Candidates - Customers or Commodities

We’ve all heard stories about that job interview that didn’t go to plan.  Overly aggressive HR staff, condescending managers, or recruitment teams that for whatever reason just didn't like you from the very beginning.  These are the experiences that thousands of people have each and every day in the pursuit of employment.  They are the experiences that are retold over coffee with friends, or dinner with family.  Experiences that are damaging your business and brand.  

Recently a friend relayed a story, undoubtably being told across Brisbane that weekend, of a bad recruitment experience.  An experience so bad the candidate not only told almost all her nearest and dearest friends, but an experience where she was happy to decline the role offer and vowed to avoid the company in the future.  As HR and business leaders, it’s critical we review our recruitment experience in the same thorough and researched way we do with all other areas of our business.

When recruiting for a role you might very well expect to receive upwards of 100 applications for the one position.  The risks of a poor recruitment process are much higher due to the shear volume of candidates being dealt with.  For most organisations, choosing to ignore customers or business partners is not an option. For an organisation engaging candidates meaningfully, the same rules apply.  Each applicant has taken the time to present themselves to your business in the best possible way.  It only seems fair that your recruitment team acknowledge the candidate’s application, ensure that you have a process to keep track of your candidates and outcomes so that they don’t fall through the cracks.  

Importantly the energy and enthusiasm that your recruitment team exude when talking about your business needs to be infectious.  Candidates want to feel excited about the role, the company and their potential future.  Recruiters who just turn up and do their job are not going to make your candidates feel engaged or welcomed.  The recruitment team is the gate keeper and the face of the business.  We expect candidates to make a great first impression so why shouldn’t we expect the same of our recruitment teams. 

As a business leader no doubt you have expectations around meetings, time management requirements and expectations of your team.  Would you be happy with meetings starting late, or running far too long?  Is it an efficient use of your time or your teams time? Ask yourself the same of your recruitment team.  Are they starting interviews on time?  Are they keeping candidates waiting?  How long are they taking to interview?  Is it too long or is it not long enough?  How your recruitment team handles themselves in their time management is a reflection of your business. 

Perhaps one of the most frustrating components of being a candidate is the anxiety of what happens next.  When communicating with candidates as with customers, ensure teams under promise and over deliver.  It may seem such a simple concept yet often recruiters don’t follow up. Ensure that your team create an adequate 'buffer' to ensure that you can easily keep your own promises.  A candidate left waiting for information that was promised on Friday and not delivered until Monday may walk away with a very bad taste in their mouth.    

Ultimately the way that your recruitment team treats candidates speak’s volumes about your business.  If you want to get the star candidate working in your business treat them with dignity, courtesy and respect from the very start.  For the majority of candidates who are unsuccessful, strive to provide them the same positive experience as customers would receive. 

Dan Jones - Managing Partner Teamfinder 

About Teamfinder

Teamfinder is a recruitment company which connects great businesses with great candidates, we like to do things a little differently so we also offer comprehensive training packages, fixed rate recruitment, and most importantly we help save you time and money.

If you would like to know more about how Teamfinder can support your business with your next recruitment needs then get in touch with us through our website at or via email at or via phone at 07 3268 2452

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