Countdown To recruitDC: Mark Batenchuk On Candidate Engagement

Ed Note: The fall 2014 recruitDC event is just days away. The schedule is packed with great interactive content and I am honored to moderate the engaging talent panel. We’re sharing a final sneak peek with you, from Mark Batenchuk of Scope Group.
How do you define candidate engagement?

Successful candidate engagement is the epitome of effective recruiting. It is the art of combining skill, effort and time in order to attract and secure top talent. While candidate engagement is a relatively new buzz word in the industry, top performing recruiters have been experts in “practicing” candidate engagement for years.

Three key elements of candidate engagement include:

  1. Attraction – Woo talent and cut through the noise. Sell folks on the opportunity, organization, company culture, the staff—even a candidate’s potential future boss! It takes persistence and marketing savvy.
  2. Relationship building / Rapport – Quickly establish trust and find common ground.
  3. Feedback – Prompt feedback throughout the process is essential to continue building trust and respect – especially during long hiring timelines.

What’s the role of consistency in engagement?

Consistency, especially with regards to feedback and frequency of communication, is the key to building meaningful and strong candidate engagement.

How do you manage your time to make engagement your priority?

Successful engagement and successful recruiting are interconnected and should not be viewed as separate. In other words, engagement is not a luxury or bonus – it is THE priority. Recruiters that successfully engage have the competitive advantage. At Scope Group, I ensure that my recruiting team is providing our candidates with feedback by tracking and holding them accountable throughout the lifecycle.

What frustrates you most about your peers who are bad at engagement?

No one (including your candidate) wants to feel like a transaction – but that’s how so many recruiters treat them. That’s why in 2015 we’re launching a Candidate Services Program focused on getting feedback from candidates, which will include surveying all potential hires about the recruitment and interviewing process. We’re excited about the opportunity to provide a forum for their recommendations on how we can improve our process; we’re asking them to help us to get better.

Now over to you what is your perspective on candidate engagement?  What would you like to discuss further with the panel?

In early 2011, Mark founded Scope Group to combine his passion for recruiting, technology, and partnering with small businesses. Mark’s primary focus as President is to build a firm that stands out from the pack, becoming the premier engineering and software recruiting firm in the D.C. metro area based on the principles of delivering quality results while providing an exceptional customer and candidate experience. 

Mark earned his B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech. Beyond the walls of the Arlington office, Mark remains active in the DC Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Engineering Association (AFCEA) – an organization dedicated to STEM education and collaboration between government and industry. He is also a bona fide world traveler who takes every opportunity to explore new cities, cultures, countries, and most importantly…food. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.