Top Tips For Managing An Outstanding Candidate Experience

Thursday 10 May 2018

As an owner of a professional recruitment business and a former Director for the UK's biggest flexible office provider, I've experienced first hand the problems caused by poor candidate management.  There are so many reasons why it is critical to expertly manage talent attraction, from how vacancies are advertised, the response processes, interview formats and ultimately the candidates overall experience engaging a business.  in this blog, I'd like to share my top tips which will ultimately boost brand awareness and give a business the best chance of hiring the winning talent.


1. Pre-advertising planning: Have a clear strategy on who/what and why the business requires to hire.  Stakeholders should meet to decide on the initial framework on what's expected and what's required from a new hire.  Agree budgets, decision making process, sign off process, start dates, interview panels and the job description particulars. 


2. Pick the right talent attraction channels:  

  • When using social media sense check the message/content is relevant, hyper links work, applications instructions are clear and it stands out.
  • If budgets allow instruct a recruiter.  Make sure the recruiters speciality is relevant to the role and there fully briefed 
  • Set application rules, make sure people within the business are clear on the process of dealing with the candidates.


3. Respond to all applicants: Have a strict and robust process in place to respond/reject/accept applications. 


4. Pre-plan interview schedules: First impressions are essential, try to keep interview times/locations fixed and avoid re-arranging meetings.  Most candidates will need to make arrangements to interview and its stressful to change times and locations.


5. Using agencies: Remember they are likely to be managing multiple candidate applications/experiences on behalf of the brand.  Get this wrong and potential talent will likely to only have a bad impression/experience and might not apply or even recommend the brand.

  • If using multiple agencies ensure the all know the processes and are fully briefed
  • Feedback promptly giving legitimate reasons for rejecting or progressing applicants
  • If the role closes, tell them straightaway to avoid interested candidates being let down


6. Agree rejection/progression processes:

  • Avoid feedback via Text or Voice Mail, unless agreed previously, it's perceived as impersonal and unprofessional
  • Try to give detailed feedback, even if unsuccessful a candidate will speak highly of the brand if treated well
  • Always feedback as soon as practicable and agree the feedback process at the end of the interview
  • If using external resources, communicate with them promptly, as they too are representing the brand in the market.


7. Be ready for change: If the scope of the role changes, be prepared to promptly communicate and agree objectives with all involved parties.  Referencing point 1. this often occurs due to a lack of pre-advertising planning.


8. Making the decision: Don't delay, the best people don't wait around!  Know the internal sign off processes and make this part slick to avoid unaccepted rejections


9. Contracts and Offers: Get offer letters & contracts out promptly, don't let poor planning ruin the candidate experience now. 


10. Always be learning: Ask for feedback from candidates, recruiters and colleagues to make the process slicker next time.


Happy hiring! 

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