A positive Candidate Experience is critical

The recruitment industry is changing because the job market is changing. And getting the Candidate Experience – or #CX – right is a crucial step for any recruitment agency. The industry is changing because people and technology in 2018 are very different from the time when many recruitment agencies were originally set up.

Big topics such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and the need for planning and innovation in the recruitment sector (see my previous blogs), have dominated – and are still dominating – the news. But there is one important aspect that hasn’t been discussed in such detail yet, and that is the actual people who are or will be looking for a job placement. Have we really looked into what a candidate wants from a job other than the usual things such as salary, commute, and job spec?

Recruitment Leaders Connect

At a recent Recruitment Leaders Connect event held in London that TVision co-sponsored, two speakers really stood out for me: Kevin Green from REC, and Joanna Abeyie from Hyden.

RL_Connect sponsors

Kevin spoke about millennials who are value-driven and kept informed via social media. They have instant access to information and therefore use diverse criteria on which to base their job decision. They often feel that big businesses do not share their ethical views, and may be very concerned about the sharing of their own personal data. Although obviously the impending GDPR regulations will address this concern. He also mentioned the increase in self-employment of this demographic, with 83% of millennials wanting to run their own business. This suggests that they actually view permanent job places as temporary, with entry-level roles as a necessity but the likelihood is that within 5-7 years they will probably have left the company to start their own business using their entrepreneurial spirit. How are you going to attract this group of people and keep them loyal? It’s all about the Candidate Experience from sourcing to placement and beyond. The critical factor – they need to feel valued. Keep them informed, get feedback from their interviews, and check in once they’ve started a placement.

Joanna Abeyie discussed how to embrace diversity within the workplace and to embrace and take advantage of the differences people have in attitudes, skills, and knowledge for the good of the company. Diversity goes beyond equal job opportunities and equal pay for genders and race, it’s understanding that a diverse workforce provides an environment that encourages ideas and new and improved ways of working.  It’s also about bringing your true self to work, and not feeling as though you need to change your behaviour to comply with a set of rules in order to ‘fit in’. Your uniqueness is why you were employed in the first place, why would you want to hide that once you’ve started? In terms of recruitment, you perhaps needs to ask yourself how well you really know your candidates. The better you understand their value, the more you will be able to promote them to a client.

Stop and take a look

So, my key takeaway from the event was that recruitment agencies really need to step outside of their company for a minute, and to see how a prospect, candidate, and client views them. Is it simple and clear how to locate and apply for jobs? What is the candidate experience like? How easy is it for them to submit their timesheets and expenses, do they get paid accurately and on time? What do your clients really think of you – are they loyal, do they spend regularly, what is the difference between time spent with a client and time invoiced for candidates? Once you understand how people truly view your company, you can use this feedback and understanding to promote your strengths and open up new opportunities.

Karen Moore – Account Manager