejected or reject an offer. Ensuring they have a personalized candidate experience means they will be more likely to apply for another position down the line or refer talent from their network. The challenge has always been figuring out how to make it happen, given time and resource constraints.

First, we had talent pipelines that burdened recruiters with too many applicants, making it difficult to focus time and effort on best-fit talent.

Then came the talent funnel— lots of applicants enter the top of the funnel, but screening filters ensure only the best pass through to the interview stage. Talent flow became a bit more manageable, but employers still needed an efficient and effective means to warm up a hot opportunity that went cold. Keeping candidates engaged is essential for “keep warm” strategies. Recruitment doesn’t end with an application after all. . 

While active candidates are under pressure to quickly move on when an opportunity fizzles, passive candidates simply don’t have enough interest to maintain a connection. A talent community platform establishes a means to generate interest and engage talent, whether pipelined or funneled, active or passive.

A Talent Community Platform Changes the Way You Source, Engage and Build Relationships with Talent

Despite an ATS (applicant tracking software) filled with candidates, recruiters on the lookout for fresh talent sources often return to familiar job boards and social platforms. These sources attract lots of applicants but not necessarily best-fit candidates. A talent community empowers your sourcing efforts. It provides a rich source of pre-vetted talent and a robust platform for promoting referrals. For one client, that meant a 15% increase in applicants across the board. Your own talent community allows you to reduce sourcing costs and achieve a better return on sourcing investments.

Not Every Employer Understands How to Engage Candidates

The best strategy for keeping candidates warm is to prioritize candidate engagement, regardless of whether they move on to the next stage of the hiring process. It’s not just about how to keep candidates warm during the recruiting process. You want to keep candidates on the back bench warm as well, engage passive candidates, and prioritize brand engagement throughout the recruitment process. 

The more touch points you create with candidates, the greater the opportunity to deliver an outstanding experience but also the greater the chance for a poor experience. In a time where candidate experience is so critical, providing a poor experience is even more detrimental. Even when you have minimal contact with a candidate, it’s possible to convey a lasting negative impression. According to Aptitude Research, the majority of applicants (58%) who are screened out never receive a response from the employer. 

It is unlikely you will ever hire every potential applicant. It is possible, however, to alienate every abandoned applicant, many of whom could be customers or could know someone who might have been your next brilliant hire. That’s why it is so important to establish a means to engage talent on an ongoing basis, or in other words, keep candidates warm.

Generating Interest and Engaging Candidates to Warm Up Candidate Relationships

Every recruiter knows that nurturing a relationship with a good candidate is a smart sourcing strategy, but sourcing is often fast and furious. It is a numbers game, defined more by quantity than quality. When that happens, the process of filling a job actually takes longer and costs more than is necessary, because there is very little time to get to know a candidate. That leads to misfires in getting a good match. It may mean having to return to the well repeatedly to find better-suited candidates or it could lead to early turnover due to bad hires. The right technology can change all that.

Automating and Personalizing Candidate Connections

More than a static careers page on a company website or a listserv to advertise open positions, a talent community platform offers opportunities to engage talent in a two-way dialogue on any device they choose. When you identify a high-potential candidate, you need to keep that individual engaged with your brand by providing valuable information and insights about your organization. For example:


  • Showcase your employees in ways that make it clear you are a champion for your people.
  • Offer a look behind the curtain at the types of work you do and how you do it.
  • Help candidates gain a sense of whether they would be comfortable joining your organization.
  • Make sure you’re broadcasting your employee value proposition (EVP)


Through frequent and consistent communication that goes beyond ongoing promotion of job opportunities, a talent community will keep candidates warm and ready to jump on the right job opportunity whenever it becomes available. The bonus? Every touch point can be tailored to the individual candidate for the more personalized candidate experience they desire while reinforcing your brand and promoting a strong employer value proposition.

Creating a Warm Connection with Every High-Potential Candidate to Reap Higher Value

Every sales professional understands the value of a warm lead, just as talent acquisition professionals understand the value of an engaged candidate. Rather than selling a product or service, recruiters are selling a brand and a promise for success and career happiness in the future. When this selling process is facilitated through a robust talent community platform, you strengthen your talent pool, making it easier, quicker and less costly to source best-fit candidates.

A talent community platform, like WorkLLama, simplifies hiring processes and allows for automation that helps to strengthen candidate engagement and consistently engages talent. The benefit of keeping candidates warm is a more seamless recruitment process that saves time, money, and resources. WorkLLama can help you promote brand engagement and keep candidates warmer longer thanks to our seamless omnichannel communications and Sofi, our conversational AI chatbot. Communicate with your candidates through email, text, phone, or app and keep engaging candidates the way they prefer.  

To see how you can transform your talent acquisition process and keep candidates warmer longer, see what our talent platform can do

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