3 Simple Candidate Bugbears to Overcome - and why it’s worth doing so

Posted by Shane Wheeler | January 17, 2017 |
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3 Simple Candidate Bugbears to OvercomeA recruiter’s business, client and legislative responsibilities can result in candidate frustration and may even lead to negative word-of-mouth or social media posts – but, as Shane Wheeler, Marketing Communications Executive at Bond International Software points out, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference…

Market research recently commissioned by Bond found that ‘63% of employees believe that recruitment agencies focus on employers’ needs over employees’ requirements’ – suggesting the majority of candidates felt they were given little attention by recruiters when it came to at least some aspects of their recruitment experience. 

There are, undoubtedly, a myriad of reasons why candidates may not view a recruiters’ service in the most positive light.  Recruitment business, client and legislative responsibilities can mean disappointing a candidate is unavoidable, but, often, it’s the little things that can change perception and result in candidate commitment.

Here are 3 simple candidate bugbears which are easy to overcome (and why it’s worth doing so)…

1. Not responding to communication

When a candidate decides, through business or personal reasons, to actively pursue a new role, this can be quite a tumultuous time.  Each new step on their journey can be exciting, stressful, pressured and so on…often all at once. 

Whether they instantly turn to a recruitment agency for assistance, or do so following a fruitless series of online or personal job applications, making that first contact by call, email or website application can feel like they’re ‘sticking their neck out’.  If a response isn’t forthcoming, even the least sensitive of candidates can feel slighted.  Worse still, if the initial conversation with a recruiter was encouraging, maybe even regarding their dream job, and ‘radio-silence’ followed – that can be even more frustrating and lead to resentment.  Resentment soon shared with colleagues, friends, or everyone on social media – discrediting you and your agency.   

Of course, most candidates don’t appreciate the complex business processes behind recruitment work (not to mention the necessity of prioritising client needs).  In many cases, a lack of contact is unavoidable – but, if possible, a quick call or email can make all the difference and engender real candidate loyalty.  Loyalty soon shared with colleagues, friends, or everyone on social media – promoting you and your agency.

Setting call reminders in your CRM software should be simple and effective, as should creating a respectful, confidence–boosting email template (even for rejections) to quickly fire-up, personalise and send.  Both take little time and effort, but go a long way. 

Candidates love being called back, with one exception…

2. Calling candidates at work

Active or passive, when a recruiter calls a candidate at their current place of work, it can be quite an uncomfortable experience.  There’s every chance they’re sat next to their colleagues (or boss) and the last thing they want to do is ‘let the cat out of the bag’ by having a recruitment-related conversation within their earshot.  Some might be able to discreetly step away and find a secluded corner of the office, many won’t.  Some might have mastered the art of sounding ‘breezy’ while divulging or requesting sensitive information, many won’t.  There’s every chance your call will be met with a curt response or, if the candidate is more polite or sympathetic, an awkward array of ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ while attempting to re-arrange the call or request an alternative contact method.

Aside from the potentially embarrassing and awkward moments when receiving a call at work; many candidates may even consider such an approach disrespectful of their time and responsibilities – irreparably damaging your future relationship with them.   

What are your candidate’s standard working hours?  It should be easy to record them in your CRM system.  Many workers have set lunch times, probably between 12 and 2, but regularly noting the correct times on your records will help reduce the list of calls you need to make during your lunch hour.  A reasonable percentage will probably take lunch unusually early or late too…you’ll never know for sure unless you record this information.

Often, only a ‘human to human’ conversation will suffice, but if your candidate has a preferred method of contact in the meantime – text, email or calling a specific number – make a note and use it.  They’ll probably appreciate your attention to detail and feel more confident in your ongoing services as a result. 

3. Pitching jobs in the wrong location

Candidates have most-likely thought very carefully about which locations they could work in, how long their daily commute would take and what it would cost.  For many, these requirements will be high on the list, and one or more will probably be ‘deal-breakers’.  If a recruiter contacts a candidate to pitch a role in an unsuitable location, especially if this information has already been provided by the candidate, it could understandably lead to frustration.

Be sure to use whichever means your CRM provides to record, update and act upon this valuable information.  The AdaptUX Google Maps integration (which comes as standard) graphically displays a candidates’ location in relation to a job, and does so very quickly. 

Sometimes, the simplest things go the furthest          

Why add simple to overcome bugbears (such as the ones above) to the unavoidable ones your candidates may already have?  If their CV doesn’t match this time, it might do next time – so it’s always worth using quick and easy ways to ensure you keep more candidates on side, and don’t lose out in the long run.

Category: Recruitment

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Shane Wheeler
From 1997, Shane was an Account Manager for a global broadcast monitoring company, providing services to the marketing and PR industries. Shane’s career at Bond began in 2010 as a Business Development Manager for Bond Adapt. Shane moved to the Bond Adapt marketing team in 2014 as Marketing Communications Executive.


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