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16 April 2014

Candidates say recruiters and employers are getting it wrong

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The Unsettling Reality about Talent Retention


On 8th April the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) launched The Good Recruitment Charter backed by the CBI, the CIPD and the Federation for Small Businesses, as well as companies such as First Group plc, Arsenal FC and Penguin Random House.

Part of the charter focuses on the candidate experience of job hunting.

With the economy on the turn we are seeing growth again in the job market. Yet 40% of employers are complaining of talent shortages. LinkedIn has exploded onto centre stage in the last five years as a wonderful window into the candidate talent pool. But when everyone is potentially on the market and 54% of people are open to a new job approach at any one time, identifying who is actually committed to making a move is crucial. The irony is that while candidate identification is getting easier and easier the actual hiring is getting more and more difficult. The day of the passive job searcher is over – 69% of people say that searching for a new job is part of their regular routine.

As the talent crisis accelerates, companies that have a well-defined employer brand and a world class recruitment process will be best positioned to succeed. The cost of a mis-hire at senior manager level can be up to 27 times the basic salary. 25% of employers say poor recruitment for just one role can cost up to £40,000.

With these facts in mind let’s focus attention on the candidate experience. Many businesses hide behind email and automated job application responses. If you are lucky enough to get an interview but are not selected for the next stage then getting any sort of feedback is like pulling teeth. Timelines are rarely explained on advertised job vacancies and the names of recruiting managers are rarely included in online job advertisements – you are applying into an impersonal virtual abyss. It is widely known by HR and talent experts that 54% of candidates who have a bad job application/interview experience are likely to stop buying that company’s goods and services and that 80% are likely to share their frustrations with their friends on social media. After all, candidates are consumers. For third party recruiters (agencies and search consultancies) we should also remember that well served candidates often become clients – or not – depending on the experience they have pre, during and post interview with us and our clients.

For everyone in the recruitment, search and in house talent world the message is loud and clear, let’s get our act together and fast. In a candidate/consumer led market, people will demand a better service from employers who try to engage with them on LinkedIn and via social media. They will expect a customer centric experience if they apply online via an advertisement, job board or via a company website. If they choose to use a third party recruitment or search consultant people will want a recruitment partner they trust, that understands their long term career ambitions, that tells them ONLY about relevant opportunities, prepares them really well for interviews with insight they could never gain themselves into a company’s hiring process, proper timely feedback (whether positive or not) and support throughout their interview marathon. Anything less and we should all expect to find ourselves suffering the consequences of high level talent simply looking the other way.

by Amanda Fone – Fellow of R.E.C