Mastering an unforgettable recruitment experience

You’ve spent time on your employer brand, you’ve been really clear about your green purpose and you’ve created a really attractive proposition about who you are as an employer.

Now we’re getting into the detail of the visible recruitment process, remember that your brand will be enhanced by successful AND unsuccessful candidates who will judge you at every single step.

So, what’s next in creating an outstanding recruitment experience for you to wow your candidates and provide everyone with a brilliant experience in dealing with your organisation?

Here are 6 things to think deeply about:

The Line Manager is a key decision maker

When recruitment needs to happen, particularly in fast growing green businesses or when hiring is happening en masse, it’s often lumped onto HR/people teams. Of course, they have an important role to play, but it’s the hiring manager that needs to be front and centre in the process, however busy they tell you they are! 

1 in 4 people leave because of their immediate line manager so without that buy in from the start, you run the risk of having to repost that job role far too soon.

Often the hiring manager is in that post because they’re brilliant at the technical aspects of their role, but have been appointed into leadership positions with very little training. If they’re first time recruiters (or rusty ones) you’ll often see interviews with low candidate engagement, gut based judgement calls and lack of role clarity.  Recruitment training is invaluable even to some of the most experienced managers.

Role clarity for the candidate and for the business

You’ve identified the need to recruit, be that a replacement for someone who’s leaving, a new role because of increased demand or anything in between. You have a real opportunity here to (re)define what the role is going to look like.

What exactly is the job scope and why does it matter?  This is as important to the candidate as it should be to the hiring team so they know what to look for in the interview process.

Role profiles, job descriptions, person specs’ – whatever you want to call them, need to describe what the person is going to be doing and why that matters.  Include who their manager is, accountabilities, the essential skills and experience you need the person to have and where the role fits in the wider team.

If you’re asking for application criteria e.g. a degree – consider why this is important and could they could do the job without one? In which case, don’t include it! Many people are put off applying for roles if they don’t meet all of the criteria, so it’s important you only state what’s essential.

Last thought, it’s easy when you work somewhere to forget that not everyone understands your internal jargon. So when you’re writing a role description, imagine you were talking to someone who knew nothing about your business to ensure it makes sense to that external candidate.

Painting a picture

When thinking about advertising, the world is your oyster in terms of available platforms; social media, job boards, internal referral schemes, your local community. What’s important is you think about the demographic of candidates you’re appealing to and are as inclusive as possible. For example, not everyone uses technology to find their next role, and if the job doesn’t need it, where else might they be looking for that dream job?

The advert itself of course needs to describe the job, but also set you apart from other businesses. What’s your green USP? Is it your brilliant purpose driven benefits, flexibility of work location, your supportive culture?

The tone and style needs to represent your culture and how you talk and operate internally, so candidates hear and feel consistency when you communicate with them throughout the process.

ALL adverts should be honest and transparent about salary and benefits. How many times have you seen a role advertised with a ‘competitive’ salary, huge non-specific OTE or bonuses and scrolled on by? Tell people what they could be earning and if you’re not as competitive as the rest of the market,  you’ll need to ‘sell’ what else is great about the role which is definitely still doable.

Final thought, your first job advert is the first step in the future induction of a new recruit into your business.  Keep that thought and keep it real!

What steps do you really need?

Think early on about the stages you NEED in your selection process. You’ve endless choices; initial informal chat, remote/in person interview, online assessments (psychometrics), presentations, practical assessments etc.

Whatever you decide, keep the process clear and balanced to give confidence that you do things in the right way for the right reasons.  This benefits the candidate as much as the hiring team – you’ll be amazed how many interviewers are not clear on the interview process when they first meet a candidate.

A 6 stage process could demonstrate a real desire to get the right candidate or could smack of a lack of trust or unnecessary internal bureaucracy.  Get clear on what stages and why each matters before you post that first job ad!

Have they got the X Factor?

Your criteria for making your choices is really important which takes you back to your first stage; the job description and why it matters. What questions are you going to ask (to all) to get to know your candidates both professional and personally? Does what you’re looking for exist or are you after that unicorn of a candidate by being too stringent on your criteria?

Will you have a scoring system based upon responses, are you looking for specific competencies and behaviours and if so, do they all carry the same weight of value?  What about “gut instinct”?  Will you include what you can’t always put your finger on?

This evaluation bit also gives you the detail to provide great feedback to both successful and unsuccessful candidates. Another critical part of the recruitment process that sets you apart from the rest!

It’s good to talk

When candidates are looking for a new role, it’s likely they’ll be applying for more than just yours. The recruitment experience you give them can be the deciding factor between choosing you and another great company. How you communicate with them throughout the process its absolutely critical.

How many times have you applied for a job and not heard anything back; doesn’t leave a great lasting impression about that business? How many times have you been for an interview and not had any (or decent) feedback? Again this speaks volumes about the value placed on candidate time.

Get your comms nailed; consistent, regular, human and on tone with your brand.  Use a sales mentality here and treat your candidates like potential customers and nurture them through the process.


Remember when you’re going through any recruitment process, you’re selling who you are and your business, so keep in touch with candidates regularly, be up front about the process, timescales, who’ll be involved and the experience you’d like them to have.

Check in with them post recruitment to see how you made them feel, I can guarantee this kind of experience will be shared with others, building your employer brand reputation along the way. 

By prioritising these elements, employers can create a positive recruitment experience that attracts top talent and promotes a great image of the company in the job market.

Get in touch to discuss how we can help your hiring managers with recruitment and selection training that sets your organisation apart from the rest.

Coming up next in our ‘attraction series’; how to get the most out of the interview/assessment itself.

Not sure on how this applies to your business or what to do next? Get in touch and we’re happy to help contact the friendly wayvie team for a free consultation

Mastering an unforgettable recruitment experience was written by

Jennifer Keay

Jen is our dedicated Training Administrator with extensive experience in HR and people development roles. She’s passionate about helping individuals grow and works tirelessly to support the entire team at wayvie in delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Jen Keay

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