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Recruitment – does it matter? The Importance of the Right Process.

6th April 2023

Effective recruitment, in my view, needs to be thorough, but momentum is key. It should involve personal, two-way conversation, and above all, respect between all involved.

It can be easy for recruitment to fall bottom of the pile of a business’s priorities and become a rushed process with not much thought going into it. In my opinion this is a huge mistake, especially in the current market where talent can be difficult to find.

I’ve put together a list of potential recruitment pitfalls that in our business, we see all the time!

recruitment process

Assuming that candidates are happy to jump through hoops

to prove how much they want to work for your company. Maybe they WOULD love to work for your company, but it might not be the ONLY company they would love to work for. An interviewer has to remember to sell their opportunity, rather than just putting candidates through their paces. If there isn’t mutual respect in the process, why would the candidate want to work for you?

Relying too much on rigid competency interviewing.

This can leave no room for free chat to get to understand how you gel as people. You will work with them every day – you want to like them! And crucially, you want to give the candidate the opportunity to find out if they like you.

Too many stages.

The best candidates are busy! They have commitment to their current job and may find it difficult to fit in multiple interviews/tests/coffee meetings. You also don’t necessarily want too many people involved in the process. It’s great to get a second opinion, but too many opinions and there will always arise some small conflict somewhere. You can end up looking for ‘faults’ in candidate profiles that just aren’t there.

Making interviews TOO simple!

Or too quick. I know this may sound counterintuitive. But a client of mine has a very laidback and chatty interviewing style and they know that if the culture fit feels right, the candidate is likely to work out. However sometimes, candidates can actually come out thinking: ‘that didn’t feel like an interview’, ‘maybe they just hire anybody?’, ‘maybe I’m not special’, ‘maybe THEY’RE not special’, ‘maybe I don’t want to work for them after all…’. So sometimes, it’s important to make sure an interview feels like an interview!

Using online tests/faceless interviews as the first contact point.

In my view it HAS TO BE personal to properly engage the candidate and get them excited about the role. It’s all too easy for a candidate to drop out at this stage when they feel they aren’t letting down a ‘real person’ and they have no reassurance that their application will get seen or if they will ever get feedback

Misleading candidates or withholding on negatives.

You don’t want employees to join with false or unrealistic expectations, as it will simply mean they want to move on shortly after starting in the role. A costly mistake when you take into account the time taken to recruit and train, and then go through that process a second time with a replacement employee. People appreciate honesty. Even if there are obvious drawbacks in the role, a totally transparent overview can prepare them and allow them to make an informed decision. The positives of the role may well still outweigh the negatives in the candidate’s mind and at least they then go in with respect for the employer’s honesty

Finally – TOO MUCH TIME lapse in the process

I would say without a doubt, this is the one we see most often. Leaving a lot of time between interview stages, or making candidates wait on tenterhooks for feedback can cause candidate disengagement and despondency. After all a career move is a huge potential milestone in their lives! You also risk losing out on the candidate to another offer elsewhere. Even if they weren’t actively looking to start with, going into one recruitment process can actually kickstart a candidate’s ‘job-hunt’ mindset and tempt them into other processes. You have a busy day job but it’s important to prioritise the process when you are mid-recruitment.

Now you have a long list of what NOT to do, how exactly can you start to form a strong recruitment process? This is what I would always advise my clients…

Respond swiftly to an application to get an interview set up.

You want to keep that excited momentum going with the candidate. Don’t risk leaving it too long as the best candidates won’t be on the market for long.

A process should have no more than 3 stages.

And ensure to give candidates feedback after each stage. Ideally both positives and anything constructive that you would like to delve into them deeper with at a next stage – that way you can give them a bit of chance to prepare all the information you are looking for.

Remember that an employee needs to feel valued.

That’s right from that very first point of contact through the interview process.

Ensuring that the recruitment process is user friendly, and that the candidate is respected and valued can really go a long way to achieving the results you want (i.e., hiring and retaining the best talent). It gives the candidate a positive impression of the company and the team – and that initial gut feeling is so important to people!

We’ve all heard that we are in a ‘candidate short’ market at present, (that’s a whole other blog article!). So, if there’s a good candidate who’s interviewed for your company but they’re in two minds about joining, you’re going to want to do everything possible to sway them your way. Candidates aren’t always raring to go. They may not be sure about your business. Sometimes they aren’t totally sure about leaving their current role – perhaps they are conscious there may be a promotion, pay rise or bonus in the next few months. Or perhaps they may be involved in more than one interview process with multiple companies at the same time. A strong recruitment process will give a great impression of your company, ensure that the candidate is truly informed and will ultimately help convince a candidate that there is nowhere else they want to be

I might be biased here (!), but a good recruiter can help in the process.

As well as advising on a strong process and encouraging momentum, we can add value in the initial stages of proactive candidate engagement, ensuring that candidates are more inclined to progress to interview in the first place. We can fill them in with the bigger company picture- internal benefits, culture and future opportunity, rather than relying on a short, written advert from the company. We can also help overcome any preconceptions of the brand that a candidate may have as a consumer, rather than as an employee of the company. And we can also engage passive candidates who aren’t actively job seeking but would be interested to hear about the right opportunity if approached.

But back to process…

Crucially, we can identify and address any reservations or hesitations that candidates or clients may gather about each other through the interview stages. Without a ‘middle-man’ (it CAN be a positive!) there may not otherwise be that avenue of communication and possible resolution, before the candidate decides to withdraw, or the client decides to reject the candidate. We can also keep the client informed with the timeline of the candidate’s other interviews, where the client may sit in the candidate’s ranking of preference amongst their other opportunities and if the client needs to move more quickly/ put in a competitive salary offer etc.

We are consultants by name and consultants by nature! As recruiters we are not just a bank of CVs. We are here to guide and support all parties through a positive interviewing process and make sure that it works for everyone. And ultimately match the right companies with the right talent.


Seven are experts in FMCG, consumer and retail recruitment.

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