Beyond the suit: What makes a great candidate experience when dealing with recruiters?

Hiring new personnel can be a time consuming, challenging and stressful process for all parties. Candidates place their skills and career progression into the hands of recruiting staff whilst employers invest considerable finances into the sourcing their ideal applicant. As everyone involved wants results, it is vital to make the experience a positive one.

Word-of-mouth is still a powerful marketing tool, providing any business with glowing recommendations or unwanted discouragement. Regardless of whether the candidate gets the job after an interview, it must be assumed that they will talk to their friends and family about the process. Good experiences are defined by an opportunity for expression, time given on their background and chances to showcase their abilities.

After just one bad candidate experience, long term negativity can be reflected on the company, especially when recruiting new staff. A bad recruitment process can cause the right applicant to turn down a job based on expectations.

Recruiters ultimately become directors in making the employment process beneficial to everyone. Finding a candidate with the correct experience and team fit can become a timely process and the longer the job is kept open, the less work can be completed.

It is also important to remember that any company, regardless of size, must have qualities that will make the desired personnel want to work for them. High salary is not always key; motivators such as career progression, training and incentives have also improved employment satisfaction. Combined with a swift, constructive and pleasant selection process, any business can become an employer of choice.

As an intermediary, recruitment consultants ensure these obstacles are dealt with before they become problematic. They get to know candidate’s drivers, motivations and reasons for a job change. Only once these are established are candidates put forward to relevant jobs. As consultants are experts within their fields, they are able to evaluate their individuality into a role that’ll be best suited to them. Sometimes this includes roles they may not have considered alone. Every step of the way should be approached in an honest and professional manner.

Senior recruitment consultant, Daniel Slowe, explains that “All candidates are treated as individuals, meaning there is no individual rule to the recruitment process. We never treat any of our candidates like a product and we believe that elevates the recruitment process, getting the results everyone wants.”

Tony Carr, a network solutions architect placed by Daniel, spoke about his direct candidate experience “My experience with Austin Fraser was surprisingly enjoyable. If you can imagine a situation where we receive a lot of calls from many different agencies with different opportunities on the books. You spend 5 minutes or so providing your recent employment history to these people and you never hear back from them again. You get into that mindset and you never think you’re going to hear from them again.

What Dan Slowe did differently to other recruiters was to keep me informed even when there was nothing to inform. I wasn’t used to that kind of feedback. I felt valued and I stopped worrying, which, surprisingly, made the experience enjoyable.”

Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder recently suggested that candidates should be assessed on five qualities - motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement and determination. Taking these key identifiers into account, reflecting these qualities into the recruitment process will also help to ensure good candidate experience. After all, recruitment is a business centred around people not products!

Austin Fraser is an award winning, specialist IT and Engineering recruiter who specialise in sourcing specialists. It's our mission to break the perception of 'stereotypical recruiters' and demonstrate that recruitment, when done well, is an excellent and consultative process. 

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