The Candidate Experience – Confronting Results That Simply Can’t Be Ignored

how to start a recruitment agency

When it comes to hiring a candidate, there is a moment in every hiring process that can either make or break the outcome. Depending on what side of the table you are sitting on, whether you’re the candidate or the client, different factors will impact how you make your final decision.

For the recruiter and hiring manager, the decision is usually made upon reviewing a CV or completing an interview with a candidate. For the candidate however, the decision to either take the job or not is being thought about EVERY step of the way. Every engagement, every nuanced step of the process is another yes or no moment. A candidate has many decisions to make throughout the hiring journey and they are most likely undertaking interviews with other businesses simultaneously.

The data from Recruiter Insider shows that a candidate’s experience after their interview with a recruitment consultant can have a significant impact on the final outcome. This thereby exemplifies why it’s in the best interest of the consultant to create a lasting impression and get it right from the beginning. On average Permanent focused consultants who excel at this early stage place 2.2 times as many candidates per quarter, whilst Contract recruiters will make 3.6 times as many placements. Compelling and attention grabbing for sure.

There is, however, a greater impact on a candidate’s experience caused by their engagement and progression through a hiring process. Specifically during their interview with your client/hiring manager. This is the one stage of the process where recruiters begin to lose ALL control. Call it flying blind, fingers crossed or simply wanting to be a fly on the wall, there is no greater loss of control over the process as when they hand the reins over to the hiring manager and are not part of the interview.

Our Hiring Manager Insights Report for July 2021 – September 2021 is confronting, compelling and simply can’t be ignored. Specifically if you care about your bottom line, the candidate experience and your relationships with your clients.

In April – June we saw an average of 2 candidates/clent interviews per client however this jumped significantly between July – September to 3.21. In a candidate short market this is surprising and has me wondering if consultants or companies are lowering their standards to simply get a warm body? What is clear though is that the tactic isn’t working with conversion to placement from interview dropping right throughout the quarter. The (hopeful) flick and stick strategy is back in full flight.

The experience hiring managers are giving candidates is hurting your clients chance of securing the candidate and it’s hurting you! Red is never positive and we saw a lot of it during the July – September quarter with nearly every metric in decline. The experience across the board was either flat or in decline, with conversion to placement and experience scores all declining as the quarter progressed.

During April – June, the 90 -100 experience score bandwidth had a conversion to placement of 63%, this dropped to 45% during July – September. This lowering has had a clear impact on conversion to placement and is directly impacting businesses bottom line’s as well.The correlation between the quality of the experience that the hiring manager provides can no longer be ignored, it truly does matter!

If all of this hasn’t got you planning and looking at your own data yet, then the following should. We released our ‘Flight Risk’ feature last October, off the back of seeing a huge increase in the salary expectation question at the placement stage dropping off significantly. This was the most Flight Risks ever identified (as seen in the Sept 2020 graph below).

Since its release 12 months ago, there have been 479 Flight Risks identified, however 57% of these have been in the last 4 months, 43% in the last quarter.

The impact of hiring managers on the candidate experience is having a clear impact on conversion to placement, however this is flowing through to candidates accepting roles they perhaps normally wouldn’t. What will this mean in the coming months? All of this combined could see a large increase in replacements being required and if the market doesn’t turn slightly, even greater challenges to back fill roles already placed.

The ‘Great Resignation’, I’m not sure we can ignore it, deny it or pretend it doesn’t exist. The data is telling a very real story. So what story are you telling yourself or your clients?



Find out more about Recruiter Insider and how they collect candidate and client feedback throughout the hiring process.

Subscribe to the Recruitment Blog

Subscribe for trends, tips, and insights delivered straight to your inbox.