It’s probably a natural assumption to think that, when it comes to a job interview, it’s the candidate who’s under the microscope. But with the increasing number of unfilled vacancies and the willingness of the available workforce to move from one position to another, it’s now the potential employers who are subject to more scrutiny. For anyone looking to recruit in 2022, the key issue to address is how you can create a positive candidate experience throughout the whole process and not only ensure that you appoint the best talent for the role but also that the person you choose will want to stay and build their career with you. Not only that, if you fail to create a good candidate experience it can have a negative impact on your reputation and brand, so it’s important to get it right all the way from the initial advert to the onboarding process.

Your advert
Your candidate(s) will have seen lots of job adverts during their search, so you need to stand out. You also need to ensure that the advert reflects your brand values and that it accentuates the positives, so rather than just listing the requirements of the role, consider giving an overview of the business and using language that’s open and welcoming – this way you have more chance of exciting and enticing the right candidate.

Your website
The first port of call when a candidate sees your advert will probably be your corporate website, so it’s worth reviewing this prior to releasing your advert to ensure that it’s current and provides accurate information. To be told at interview that the website is being updated certainly won’t create the best impression.

Nowadays people have access to lots of supporting information about your business, so it’s helpful to generate positive reviews on Google, social media and – especially – on Glassdoor. If a candidate sees any negativity around your business and recruitment process they’re probably going to turn to alternative employers.

The application process
It’s only natural to want to gain as much detail as possible about the candidate in order to decide whether to shortlist and interview them, but that doesn’t mean that the process needs to be cumbersome. A CV or application form should give you the information you need to make a decision and you certainly want to avoid alienating great candidates by requesting too much up front.

People buy people, so effective communication during your recruitment process is vital if you’re to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. Be clear, concise and transparent in your correspondence, and consider picking up the phone rather than always sending an email or sending a text. The way you communicate – and the way you make the candidate feel – will have a big impact on their decision making.

The recruitment sector is white hot and things move at a great pace, so don’t over-complicate the process. If you’re keen to fill your vacancy, respond straightaway to questions and organise interviews promptly. We’re living in a world of instant communication, so candidates will be expecting things to move quickly when they apply.

The interview
This is your opportunity both to sell the role and to demonstrate how the candidate would fit into the team and realise their potential. The last thing you want at this stage is for the candidate to feel bombarded with questions so be sure to give them scope to showcase their skills and experience while also having the opportunity to learn more about the business they’d be joining.

The offer
Once you’ve selected the best candidate, it’s time to offer them the job. While you may be keen to bring the candidate on board, be mindful that they may still have other interviews as well as other commitments within their current role or with holidays and so on. To avoid any difficulties, be patient and be prepared to work within their timescales as well as your own – that way, they’ll be comfortable with the process and will be less prone to change their mind. Also, it’s a good idea to provide constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates. It not only helps them in their ongoing search but also reflects well on you as an employer. And you never know – if you’ve created a great impression, they may even decide to re-apply in future.

Rosa dos Santos, owner of Exact Sourcing, believes that employers who are looking to recruit need to put themselves in the candidate’s position before they start. ‘Effective recruitment and retention are critical to the success of any business,’ comments Rosa. ‘Here at Exact we work with our clients to help them understand the fundamentals of the recruitment process starting with the wording of the job advert and running all the way through the interview process and on to the offer and onboarding strategy. Nailing every step won’t just deliver the best candidate for the role, it’ll also go a long way to ensuring that they stay with you.’

Exact Sourcing is a recruitment agency in Cambridge and Newmarket, and we also serve Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Royston and Sawston. If you’re looking to add to your team and would welcome some expert assistance, please call us on 01223 919 409 or complete our enquiry form.