Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

How can recruiters create the best candidate experience?

Candidate experience is closely akin to customer service. If you have a virtuous experience, you will...
How can recruiters create the best candidate experience?

Candidate experience is closely akin to customer service. If you have a great experience, they will go back and use the recruiter again. If you have an appalling experience, then they won’t. And, recruiters would be wise to remember this when conducting themselves.

Last year, Recruitment Grapevine reported on a recruiter who was dubbed the “rudest boss in Britain” after insulting some of his clients behind their backs. Thirty-four-year-old Andrew White, a Recruitment Manager at Cordant People in Preston, came under fire after he was outed by his colleagues for writing distasteful remarks on an instant messenger mocking his candidates. “Love to know what calories she gets through. Bet her guts are rotten. Two packs of Wotsits before 9am today” and “WTF is that? A boy girl man. I think it’s a man”, were just some of the vile comments that White typed to his stunned colleagues. And this sparked outrage among his counterparts who saved his messages and later shared them publicly.

While this will likely deter many of his existing clients from using him in future – as many current clients are likely to question whether they are at the core of his hateful dictums – it is also likely to impact the brand of his employer, largely because the candidates weren't given a caring, top-notch experience.

With that in mind, how can recruiters create the best candidate experience? The experts weigh in below…

 


 

 

Simon Blockley, Managing Director of Guidant Global

The impact that a poor candidate experience can have on not only employer brand, but also wider brand perception, should not be underestimated. According to research by Talent Board, 41% of candidates who are not satisfied with a recruitment process will take product purchases and relationships elsewhere. 

With this in mind, recruiters should always put themselves in the candidate’s shoes, and ask if they’d be happy with the amount of information and experience offered. Data shows that 47% of jobseekers have given up on an application because of its complexity – so look at ways you can streamline the process. Don’t be a stranger: engage with jobseekers before, during and after the hiring process – whether you employ them or not. And keep your ears open for feedback which can be used to inform future strategy.

Finally, don’t try to project the image of a flawless utopian corporate if that’s not the reality of the business you’re recruiting for. Authenticity is key.

 

“Don’t be a stranger: engage with jobseekers before, during and after the hiring process.”

“When explaining your company ethos to an interviewee, a focus on culture and inclusion is really going to make the candidate feel comfortable and at home.”


 

 

Suki Sandhu, Founder and CEO of Audeliss

Candidate experience is the weapon in your arsenal that will overthrow your competitors and leave you victorious. A key thing that will improve your competitive edge in the war on talent is concentrating your company culture as inclusive and diverse.

Diversity has increased in emphasis due to focus on business ethics, fair play and equality. The unveiling of the gender pay gap cast a stark light on all industries – naming and shaming the worst culprits. 

Evidence of inclusion from the get-go is really going to improve your overall candidate experience. Diverse companies will gain interest from a wider range of candidates.

When explaining your company ethos to an interviewee, a focus on culture and inclusion is really going to make the candidate feel comfortable and at home. Recruiting is all about provoking a positive feeling from your candidate and this will aid that process. 

If you practice what you preach, there should be a range of genders, cultures and orientations eventually acting at board level, setting an expectation for the entire company and backing up all parts of your mission statement, improving transparency and trust and, above all, candidate experience.

 


 

 

Charlie Johnson, CEO and Founder of BrighterBox.com

With recruitment at graduate level, candidates have very different expectations compared with mid and senior-level hires. There’s more of that element (perhaps fear) of the unknown. Make it your mission to help them give the best account of themselves by ensuring they have got their heads around the important information needed to impress and, equally importantly, to avoid being caught short at interview.

I always schedule a check-in call with a candidate the day before the interview to make sure they can explain what the company does, how they make their money, how their skills and experience fit the role and to see what questions, if any, they’ve prepared to ask. Giving them a steer on their preparation - rather than spoon-feeding - forces them to think about their answers, rather than trying to wing it on the day and reel off some pre-prepared information that they’ve not properly internalised. 

Help them boss the interview and you’ve got yourself a brand advocate.

 

“Make it your mission to help them give the best account of themselves by ensuring they have got their heads around the important information needed to impress.”