Randstad surveys consistently report clear discrepancies between what employers think are candidates’ priorities and what really attracts candidates.

For example, employers may rank their employer brand/reputation, strong business culture/values and career paths/opportunities as their key draws. Candidates, on the other hand, rank competitive salary and benefits top, followed by long-term job security, interesting job content, and pleasant working atmosphere.

Career progression opportunities are only ranked ‘most important’ by 5%, below “conveniently located” and “good work/life balance”.

Bad experiences travel fast in a highly connected world, so looking after candidates makes sense and can create long-term relationships even if they do not get the job. Candidates that are treated well are likely to feel that the organisation will be as conscientious in other dealings, and they are more likely to be talked about favourably, which will boost the employer brand.

One of the growing issues is the increasing length of recruitment: according to CIPD one-third of organisations report losing potential recruits due to the length of their recruitment process .

Candidates generally want to be recruited as soon as possible, but Randstad research shows that since 2008 the average length of the interview process has increased 25%; the average number of interviews for junior posts has increased from 1.6 to 2.4, and for senior level roles from 2.6 to 3.4; while vetting checks are up from ten to 15 days.

During recruitment, or between interviews, candidate care works too: many candidates will have other job applications in the pipeline, and perhaps even continue applying for jobs; and if they receive a bad impression during recruitment, may walk away from your organisation. Once a job offer is made and accepted, the onboarding process can start as the next stage of care programmes.

Top tips to achieve candidate care:

  • return calls, acknowledge applications promptly.
  • set up a dedicated email for candidates so you can answer their questions promptly.
  • send an information pack containing the job description, interview format, and details about the interviewers and the company.
  • create dedicated website pages so they can find out about development opportunities, offices, hints and tips about what you’re looking for, organisation culture – include blogs from existing employees.
  • let them know in good time when and where they will be interviewed, advise of any delays.
  • write to unsuccessful candidates as well as those you are planning to take forward to the next stage (it’s polite) or at the very least supply a date by which successful candidates will have heard.
  • give feedback to unsuccessful candidates. ;