Recruitment Matters – Rebekah Handford on the candidate experience

Recruitment Matters recently talked to Rebekah Handford, Managing Director of High Point Recruitment. Here she shares her thoughts on the importance of the candidate experience.

Rebekah Handford

The importance of the candidate experience

For all recruiters, the challenge is getting the right candidates and giving them the best possible experience so that they value the expertise we deliver.

Look for a personal experience

Recruiters need to look deeper when developing relationships with a client. It’s not just about finding a person to do a job – it’s about learning what that business does and understanding their forward strategy. Having this insight allows you to match aspirations and expectations, and that’s how you end up with longevity in the workplace. The recruiter is like a marketing person who sits between the candidate and the client. But if you’re going to take up their time, you need to have a greater understanding of an organisation’s purpose for hiring.

The face of the candidate

By the time a candidate meets a client, it should be a case of the client asking “Does the face of this person fit here?” The client should know everything about a candidate before they select them. That’s the difference between having an hour-and-a-half long interview and a 45 minute one. The challenge is to educate all parties and offer them the full 360 degree treatment of how a recruiter works.

The most important tool

It’s the internet, but not to the detriment of the telephone. Email is very important, but you really need to harness the art of communication, both written and verbal. There’s such a mix in the digital word and the approach is so much different than it was 20 years ago. Recruiters must be willing to pick up the phone and speak because you can establish a relationship much more quickly.

Listen, but be ready to talk

Really good recruiters listen a lot, but ask a lot of questions too. We need to be competent enough to deliver fast, but we also need to educate clients and help them see whether their requests are realistic or not. It’s about listening to their needs. Less experienced recruiters worry about fees and numbers, but it’s got to be about the bigger picture.

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