How to create a positive recruitment experience


One of the primary reasons I decided to start working in a recruitment agency was because of some, let’s say, less than pleasant recruitment experiences when involved in processes during my job search in the Netherlands. I was often ghosted and couldn’t get hold of recruiters or hiring managers to ask questions, or I received no feedback regarding my application.

I told myself that I could handle recruitment processes much better.

Ever since then, it has been and remains my ambition to always ensure a positive experience for all job seekers I interact with.

Sara Bonds, originally from Sweden, is a Recruitment Consultant at Adams Multilingual Recruitment.

Now, nearly three years into recruitment, I want to share my experience and insights with you. Below, you will find a list of tips I consider as a recruiter, and also things I know a great number of candidates I have helped find a job, appreciate. By following these steps, you will not only ensure a more positive candidate experience, but also strengthen your brand as an employer.

Create accurate job descriptions

Let’s start from the beginning, setting the right expectations. It can be demotivating to apply for a position and be invited for an interview, only to realise the position is not what was advertised. Therefore, ensure you write a detailed and accurate job description that outlines:

  • The role’s purpose
  • Why you are hiring for it
  • The responsibilities
  • The qualifications you are seeking
  • What do you expect of the person in the role
  • What they can expect from you in terms of culture, salary, and benefits.

Efficiency in recruitment processes

The Dutch job market is still candidate-driven, and having a short and efficient recruitment process is crucial to retain good candidates, as quality applicants are highly sought after and could have multiple offers to choose from. The golden rule in this case is to have between 2-3 interviews. Of course, this depends on the position and the role’s seniority.

It is also always appreciated to outline the process; meaning how many interviews can be expected, who they will meet, and timelines.

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Communication is key

They say that no news is good news, but when you are hiring, it is the opposite! Keep candidates updated throughout the process, even if it is an automated email upon receiving an application.

As a recruiter, I always try to give candidates a timeline for when they can expect updates, because if you know when you can expect an update, you do not mind the wait.

An important note here; if you cannot meet the deadline, inform them. It is better to let the candidate know it will take a bit longer to get back to them than not doing it at all. Always.

Prepare candidates for interviews

At Adams, we always brief our candidates on their upcoming interviews. We share information about whom they will meet, their LinkedIn profiles, as well as what the focus of the interview will be, and questions they can expect. It helps them prepare better for the interview and makes them feel more comfortable both before and during the interview. Plus point; prepared candidates also provide the interviewers with a more positive experience.

Can your hiring managers really conduct interviews?

Interviewing is a skill that has to be practised and constantly improved on, and most of us are not naturally gifted. As part of my onboarding, I shadowed other recruiters to learn how and what questions to ask and how to assess a candidate’s answers, as well as learned by watching our in-house interview webinars. My advice is to refresh interviewers on new interviewing techniques, emotional intelligence exercises and communication theories, and stimulate your team to share each other’s experiences.

Give, and ask for constructive feedback

Offering constructive feedback to candidates improves your company’s reputation and encourages improvements in candidate’s future application processes. This will most definitely make your business more attractive, and candidates will be more willing to reach out to you for future positions.

On the other hand, seeking feedback from candidates on your process helps you refine your hiring and recruitment strategies, ensuring a smoother, more candidate-friendly experience. This is a key factor in attracting top talent and establishing the company as an employer of choice in a competitive job market.

Be personal and available

I try to establish a personal connection with candidates, whether it’s through emails, calls, or interviews, to get to know the job seeker better and understand their motivations. I believe making an effort to get to know the job seeker better makes communicating with me, as well as the overall processes more enjoyable, which in turn makes it more memorable.

Something else that I pay particular attention to with my candidates is my availability. Job seekers who are involved in a process with me always know when and by what means I am available for conversations or questions. I try to avoid creating situations where candidates are left waiting for a response, because I want my candidates to trust that I am doing my best.

Follow-up after a successful application

After a candidate is hired, it’s crucial to sustain the positive momentum. Continue to provide a positive experience by helping them with the onboarding, and supporting their transition into the organisation.

In our recruitment agency, we set clear expectations – detailing when they’ll receive their contract, and giving them a preview of what to expect in their initial days and weeks.

Remember that creating a positive recruitment process is an ongoing effort. It requires the involvement and commitment of the entire hiring team and organisation.

Happy hiring!

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