We wrote a Candidate Care Charter. Here’s why.

Caryn Schalit

If you’ve recently been a candidate on the hunt for a new job opportunity, how would you rate your experience? Unless you’ve been headhunted, I can bet that you would more than likely rate your candidate experience as well below expectation.

Don’t get me wrong, companies that offer a great candidate experience are out there, but these are the unicorns, and for the most part, candidates are left at the mercy of a haphazard selection process. While corporate brand management gets a good slice of the marketing budget, management of the talent brand seems to be the poor cousin, with little effort and investment going into mapping a strong candidate journey.

But this doesn’t just start and end with splashing a cool ad across LinkedIn about “why you should work for us”; nor is it a catchy video on the company website boasting shiny happy employees talking about how great the company is…even though it might be. No. It is the culmination of talent strategy and planning, engagement with candidates and recruiters, process flow, feedback, technology, pre-boarding, investment of time and simple co-ordination that underpins the true talent brand which in the end, determines the kind of experience a candidate will talk about for years to come. In today’s war for talent (and yes, we’re still in that war), a well-designed candidate journey coupled with a positive candidate experience, is what companies should be aiming for. Anything short of this, and we’ll find ourselves on the losing side.

In my role as Talent Acquisition Lead for a team of recruiters spread across RPO environments, augmented staffing and contingency recruitment, the poor candidate experience seems to overshadow the unicorn-led experience. I’m learning that this is frustrating for the recruiter but disheartening and diminishing for the candidate. Candidates in active job search mode need to muster up extra self-confidence and self-esteem, maintain positive energy, get to new levels of introspection, find extra hours to commit to the process and find unending creativity about how to get to the next interview or assessment without deceiving their current employer.

So, when candidates who are serious about their career and their job search invest time readying for an interview, when they invest time taking assessments and preparing presentations, and then receive tardy feedback, this is discouraging and demotivating. When candidates meet for an interview with an expectation of process which is changed at the last minute, this is disengaging. When they put themselves out there sharing their life history with a company (sometimes with risk) and they hear nothing back, it is demotivating. And worse, when candidates apply to a company job portal, and they receive no acknowledgement, it is terrifying. Does it just get sucked into a black hole?

We choose not to work like that. Our code speaks to care, contribution and connection, which is just how we like to work with candidates. When a company uses an agency to help them find talent, the recruiter becomes an extension of that company, representing the brand. It becomes a partnership. Discovering good talent, motivating for change and securing talent is some of the most important work companies are obsessing with right now, so getting the right partnership to enable this is crucial. It demands two-way education – clients need to educate the recruiter on the role, the process, the value proposition, challenges, expectations and everything else in between. As recruiters, our work lies in sourcing that talent, and educating our clients on what makes for an exceptional candidate experience. We want to share our learnings, insights and experiences with you to help make your business better – that’s why we’re finding you the best people, isn’t it?

So, when a client wants to partner with us in future, we’ll be asking them to uphold our candidate care charter. Are you ready to provide a great candidate experience? Because for us, we wouldn’t do it any other way.

If you’re intrigued to find out more about candidate experience or our candidate care charter, please connect with me.

Caryn Schalit is the Global Lead: People Operations at VentureWeb Like what you read? Email Caryn


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