By Jessica Miller-Merrell

We all know that the candidate experience is a major part of employee engagement but often times we can’t see beyond the initial touch points. The unfortunate part of this is that the initial touches are just that, touches. Just as it takes multiple instances to make an impression in advertising, it takes multiple instances to truly make an impression on your potential candidates. Reaching a candidate with one touch vs. many touches is similar to the difference between a single transaction and a bustling economy. In order to create an engagement economy, there must be ongoing, repeated transactions between candidates and recruiters.

This engagement economy is directly related to building a talent network. It’s through this economy that long-standing relationships are built and groups of job seekers are curated.

Improve recruitment and retention 
I mentioned above what the engagement economy can do for your candidate experience, but what should be added is the fact that a true engagement economy includes all the players – actual candidates, potential candidates, permanent employees, temporary workers and contractors. The reason it’s important to include all these others is that losing or gaining them has such an impact on your bottom line, so by default, they are part of your engagement economy. Any type of worker whose presence or absence affects your company should be engaged in order to minimize turnover. Don’t forget that it’s just as important to retain your current workforce as it is to recruit talented people.

Help to qualify candidates 
One major benefit that an engagement economy provides is help in qualifying or disqualifying a candidate before the interview process ever begins, or in some cases, before a position even opens up. It’s not about making snap judgments about someone, which is easy to do when you only have one engagement touch point, but instead is about getting to know them over time through many interactions. In fact, it allows you to look beyond the resume and see if the person is a good fit. In the engagement economy, you can judge by engagement instead of just experience.

Focuses on tomorrow, not just today
An engagement economy at your company helps to shift some of the focus from the challenges and successes of today to the potential success or failures you could experience in the future. Internally, an engagement economy helps you take advantage of improving employee engagement each day so that two years from now, your employees are even more equipped to do their jobs and are satisfied and committed to the company. The engagement economy in relation to your recruiting efforts helps you build long-term relationships with candidates, shaping your pipeline so that when positions do open up, it’s a no-brainer as to where you will go to fill them.

All in all, an engagement economy created through multiple transactions and interactions will transform your hiring. The way it utilizes both your recruiting efforts and current employees is powerful.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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