Are we treating candidates right?

I have just read a post on LinkedIn where a candidate received a gift from a recruiter; the recruiter was thanking the candidate for the effort he had put into the recruitment process, and that candidate had not been appointed to the role! That made me think, since, as a recruiter, I’ve been grateful to receive thank you notes and gifts from candidates, saying how much they appreciated the way I have dealt with them during their recruitment process. I have thanked candidates many times for the effort and time they have spent on applying for a role, but was that enough?

The topic of my dissertation at University was about motivation and I know that one way to keep people motivated is by making them feel valued and recognised. And now I wonder if I make my candidates feel valued and recognised? Of course, there is a great amount of candidates that we as recruiters deal with on a daily basis and although it is challenging at times, I try to make the experience the best possible for them. But do they leave the process feeling valued? Do I make them feel like I am a recruiter they can trust?

Our work, as recruiters, is all about making the right connections between candidates and clients. We are the link and I truly believe that if a candidate (or a client) feels like that link is not strong enough, they won’t choose to work with me again. They will find another way to make that connection; they will find another recruiter; they will find someone else who helps make their experience more positive.

We know any recruitment process can be excruciating for us as recruiters – the perfect candidate withdraws or a client changes their mind….and we have to deal with every curve ball; we work long hours, we make calls, we meet candidates, we format CVs, we negotiate offers, we do all we can to get that right connection made. Now, imagine what it is like to be a candidate – you don’t receive a call, you don’t get any feedback, or you do and the feedback is vague, and all you get from the process is ‘you are not quite right’ and sometimes not even a ‘thank you for all the effort’ from a recruiter. Now, imagine that happening over and over again. How many times would you like to go through a process like that?

A critical part of being a recruiter and making connections is about how we make people feel. If an experience is unpleasant, not only will the person not want to repeat it, but it is more likely they will share the outcome with others. I mean, I would do the same, wouldn’t you?

An article published online on Marketingcharts.com states that “Overall, 95% of respondents who have had a bad experience said they told someone about it, compared to 87% who shared a good experience. In fact, bad experiences were more likely to be shared across each of the social circles identified. Friends or family (in person) were most commonly told, by 81% of those with bad experiences and 72% with good experiences, followed by coworkers (in person – 57% and 40%; respectively).”

Word of mouth is a powerful thing and it can make or break a recruiter and a company’s reputation!

I would like to think that my candidates have had a good experience working with me. I really want to believe that I have done my best to make them feel valued and that something positive came out of the experience. I love working with people, which is one of the reasons I decided to work in recruitment. I love meeting new people, I love helping them in any way that I can and possibly changing their lives for better by finding them their dream job. But that post on LinkedIn has definitely made me think and I’ll go that extra mile and I’ll strive to ensure that everyone I work with gets something positive out of their experience of working with me.


By Izabela Weksler, Executive Researcher

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