• Rachel Doyle

The common poor direct recruitment experiences in 2022

We asked our candidates and our own employees what their recruitment experiences had been like over the last 6 months and we identified the top common challenges when applying directly to businesses. This does not mean that all recruitment experiences are like this, there were some positives but on the whole, there were a number of negatives for the direct applicant group. Top of the lists were the negative experience of no feedback. This can hurt a business’ employer brand and with Glassdoor offering the ability to leave candidate feedback on interviews, not just an experience with a company, it might even cause future candidates to remove themselves from a process if they feel they won’t receive any feedback for the interview.



Interviews moved around - no respect for a candidate’s diary and no apology for moving the interviews.


Feedback from our candidates pointed to smaller and start up businesses. They felt that their time wasn’t respected. One candidate spoke of them being asked to book time in the MD’s calendar and that 5 days later the interview was moved to a new suggested time, that afternoon. They couldn’t make the interview at such short notice so agreed a new time with them. The next day however, the interview was moved again, to the following day, rather than the next week as agreed. There was no apology or reason given. Again the candidate couldn’t make this as they had a clashing interview that afternoon. They agreed an alternative time with the MD and guess what. It was moved again - no email, no apology. The result? They pulled out of the process stating that the interview had been moved enough and they didn’t seem to be able to find a time that would work. You can see how this may impact negatively on a candidate’s view of the business. Whilst we are all busy, we need to be respectful of each other’s time, no matter what your title is. It gave the candidate a good insight into how they might be treated in the business and they didn’t want to work for a company like this.


No feedback received at all


Candidate chased 3 times for a response and received no feedback at all. This was for a massive FTSE 100 company. The interview had gone really well, so the lack of feedback was surprising at best. The candidate left a review about their interview experience on Glassdoor. It is frustrating for candidates that this is still happening in 2022. When a candidate gives up their time, or arranges their work schedule so that they can attend an interview, they at least deserve a response to let them know the outcome. Even if the result was that a better candidate had been found. Any feedback is useful for a candidate to know how to prepare for future interviews.


Long delays in interviews


Candidates reported applying for jobs and waiting up to 45 days for an interview request to come through. This was with some large FTSE 100 companies. Some of those candidates were still available to interview and had hung around because of the business’ reputation and because they wanted to wait for the right opportunity. Others had received offers by then and were no longer available to interview. If a recruiter is involved, they can at least keep the business updated about the candidate's other interviews. There is nothing worse that getting around to offer only to find that the best talent has gone.


Long interview processes


Some candidates reported that interview processes involved 3+ stages for junior to senior manager roles and that they had accepted offers from businesses who had moved quicker. We feel that these interview processes might have been shorter if the businesses had partnered with an experienced recruiter. We would advise shorter interview processes in the current candidate driven market place.



Late or no show - By the hiring manager and no apology made either!

This one was a surprise, for a huge FTSE 100 company and even though the interview was rearranged for the following week there was never an apology for them not turning up for the original interview. Imagine if that had been a candidate. The candidate was having a virtual interview but even so a very poor show. The interview went well up until the point where they said, are you ok to come into the London office for 2 days a week? The job had been advertised as fully remote. So thumbs down all round. If a recruiter had been involved, they would have checked to ensure that there hadn’t been changes to policies since face to face has opened back up. Plus they would have the most recent job spec and details. It is probable that the job spec had been put together during one of the lockdowns.


Current salary ignored


A candidate reported having applied for a role and as part of the application form they had to complete their salary. This experience was with a SME. They were offered an interview but at no point were they told the salary band for the job. Towards the end of the interview a question about current salary came up and when they heard the salary that the candidate was on, they replied that the top salary for the job was in fact £16k less and there was no movement in that at all! It was disappointing for the candidate who had also been asked to prepare a presentation and spent a lot of time prepping for an interview that should never have taken place. A massive waste of their time and they removed themselves from the process. This wouldn't have happened if a recruiter had been involved. That would have ensured that the candidate and client’s time wouldn’t have been wasted.


Fully remote is exactly that


FTSE 100 company.


A candidate was offered and accepted the job as a remote role. However, within weeks of their start, they were sent an email from HR stating that they would have to go into the office. In fact all employees received this. The candidate hadn’t noticed that the contract had detailed hybrid working not fully remote, so they didn’t have much room for negotiation. Needless to say, they were back on the job market and actively applying for other roles.



Offered the role, but the paperwork never arrived


A FTSE 100 company. The candidate waited 3 weeks’ for a response about their start date and paperwork. Having chased repeatedly through their contact who had been responsible for sourcing them, with no response, they withdrew their acceptance. They never had a response to this either and were chased for a reference to be completed, so they had to contact the HR contact instead who replied to state they would stop the referencing and that they were aware that the candidate was no longer joining. This level of poor communication would not have happened if they had used a recruiter.


These are just some of the experiences that candidates commented on when they had applied directly for a role. Frustrating and a feeling of mis-match both in terms of needs, expectations and experience. Many of these things will impact a candidate’s view of a business. Get it wrong and it can do harm to your employer brand - which is now even more important than ever. If you’re looking to attract the best talent to your business, all of these things matter.


The benefits of partnering with a recruiter


Partnering with an expert recruiter is beneficial because it ensures that communication takes place throughout the whole process. It saves on valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere by the HR teams. Candidates are only put forward for roles that match their skills, that they are a personality match for and where the salary matches their future expectations. Experienced recruiters will help to support the employer brand by acting as an extension of your business and helping to match your business to top talent that is a cultural fit. By carrying out the initial screening process we identify those candidates that we feel meet the recruitment brief and have already reviewed their experience and skills. Find out more about Auxeris here.

15 views