If you have been reading our monthly updates from the heart of the recruitment industry, you’ll know that candidates are in the driving seat.

As an employer, the hiring process in 2022 is anything but a walk in the park.  Data confirms the anecdotal experiences of recruitment professionals across the country. There is a scarcity of skilled candidates amid a hiring boom. Businesses are bouncing back from lockdown trepidation and relaunching their talent search like never before.

Today, candidates won’t settle for a job that doesn’t meet their needs or exceed their expectations.

This first impression goes beyond the remuneration and the benefits package. It begins as soon as they have contact with you or your representative agency out in the field. It begins as soon as they read your job description or pick up the phone to take your call.

Your recruitment process is a through the keyhole look inside your organisation. An early mistake could see your ideal candidate head in the opposite direction, straight into the arms of a competitor.

This post intends to help you refine your recruitment process. It will help you answer that tricky question:

“What does our recruitment process say about our business?”

Where am I going wrong?

There are a couple of key reasons why candidates turn down a job offer.

The compensation package.

Below-market pay grades and a lack of competitive benefits are key determinants of job acceptance rates. ‘A Grade’ candidates are a rare commodity in today’s market. Candidates know their worth and have their pick of roles.

Businesses who wish to hire aggressively in this environment need to be aware of fair market rates according to job role and location.  You should aim to be in the know about the packages competitors are offering and structure your package accordingly.

Businesses should also be open about their package on the job description. The research concludes that job adverts that display salary information are 66% more likely to generate a response than those that don’t.

a red for hire sign on a metal post

A clear job description.

53% of job seekers would prefer the job description to be transparent regarding the role and its responsibilities.  Candidates who accept a role then receive their contract, only to find that it doesn’t align with their expectations, are far more likely to go back on their decision.  Clarity and consistency in the interview process are critical if you wish to fill your roles with motivated and committed hires.

What else do candidates look out for in a job description? Read our blog post on 5 things candidates look for in job adverts here.

A timely response.

The number one factor that sends a negative message to candidates about your company through your recruitment process is a slow or mismanaged hiring timeline.

Show your candidates that yours is a respectful and dutiful organisation by ensuring a seamless process.

You should ensure that applications are acknowledged, feedback is offered, and the interview process is timely, well-structured, and that decisions are swift.

2022 job seekers are busy and will often have many offers on the table.  By holding them up, you may cause them to miss out on other prospects.  Alternatively, they may say yes to another role while you are still making your decision.

A sedentary process will make your company appear slow and sluggish; unable to be agile and out of date.  It sends a direct message about the type of business you are. Candidates wish to work for vibrant, nimble organisations.

Don’t underestimate how important a dynamic process is; 89% of candidates pull out of the hiring process due to a drawn-out timeline.

Company culture.

Company culture is more important than ever to 2022 job seekers. Companies who don’t advertise and display a progressive attitude to flexible working, or work/life balance will lose out on candidates to those that do.

According to Glassdoor, 77% of people investigate company culture before applying for a role.

Some research suggests that company culture is even more important than salary to employees. This is especially true today as we come out of a period of 2 years home working. Job seekers are not willing to give this up.

Remote or (at the very least) hybrid working has become the norm. So much so, that many job seekers are unwilling to consider roles with a hefty commute. Only 1 in 7 people would accept a role that required them to commute 5 days a week.

How to improve the recruitment process.

The recruitment process starts well a candidate even begins their application.

Clean up your online presence.

A candidate will research and investigate a business online before applying.

Businesses need to ensure that their online identity is accurate and attractive.  If your digital fingerprint is inconsistent, incomplete, or out of date then it’s time to address it.

Your website, social channels, and the JD itself need to be reflective of your business, its policies, and its identity.

It should be accurate, well written, and be representative of a culture that is positive, inclusive, and ambitious.

Your business must be an appealing and legitimate prospect for potential job seekers. Demonstrating this through all your digital channels is a way of letting everyone know how great you are and what you can offer to those who work within it.

Create a review page.

Quality online reviews and feedback from current or past employees are critical in attracting new hires.

Employee reviews on sites such as Glassdoor will help build a positive image and reputation for your organisation. It will help to prove how great your business is to work for.

A section of “Why work for us” on your website is a great way to reinforce the message that yours is a business that takes care of and values its employees.

Clear communication throughout.

Your recruitment process must be considered and timely.  You should state the timeline early on and stick to the parameters you have identified.

One way to help you to do this is to embrace technology and integrate digital processes.

For example, it is best practice for each applicant to receive an acknowledgment of their interest.  If this can’t be managed manually, could you use software to automate responses and streamline applications?

Offer a remote recruitment process.

Considering the number of candidates who wish to work at least partly remotely it seems wise to offer a recruitment process that reflects 2022. Remote interviews and onboarding are now the norm. Businesses that don’t offer a remote recruitment process will put off candidates who are not geographically near, and that 1 in 7 who don’t fancy a lengthy commute.

It is also worth considering that not everyone wishes to pay to attend an interview.  Rising rail travel and petrol prices are significant factors to consider and will act as a deterrent to candidates.  This is especially true for graduates or those who have been out of work. 43% of graduates have had to turn down interviews because of travel costs. Make sure your recruitment process is inclusive by offering remote interview options.

Make sure your recruitment process is inclusive.

Businesses in 2022 must have diversity and inclusion at their heart. It is of course the right thing to do, but diverse businesses with inclusive policies are also more successful, innovative, and productive.

Not only this.  Inclusive businesses are also at the top of the wish list of job seekers. Make sure your business practices what it preaches.

Could you make your recruitment process more inclusive?  Could you offer a BSL interpreter for deaf candidates for example? Is your building accessible if a candidate is a wheelchair user?

For more on making sure your recruitment process is diverse and inclusive, read our full guide.

What does your recruitment process say about you?

Your recruitment process is critical in advertising your business to future employees. How you treat people before you employ them is indicative of what they could come to expect if they were to accept a role in your company.

This starts before they have even read the JD.

The takeaways.

  • Make sure your digital identity is welcoming.
  • Keep your corporate website and social channels accurate, up to date and reflective of your brand identity.
  • Make sure your JD is a true and accurate reflection of the role.
  • State your compensation package on the job description to harness more applications.
  • Make sure your recruitment process is timely and streamlined.
  • Make sure decisions are swift and feedback is offered.
  • If you cannot do this manually, are there areas that you could automate?
  • Do you offer a remote recruitment process?
  • Make sure you advertise and actively offer a recruitment process that attracts a wide range of candidates from a diversity of lived experiences.

If you wish to read more on the candidate experience and why it’s so important, do so here.

Do you need help building out your tech, digital, or data workforce? We are expert tech recruitment professionals who can find you the best digital talent the UK has to offer. We can help guide your process every step of the way. We can help pen job descriptions to capture candidate interest, source talent, organise interviews, and provide feedback to ensure a seamless hiring journey that your candidates will be eager to share.

Reach out to us today.

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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