Candidate experience

4 minutes
Diane Duberry

By Diane Duberry

As vacancies soar, are you providing candidates with the best experience?

The UK is currently seeing a surge in vacant positions and here at TPP we are continuing to see demand increase, with job vacancies back to pre-pandemic levels. This means we find ourselves in one of the most candidate short markets we have experienced. Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), said: “Demand for staff is incredibly high right now, and recruiters are working flat out to fill roles – but serious worker shortages across the economy threaten to slow the recovery. Firms need to be thinking hard about their offer to potential employees at a time like this.”

With application levels being so low, it is vital that you attract the best and most diverse talent by ensuring the candidate experience is as inclusive, enjoyable, and as appealing as possible.

It is often the case, when a vacancy arises, there is a short period in which to replace the current postholder. When time is short, organisations often use the same job description coupled with the same recruitment methods hoping to find the “perfect” candidate. Often, this results in a long, drawn-out process, advertising the vacancy numerous times, other members of the team having to pick up the additional work in the interim and hiring managers losing motivation to recruit to the vacant post after candidates reject offers or simply do not turn up for interview (ghosting being the new norm!)

Unless you have specific growth arising, it is hard to know exactly when you will next need to recruit, but by being proactive and preparing for a vacancy arising, the process and candidate experience will be quicker and more appealing for all.

If you are committed to providing the best candidate experience, these are just some of the questions you need to ask prior to starting the recruitment process:
  • Is your website up to date, informative and attractive to all?
  • Do you use accessibility software on your website to ensure everyone can easily view and apply for your vacancies?
  • Have you thought about timelines, put shortlisting and interview dates in stakeholders’ diaries to ensure candidates don’t lose interest between application and interview stages?
  • Does your job advert promote your organisation and the vacancy to the fullest?
  • Is your job advert / job description gender neutral? Does it appeal to a diverse audience?
  • Are you relying solely on your website and network to attract candidates or are you considering other recruitment methods to ensure the largest and most diverse pool of talent possible?
  • Is your application process simple, inclusive, and attractive to all candidates or does the length or complexity mean you are missing out on good talent?
  • Have you planned the interview process?
  • Do you have a diverse interview panel?
  • When were your interview questions last updated?
  • Are you providing interview questions to candidates prior to the interview to support neurodiverse candidates or those with anxiety issues?
  • Have you provided the interview panel with sufficient training on interviewing staff?
  • Does the interview panel understand the importance of “selling” your organisation to the interviewee?
  • How do you treat unsuccessful candidates?
  • Do you provide comprehensive feedback so they may apply again in the future and talk positively about your organisation to others?
  • How do you manage the offer process?
  • How do you keep the successful candidate interested during their notice period while their current employer tries to retain them?
  • What plans are in place for when the new candidate starts?
  • Have you freed up diaries, so the new recruit receives the right support when they start?

So as UK vacancies soar and the talent pool gets smaller, are you truly providing the best candidate experience or are you relying on out-of-date job descriptions and a little luck?

You will find further recruitment tips and advice on TPP’s resource and support hub.

If you would like to discuss how TPP can assist you with providing the best candidate experience, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on 020 7198 6112.

  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF