Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Enhancing the recruitment process for a strong candidate experience

By Jason Greig, Business Development Manager, at Access Recruitment

Maintaining a steady pool of suitable and reliable candidates is essential to a successful recruitment agency. However, the employment landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and candidate attraction has become more difficult than ever. The trials of post-Brexit immigration rules, regulatory changes, and skills shortages have forced agencies to adapt to attract and retain top talent.  

For the first time in history, there are more available vacancies than unemployed people. As a result, candidates are more likely to pursue multiple roles simultaneously, so recruiters need to offer a seamless and enjoyable candidate experience to stave off the competition. Now is the time for recruitment agencies to be innovative to address this new environment and optimise their processes with the needs of the candidate in mind.

Leveraging your greatest attraction assets

Thanks to the growth of the digital world, branding is more important than ever to ensure a competitive advantage. Optimising their website and social media is an agency’s best chance at engaging with prospective candidates and convincing them to explore and apply for open jobs.

On social media, sharing inspiring team stories will convey a people-centred culture to attract their own talent. When it comes to an agency’s website, consultant profiles that showcase their expertise will demonstrate trustworthiness to engage active and passive candidates alike.

An inclusive digital attraction strategy needs to be fronted with an accessible website. Aside from a strong message signalling that all candidates are welcome, using inclusive people-driven imagery is crucial alongside technical best practice such as the employment of appropriate alt-text tags.

The personal branding of an agency’s recruiters matters too, especially in an industry where so much interaction happens on platforms such as LinkedIn. Their behaviours and conversations with candidates will influence the successful attraction of passive jobseekers. Consultants need to build healthy LinkedIn accounts, and promote their agency’s content, messaging, and events. Consultants’ networks are the golden ticket to top talent and mustn’t be overlooked when developing an agency’s brand profile and reach.

Offering an enjoyable candidate experience

Agencies need to ensure that every engagement with a candidate counts. A balance must be made between regular check-ins and ensuring efficiency – agencies need to assess how best to communicate to build a positive relationship with candidates.

The candidate experience is vital to success, and to differentiate from the rest, recruiters should look to engage with them in a genuine way. Candidates’ biggest gripe is often that recruiters are impersonal, and incredibly transactional. So, a slight shift away from this could be all that an agency needs to stand out.

Candidates want one person they trust and can go to every time they are seeking a new role. Someone who understands their goals, ambitions, and wider story. For perm recruiters investing the time to build relationships with strong candidates is worth the effort, rather than endlessly chasing a fickle few who may never be open to moving roles.

Reviewing processes and being brutal with efficiency

Whilst keeping all of this in mind, agencies must remember that the clock starts as soon as a candidate has been sourced and continues ticking until they accept their offer. There’s nothing more infuriating for candidates than a slow hiring process, and this could put you at risk of losing the candidate. An efficient recruitment CRM is essential to move candidates through the process quickly and seamlessly.

Candidates need to feel cared for, and if they don’t, they will go to another agency who they perceive puts their interests first.

The ultimate trifecta in candidate experience is attracting top talent, retaining them by offering a positive experience, and ensuring that timelines don’t spiral. Combining the latest in recruitment technology with a uniquely human proposition will give an agency the competitive edge to beat out the rest.