The Job-Seeker Divide
As a candidate (many moons ago) external recruiters played a significant role in a couple of permanent moves I made in my career. I remember being very grateful to them when I was offered a job, and remaining so in the weeks and months after starting those roles. After all, if they hadn’t put me forward in the first place, I would’ve never secured those roles which ultimately led me on a path to having my own recruitment business.
But times have changed, and although ‘recruiter bashing’ is at an all-time high on LinkedIn, I’m not sure candidates actually still want us recruiters to provide the candidate care we are often criticised for not giving. There’s no doubt that some of the criticism may well be justified. For instance, I think we can call agree that when a candidate applies for a job they should always receive some form of response. Likewise, when a candidate is unsuccessful at interview, they should always be given feedback as to why.
The Big Debate On Candidate Care
What’s really evident though is that candidates going through each stage of the recruitment process are becoming less interested in maintaining regular contact with the recruiter that has put them forward. I have always believed that effective candidate care involves multiple touch points, from the initial call telling the candidate about the opportunity, to calling them during their first few weeks in their new role to see how they’re getting on. I feel this is not only ‘the right thing to do’ for your candidate, but also delivers multiple extra benefits such as reducing dropout rates, increasing the chances of the placement lasting long-term, increasing referral opportunities, etc.
Both at Intalent and other recruitment agencies we have spoken to, the trends below have greatly increased in the last 12 months: –
- Candidates being offered an interview and then going missing
- Candidates who have had a first stage interview, then organise a second interview directly with the client without updating the recruiter
- Candidates going missing after an interview
- Candidates that the recruiter has put forward for an interview have been offered a job directly by the client and then not letting the recruiter know
The purpose of this post is not to criticise candidates, but to ask the following question. Do candidates still want recruiters to keep in regular contact with them throughout the recruitment process, or would they prefer we just left them alone after the initial introduction to the client? With many of us preferring to interact with our phones rather than people these days (just take a look around any train carriage or bus), should we really be that surprised when calls don’t get returned by candidates – even following an interview the recruiter has set up for them?