How Talent Can Transform a Business

4 years ago

We are all entering a new era where the candidate experience is impacting more than just the hiring process. As technology continues to outpace education, and new skills become critical overnight, the true “talent” will be the people who stay hungry, stay curious and never stop learning. The most successful organisations will be the ones who identify, hire and retain these special people.

As recruiters, we help transform lives by finding people their dream job and there is nothing more relevant now than ensuring employers are doing the same to stay ahead of the game and be ready for the tsunami of skills shortages hitting every sector over the next 3 to 5 years.

Our day to day experience of working with candidates and clients compels me to write how very crucial it is for employers to be seriously looking at their hiring process from the candidate’s shoes.

More and more we see candidates becoming very selective about which jobs they want to apply for, wanting much more information on the company initially. Long gone are the days when the hirer calls all the shots. Arrogant employers, inadequate interviewing and on boarding processes reflect badly on the business and the rate of candidates not wanting to apply or continue with a new opportunity is soaring.

Research from the REC shows that candidates are scrutinising the employer as much as employers are judging them. Candidates have more choice and are much more values-driven, we, therefore all need to take the candidate experience very seriously.


The role of Human Resources

We all know how valuable HR is and what a critical component they are in facilitating successful campaigns to recruit top tier talent, but it can also equally derail and kill any chances of success (unintentional or otherwise) if approached from a prescriptive stance as opposed to a people perspective.

The best candidates may not necessarily be actively looking for a new role, they may not have an up to date cv, so the traditional methods of attracting candidates for interviews by advertising positions online and expecting to be able to create a suitable shortlist is not going to cut it anymore. Employers have to be more creative and flexible when hunting for talent.


What constitutes a positive applicant experience?

Below are the 5 practical steps to ensure you are doing all you can to attract retain and hire the very best talent and put your organisation as the stand out employer of choice.

Every stage is as equally important as the next and should no stage should be missed out.

1. Company information and job description – getting the basics right

2. Application Process – think about every single contact your company has with potential employees – ask yourself, is an automated email thanking them for their CV really good enough?

3. The interview – ensure the person in your organisation who is interviewing potential talent is an exceptional interviewer. Don’t expect your managers to know how to interview if they have never been trained.

4. The job offer and notice period – have a sense of urgency, get the offer letter emailed on the same day and anticipate counter offers from their current employer. If they are an exceptional candidate a counter offer is guaranteed.

5. Induction and on boarding – have a comprehensive induction programme prepared (not just a plan for their first day). 

Small improvements in the recruitment process can yield significant benefits. Ultimately the cost of not getting the recruitment process right for the candidate is significant. It jeopardises not only the organisation finding and appointing talent but has wider implications for an organisations bottom line.

A negative experience can go way beyond the interview process. Candidates are now very vocal about their feelings sharing them with family and friends on social media and professional networks, this can seriously impact the corporate brands that we have all worked so hard to build.

The only real difference between one organisation and another is the human capital within it. Candidates are in the driving seat, companies need to entice, encourage and sell the benefits of joining their organisation and how the new hire will benefit by joining them to attract and retain talent and transform the company’s future.


Michelle Mellor, Director,
The Cummins Mellor Group










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