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Posted 04.03.22

By Ria McAdam-Lawlor, Divisional Director at Cordant People

In a candidate-driven market we need to ask ourselves, does portal-based recruitment enhance the candidate experience or has it become a faceless disconnect?

For top talent and passive candidates particularly, how likely are they to ‘click to apply’ versus engage in a conversation with a human where trust and a relationship can be built? They may not be right for the role or the business, however, it can still be a positive experience and create the opportunity to maintain contact for future opportunities. Top influencers in the recruitment market will always talk about the importance of future talent mapping, quite simply ‘always be recruiting!’

As recruiters, a fully automated and tech-based process can be our worst nightmare. First and foremost, we all know a role profile and competencies is only half the story and can eliminate up to 30% of the available market. Quite often we’ll get a call from a client whereby the upload of the candidate is an afterthought, it’s a tick box exercise to satisfy an internal process, this tells you everything you need to know. Turn off the robot and let’s go old school.

How much tech-based intervention is right and at what stage of the process?

A slick interview confirmation email and text reminders work well, extending an offer and subsequent completion of onboarding documents and electronic signing of contracts – all great and have their place. Throughout the candidate journey, do not underestimate the importance of human contact. Changing roles is daunting for anyone, no matter what your level of experience, a friendly voice during the process or a meet up for a coffee goes a long way to building the emotional connection with your business.

Over the last 12 months as the competition for talent has intensified, every candidate that we’ve represented has had multiple other opportunities. Every one of those candidates has been making their decision from a position of power and more importantly control. Job seekers are not in the frenzy that we witnessed in 2020, where decisions came from a place of fear and emotion.

Most candidates are in work but have decided to make the move now as we emerge from the pandemic and there’s confidence in the market. Over 25% of offers are being countered, as recruiters we talk through that at every stage of the process, on occasion we encourage the candidate to go back to their employer before we start working with them, it’s the right thing to do. The majority of candidates will accept but two out of three will actually go on to start. There is no amount of technology that can bypass the relationship that a good recruiter builds with their candidate.

My advice to businesses that invest heavily in their portals and ATS systems – there are some parts of the process that need human intervention. Your recruiters want to bring you the best talent in the market – it can’t always be the fastest finger first. Don’t overlook the candidates that don’t quite meet the rigid algorithm or keyword criteria, they may be the right cultural fit for your business and bring skills, knowledge or experience that you don’t realise you need yet. 

Read more from Cordant People here.

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