The current employment market is tipped in favor of candidates over recruiters, with a whopping 1.29 million vacancies available in the UK in July 2022. More so than ever, recruiters cannot afford to be complacent. Job seekers are in the driving seat, and if the recruitment process isn’t seamless, they are likely to go elsewhere.

In today’s challenging hiring landscape, there are crucial steps to be followed by recruiters to actively improve the candidate experience. By speeding up time to hire and focusing on nurturing personal connections and authenticity, consultants will deliver on today’s candidates’ expectations and ensure a strong pipeline of talent for the roles they seek to fill.

Attract strong candidates with memorable branding. The need to build a strong brand to draw candidates to register with an agency has never been more urgent, especially with escalating job board costs. With such a large number of positions to be filled in any given sector or geographical area, agencies must truly innovate and stand out from the competition in order to be noticed.

Creating a strong brand profile is always the first step in candidate attraction. Building a strong reputation as a trustworthy agency by creating high-quality, memorable and consistent branding is an agency’s best chance at engaging with prospective candidates and convincing them to apply for open jobs. Working with a recruitment website provider with brand-focused design is key, but it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics. Most important is the user experience; the website needs to perform with navigation that is specifically built to maximize candidate engagement and job applications. A specialist recruitment website provider can also support with digital inclusivity, incorporating technical best practice.

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Offer an engaging candidate experience. Once candidates are registered, it’s all about moving them smoothly and quickly through the candidate journey to get the results that they deserve.

The candidate experience should always be led first and foremost by genuine human interaction. Jobseekers today are savvy and, with so many open roles, can choose who they engage with. Consultants need to make time for personal interaction, not only to build better relationships but to increase the likelihood of job acceptance through insights into candidate expectations. Recruiters who stay connected and deliver constructive and timely feedback will be able to place candidates more quickly and aid worker retention.

Automate administrative inefficiencies. Recruitment technologies have advanced significantly, so it’s crucial that recruiters leverage best-in-class software to increase efficiency and improve time to hire. Poor data synchronicity is a key issue that stands in the way of many staffing firms being as efficient as they could be.

An intuitive recruitment CRM should act as an agency’s central hub with all relevant information accessed from one place and integrated with their website and back office pay and bill solutions. For consultants, a clunky CRM that slows the recruitment process puts placements at risk. Automation of laborious administrative tasks frees consultants to spend more time with their candidates and clients. For example, digitizing candidate screening benefits both consultants and candidates alike by making the onboarding process more efficient and removing human error. Automated screening software enables consultants to verify candidates’ credentials and carry out background checks, including right to work, quickly and securely.

Strike the right balance between human connection and efficiency. The modern candidate wants a blend of authentic human interaction and a speedy hiring process. Recruitment agencies can achieve this by leveraging digital technologies to support skilled consultants acting with authenticity. By doing so, agencies can reduce the time to hire and ensure that they are attracting and placing quality candidates for their clients every single time.

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