In a market where there is a talent shortage and where employers are increasingly cautious when it comes to investing in new employees (and so are often very specific about the criteria), it is not just the identifying of top talent which is crucial, but also the recruitment process and candidate experience.
The recruiter is on hand to guide the candidate through this process to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible, but there are occasions where the recruitment process can potentially have a negative impact on the candidate decision.
An inflexible and what sometimes could be termed ‘in-humane’ process could be the reason a candidate decides not to pursue a position, or accept an offer.
At BWD we work with a large portfolio of clients, varying in size from large and national, to small, regional firms who can have very differing recruitment processes. Based on our experience, below you will find some examples and our top 5 ‘pitfalls’ for potential employers where the recruitment experience could potentially be improved in order to ensure that when the ‘perfect’ candidate is found, the client creates the best impression as their potential employer.
1. Pleased to meet you!
The first meeting is all about creating interest for both parties; it’s a first impression, and it is crucial. Sometimes we find that the person interviewing is not able to fully answer questions or really sell the role, and so the candidate leaves being none the wiser or particularly enthused. There are also times when the interviewer may not have reviewed the candidate’s CV. Again, this is very off-putting for candidates, and is akin to a candidate not doing any research on the company they’re interviewing for, the role, or the interviewer. This creates the (false) impression that there really is no genuine interest.
2. Can we rearrange?
Another typical scenario is where a meeting is cancelled numerous times, often last minute. Perhaps the interviewer does not show up to the meeting or call without getting a message to us to explain that they are unable to make it. Of course, sometimes things crop up, and there is nothing one can do. But if the recruitment process is important to the business, the candidate meeting should be treated with the same importance as any client meeting. Just as an employer would most likely choose not to pursue a candidate if they cancelled more than once or simply did not show up to meetings, the candidate will likely choose not to pursue an opportunity for the same reason.
3. How about I make you an offer you can’t refuse?
The offer stage is a key part of the process. From time to time we experience employers offering a lesser package than was discussed through the process or even less than the candidate is currently on. The risk with this scenario is that the candidate feels undervalued and very deflated with the offer. In the vast majority of cases, in fact, they do not accept. Then when the employer increases the offer, the problem is that the ‘shine’ has been taken off the whole process. Often candidates then do not want to accept and it takes a lot of effort on the recruiter’s part to try and manage this situation, which could have easily been avoided. Put yourself in their shoes, would you accept a lower package for a role you were actively approached about?
4. Decisions, decisions!
Another occurrence at this stage is that once the candidate has received the offer in writing, (a process which often takes weeks, and on the odd occasion months) they are then put under tremendous pressure to provide an answer within a couple of days. Moving roles is an important decision, one that needs to be reflected upon and often discussed with family members. Candidates often want the following weekend to digest things, when they have time to do so. The candidate, who has patiently waited weeks for the offer to arrive, can then be put off if they feel pressured to make a quick decision.
Some candidates may also be interviewing with a number of potential employers at the same time, and wish to compare these options. Just as an employer would not recruit the first person they interview and would want to review all options in the market, candidates also want to be able to compare all options to ensure they reach the right decision.
5. It’s a two-way street
Another stumbling block can be inflexible meeting arrangements. Candidates need to take time of work to attend interviews, which can be difficult. In certain instances, potential employers also require candidates to interview in a different location to where they are based and where the role would be based, and also cover what could be substantial travel costs. Sometimes a candidate simply is unable to do this, and may be reluctant to put in so much effort for a first meeting, before any commitment has been made by either party. Some flexibility and willingness to compromise would enable the interview to progress.
Strong candidates are for the most part happy in their current role, not actively looking and typically ‘headhunted’ for specific roles. For this type of ‘passive’ candidate, they need to be courted initially to arouse that interest. The interview process should be very much treated as a ‘two-way street’, where both parties want to create the best impression of themselves as both an employer and employee.
So, as explained, ‘finding’ the right candidate is only the first part of the process. ‘Attracting’ them and the recruitment process itself is also key.
Bearing in mind the above points will ensure that when your recruiter finds you that candidate who can truly add value to your business, you have the best possible chance of ensuring they join your team!