Navigating the recruitment journey: Tales of a recruiter

Author Kimberley Kenneth
August 29, 2023

The recruitment process wields the power to significantly shape a candidate’s experience, both positively and negatively. A well-structured and considerate process can increase engagement and empower candidates. However, it’s not uncommon for a process to experience turbulence, leading candidates to exit prematurely.

Top 5 factors that negatively impacted the recruitment process

  1. Inflexible interview times
    In today’s fast-paced world, candidates often have existing work commitments, personal responsibilities, or travel constraints that can make rigid interview schedules challenging to accommodate. This lack of accommodation can convey a lack of understanding and consideration on the organization’s part, potentially discouraging candidates from pursuing the opportunity further.
  2. Interrupted interviews/distracted interviewers
    Interviews interrupted by phone calls or multitasking interviewers signal a lack of respect and undivided attention, negatively impacting the candidate experience. Equally Interviewers who are visibly occupied with email and work during the interview can make candidates feel unimportant and undermine their enthusiasm.
  3. Surprising role play or case scenarios
    While assessing problem-solving skills and adaptability is essential, springing unexpected scenarios without prior notice can overwhelm candidates and hinder their ability to showcase their genuine potential. This approach can lead to performance anxiety, distracting candidates from effectively presenting their qualifications and skills. Moreover, it might not accurately represent their abilities in a real-world work scenario. It is not inclusive behaviour as it creates a significant disadvantage for people who have dyslexia or neurological conditions that require more preparation.
  4. Communication delays and drawn-out processes
    Prolonged recruitment processes with communication delays can lead to frustration and a sense of disregard for candidates’ time and efforts. In addition, too many references and overly intrusive background checks can create an overwhelming and invasive experience for candidates.
  5. Unfavourable offer
    Offering a candidate less compensation than expected, despite clear prior discussions, can cause disappointment and discourage top talent. High-calibre candidates are likely to be deterred from further engagement, and their negative perceptions may be shared with peers and on online platforms, impacting the organization’s reputation and its ability to attract the best talent.

Top 5 factors that positively impacted the recruitment process

  1. Transparent process explanation
    Sharing a clear and concise overview of the recruitment process sets candidates’ expectations right from the start. Detailing the stages, timelines, and any assessments involved reduces uncertainty and helps candidates prepare effectively. Transparently explaining elements like psychometric testing, case scenarios, or presentations ensures candidates are equipped to showcase their skills. Everyone understands that the process can change depending on things such as diary availability but having a thought-out process is key.
  2. Timely feedback
    Open lines of communication are the cornerstone of a positive recruitment experience. Providing timely interview feedback demonstrates the company’s professionalism and fosters a sense of involvement throughout the process. In addition, providing constructive feedback to candidates, even if they’re not selected, exhibits professionalism, and helps candidates understand areas for development.
  3. Engaging and thoughtful interviews
    Well-prepared interviewers who ask insightful questions create an engaging environment for candidates. Interviews that focus on both professional skills and personal attributes provide a holistic view of the candidate’s potential fit within the organization. By demonstrating a genuine interest in candidates’ experiences and aspirations, interviewers can foster a sense of belonging and mutual respect.
  4. Showcasing company culture
    Offering candidates a glimpse into the company’s culture and values can be a game-changer. Whether through office tours, team introductions, or videos, providing insights into the work environment and the team dynamic helps candidates envision themselves as a part of the organization. This transparency aids in attracting candidates who align with the company’s ethos.
  5. Respect for candidates’ time
    Respecting candidates’ schedules and commitments by offering flexible interview times shows a considerate approach. This practice accommodates candidates’ needs and enhances their perception of the company’s professionalism.

Above all, being honest is the most important part of the process for all parties. We ask clients to be honest about the pros and cons of the role and the culture. The recruitment process is more than just a series of steps to fill a position—it’s a pivotal moment where a candidate’s journey intersects with an organization’s culture and values. A positive recruitment process can empower candidates and elevate the company’s reputation. Conversely, a negative experience can lead to a damaged company reputation. We often see delayed feedback as companies manage multiple candidates and don’t want to offend the 2nd or 3rd choice. This usually doesn’t end well but is managed in the right way, candidates already know this and value honesty. It’s the same for candidates who try to manage multiple roles at offer stage.

Companies that prioritise transparency, respect, and inclusivity in their recruitment processes are likely to attract the best talent and create a more favorable impression in the job market.


If you would like to discuss your career, or chat about the Australian HR market in general, please reach out to myself or a member of our team today.

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