Look after your candidates

The question of how to recruit top talent when there is so much uncertainty in the economy right now has the same answer as when everything is going smoothly. If you’re an employer you should be looking after your candidates. Here’s how: look at your process through a candidate’s eyes. Does it impress? Welcome? Delight and inspire? Treat people as human beings?

Let’s take a closer look at candidate experience and what you should be doing.

What to avoid

There is a wealth of advice on how to ensure a great candidate experience when you are recruiting and much anecdotal evidence of bad practice.

“only those candidates selected to move forward will be contacted”.

This was on a job advertisement for a company no one has heard of, in a Tier 2 location, seeking a niche skill set. The only thing to recommend it was that it gets the rudeness up front to manage expectations.

Did they not consider that it might dissuade people from applying? Partly because of the attitude but mainly because no one likes to be ghosted. The application Black Hole is something all job seekers hate. This is an all too familiar situation to people looking for a job I’m sure.

Another example just seen at the bottom of a recently posted advertisement:

“Thank you for your interest in this role. Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive we cannot respond to all unsuccessful applicants”

I am sure it is not meant to be as callous as it sounds: possibly it’s just being helpful i.e. warning people.

But I wonder what if anything goes through the CV reviewer’s mind? They open an email perhaps with a personal message where someone has taken the trouble to explain why they are applying. The recruitment consultant reviews the CV and decides the applicant is not suitable. Then what? That’s it? Not even an acknowledgement?

We don’t claim Prism is perfect, but we reply to every single person who contacts us. And not just an auto response. Bluntly, it’s not difficult. It can be as simple as a brief email. We occasionally receive narky emails complaining about our “standard” email, but clearly it’s easier to take out your job search frustrations on an actual reply than a lack of reply!

Managing the current situation

Many firms will have put recruitment on hold until the position with Coronavirus becomes clearer and may have candidates actively in their recruitment process. Whatever the situation, these candidates require attention, particularly at this time of uncertainty. Keep them informed of progress on their application and update them periodically.

If you want to maximise your employer brand don’t leave them hanging and don’t use agencies who do. People have long memories and will remember when things pick up, as they definitely will!

My advice is to slow down recruitment processes, lengthen timescales, and be transparent about doing so. Make sure candidates know you are interested.

Don’t knee jerk freeze recruitment:

  • Contrary to popular belief it’s not an on/off tap. It can take weeks to restock a pipeline of good candidates ;
  • It sends an awful message to the job market;
  • This enables your more flexible competitors to handpick the best candidates, even now.

If you would like to discuss how Prism Executive Recruitment can help with your talent acquisition strategy please contact Chris Sale, Managing Director, on 01344 636426 email  [email protected] or use our Contact Us form.

Chris Sale

Meet the author

Chris Sale

Chris Sale is a very experienced recruitment consultant operating in executive recruitment and management consultancy recruitment. He has a wealth of expertise in recruiting a broad range of candidates in a variety of sectors. Since 1997 when he and two fellow directors set up Prism Executive Recruitment, he has concentrated on placing management consultants in consultancy firms and in senior role...

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