Transform HR with Modernised Focus on Candidate Experience

Feature Blog from WCN

Candidate experience needs to be the number one priority for recruiters looking to transform their recruitment approaches and hire the best candidates, is an anecdote known to many recruiters – but is it the secret to landing the envisaged perfect fit employee?


The case for creating a great candidate experience for your job applicants isn’t all that hard to make. We are hiring in an increasingly talent-driven market, and great talent will always have options of where they want to work. How you treat your job applicants may make the difference between whether they accept a job offer or decline it.



The reality is that now, perhaps more than ever, how you treat job applicants also says a great deal about your organisational culture; it is a window into your company. And of course, candidates might just be customers too. If you want the perfect candidate, you have to offer them the perfect experience.

Morag Gardner, Director of Operational HR and Payroll at Shared Services Connected Ltd delivering services to the Metropolitan Police – a key client of WCN’s recently reiterated this point.


“Getting to the end of application forms to join the police form can feel really tough to candidates because they felt long and asked for a lot of information. We could see that more needed to be done to keep candidates enthused and so made candidate experience a core focus of our work helping to modernise and transform the Met’s recruitment processes,”


Gardner explained how the Met Police have focused on simplifying the approaches used by the Met in online application forms to be simplified and standardised into one user friendly candidate interface.


“From the linguistics that we use to ask questions to the layout of the pages we ask candidates to fill in. Our approach to online is all about moving away from the old application packs and having a clean, simple, modern and transparent system that offers candidates great engagement throughout their application journey and provides hiring managers with the key information they need. This attention to candidate experience should be a recruiter’s number one priority,”


Recruitment Messaging Tips:

• Don’t just make your tweets or messaging say “We are hiring!” It’s not as effective as painting a picture or telling a story to pique job seekers’ interest.

• Research hashtags that your target candidate audience uses. Join groups that they would be a part of and read the threads and comments to catch up on the lingo. This is especially helpful when hiring for IT or technical positions.

• Use verbs to call prospective candidates to action. Get them excited about making the next step!

The transformation of Met Police recruiting seems to have paid dividends with 100% of candidates rating their experience as good to excellent and a number of people sharing the application pages using social media to encourage others to apply.

Hiring managers also realise the benefits reporting a reduced time taken to create vacancies, lower costs for time investment in recruiting and more interest in dedicated events to help build talent pools and ensure great candidate experiences.

Once the application is completed, more needs to be done to ensure that high satisfaction rates are not turned into negatives. Assessments needed to be better explained and candidates needed to be fully engaged in what they were attempting to join, in order to complete the process and not renege for better offers in the private sector or feel rebuffed based on centrally created standards.

Can you answer these questions?


• What are your company’s values?

• How are you different than your competitors?

• Who is your target audience?

• What are you doing to create a unique candidate experience?

If you can’t answer one or any of them, it’s possible you haven’t given enough thought to your employer brand. That’s not a luxury you can afford to take any more. Employees now look at the employer first, instead of the other way around. In fact, 58% of global candidates stated that company brand is more important to them than it was five years ago.

Creating or adjusting your employer brand starts with your current employees and moves outward. To appeal to and create personal connections with top job candidates, you must have an incredible company culture. In fact, 19% of executives said new hires leave because they don’t like their organization’s culture. Company culture creates positive impressions from the first time a job seeker interacts with your brand.

Recruiting and hiring is always shifting. Employers must begin marketing directly to candidates, and that marketing is most successful when it’s on a personal level. Because at the end of the day, providing a great candidate experience can be a differentiator between you and another company and thus the perfect candidate.

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