Is Your Recruitment Process Applicant-Friendly?

When you have decided to recruit a new member of staff, it’s important to make sure that the process is applicant-friendly to ensure that not only do you get the right number of applicants, but you also get the right type of person most suitable for the position. Having an unstructured recruitment process could be off-putting to potential candidates and could result in you missing out!

The key thing to remember is to keep your process streamlined. Think back yourself to when you have applied for jobs, we are instantly put off if a process has lots of questions or fiddly HTML forms to fill in. Whilst the old-school recruiter might think this shows a commitment to the application if a candidate fills it in, that’s not necessarily true and may not give you all the information needed to create your shortlist.

So here are our top tips for making sure your recruitment process is applicant-friendly:

Make sure they know where they are applying to:

This is your chance to stand out against all of the other employers in the market for the best talent. Candidates want to know about your working culture, their chances of development, your offices, their potential colleagues, what kind of clients you work with etc. Show off! Show applicants that your office is a great place to work and they should apply to become a part of your team.

Be clear about the role and what you’re looking for:

When writing up your job role, why not make a list of essential criteria? It doesn’t have to be War and Peace; just a list of qualities and/or experience you know that the right candidate needs to have.

Explain the values you expect a candidate to have too – do you expect flexibility, willingness, professionalism? Put that out there, to begin with.

There’s no need to try and sound flashy, quirky or use fancy titles. Do you need a “Ninja” or do you actually need somebody who knows what they’re doing and can hit the ground running?

If you need advice on writing a great job description, we’ve got you covered.

Let candidates upload a CV!

Gone are the days where candidates have the time to sit and fill in an application form. All application forms do are create the possibilities of copy and paste errors, and formatting issues, from people copying the same information from their CV. If you want to know specifics, ask for a covering letter where an applicant can point you to relevant parts of their CV.

Many may think this shows a lack of enthusiasm from a candidate, but the fact is a CV is a piece of work that people take pride in and update regularly. Many applicants will tailor their CV to individual roles, highlighting the relevant parts to the employer.

Many candidates will be applying for roles whilst juggling a busy lifestyle, working or studying. Your competitors might offer a much simpler application process and the candidate may choose them due to time constraints – this could result in you missing out!

Keep candidates up-to-date:

A candidate is likely to have the closing date for your role etched into their mind! Therefore, try to get back to them as soon as you can after closing – even if it’s just with an email to thank them for their application and some information about when they should expect to hear more. It’s perfectly reasonable to say “If you haven’t heard from us by XX then assume your application has been unsuccessful” – but make sure you mean it and don’t let that date slip. Chances are, that date will also be in their mind and, if it passes, they’ll look to accept other offers or apply elsewhere.

Once you have shortlisted candidates, be clear about interview times and dates. Give them notice – many will be working and need to schedule time off, some may need to organise childcare or other cover. Give them enough time to organise and prepare for the interview – this is as much in your interest as it is theirs, and will make the interview process much more streamlined and productive.

Always phone interviewees:

If an applicant has come to your office to interview, you owe them a phone call if they are successful or not. All-too-often, employers think that an email is acceptable, which damages your reputation with that applicant and potentially other people they may speak to. A rejection phone call is never easy, but it’s polite and fair to do so. If you don’t have specific feedback straight away, you can explain this to the applicant and offer another opportunity to get in touch to do so.

We don’t want to blow our own trumpet, but we can make all of the above much easier for you. If you’d like any advice on recruiting and retaining the best candidate for the job, give us a call 0114 321 1873 or email

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