Is your current recruitment process helping you get the best candidates?

Written by Drew Bradley | Blog | Human Resources | General | Posted 08/10/2019 09:39:52

A strong attraction process brings in strong candidates says Sanderson Edinburgh consultant Drew Bradley. He outlines the 4 things that can fool proof your candidates’ application journey.



Recruiting new team members can be challenging, which isn’t helped by low application numbers and candidates dropping out of the recruitment funnel. Utilising your recruitment process and employee value proposition are vital tools for helping you strengthen your brand in the marketplace.

What are the pitfalls you can encounter and what are the best practices you can use to successfully recruit the strongest candidates into your business?

1) Evaluate your skill set requirements

Don’t fall into the trap of always looking for what you had before. Have a good think about what is really important in recruiting your new team member; this can be a particular skill or qualification that is missing from your current team or are you able to look at transferable skills from different roles?

Some of the most successful hires I’ve encountered are those who were a great match from both a culture and soft skill point of view but who also had the right attitude to learn the rest. The candidate may have learnt a different method within their last role and you may have to re-educate them on best practice within your company.

2) Reassess your job adverts

In a lot of cases, your job advert will be the first point of contact a candidate has with your business. Use this opportunity to describe your team as a starting point before the requirements of the role as this will help you grab the attention of the potential candidate; it can ‘set the scene’ and help the candidate imagine the context of the requirements of the job that you’d then outline below.

Try and avoid generic terms like “must be a good team player” or “requires strong attention to detail” as this gives no insight into what they will be doing. Instead, use more detail! For example, “you will be engaging with stakeholders from across the business so the ability to effectively build relationships is important”.

Ensure that you advertise employee benefits on the advert as these entice the candidates. If you’re particularly proud of your benefits offering, why not put them first?

3) Interviews:

The interview process is a key component in keeping your candidate engaged. Take the opportunity to consider if your interview process is fit for purpose in a candidate-driven market place as this is one of the main areas where we see a poor process put strong candidates off of a role or company. The two biggest pitfalls are:

Your process is too long.

Looking at your overall process to make sure that you have the correct amount of stages, and that the stages are actually adding value to the process. For instance, if you have a 6 stage interview, do you actually need all 6 stages? Could they be condensed or, alternatively, could multiple stages be completed in the same day? The best candidates rarely make it through a long interview process as they are normally snapped up by someone else with a quicker process, leaving you with your 2nd or 3rd picks.

Your process is not in keeping with your brand.

An interview is a good opportunity to sell your business and is best conducted as a two-way conversation - definitely avoid a Spanish inquisition style barrage of questions! Why not try designing your competency-based questions around your company values or giving a tour of the office before the start of the interview, even introducing the candidate to some of the existing team? Don’t treat an interview as a way to catch a candidate out but rather as an opportunity to allow them to demonstrate their skills and experience to you.

4) Feedback:

This is the main area where we see candidates dropping out of the process and strong candidates will not hang around to receive feedback on applications or interviews. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because they applied for a role they are happy to wait long periods to hear how they were received by you.

A good rule of thumb is that you should give feedback to your candidates within 72 hours of all stages. Interviewing for a new job is stressful and requires a reasonable amount of commitment from a candidate, including taking time off from their current job to come and meet you. Taking a long time to come back with feedback makes it seem like you don’t recognise the effort they have gone to during the process. You may be dealing with a 3rd party recruiter to work the role, but always keep in your mind that that CV represents a person who is looking to your business to forward their career.


Don’t be fooled into thinking that recruitment is simply screening CVs and interviewing candidates. Truly successful recruitment is a two-way sales process (you’re selling yourself to the candidate as well as vice versa!) and must involve attracting and engaging with the best candidates. Giving a bad experience to one candidate could result in their experience rippling through the market and causing you issues in future recruitment campaigns.

If you are looking for advice on how to attract strong candidates to your business, Sanderson have a track record of delivering both large and small scale bespoke recruitment solutions, whilst strengthening your brand’s reputation. Click here to get in touch or click the image below to contact Drew directly!

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