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Candidate experience is key in a time of skill shortages

Published 3rd August 2014

A guest blog by Steve Othen from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation

Around a year ago we, at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), decided to bring together a group of individuals from various organisations to discuss the employment marketplace.

Our Employers’ Advisory Panel currently consists of business bodies such as Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Confederation of British Industry and Federation of Small Businesses alongside a group of employers including brands such as Santander, Penguin Random House, FirstGroup, NHS Professionals, Arsenal FC, G4S, Royal Mail and Dixons Retail. When this group first met they started their discussions around three core areas:


  • Skill shortages, coupled with unemployment rates and the cost of bad recruitment decisions
  • Flexible work, and how this is a core strength of our labour market
  • Candidate experience and how it can impact jobseekers’ buying habits

The conversation soon moved on to the recruitment process, and the group discussed how beneficial it would be for the business community to specify what good recruitment actually looks like. Following further meetings and various debates, the panel devised the Good Recruitment Charter, which we are encouraging all organisations to commit to.

This aspirational charter is made up of nine principles and is backed up by a guidance document, which explores the principles further, and signposts interested parties towards information, research, best practice and case studies in each of these areas.

The vehicle we are using to communicate the charter is a wider campaign called the Good Recruitment Campaign (GRC) and, in addition to the organisations mentioned above, support has been received by Investors in People, ACAS, npower, Inchcape and Buckinghamshire County Council. Much of the information and research is provided by CEB, the world’s leading member based advisory company. This information should help organisations to review their current processes, drive efficiencies and ultimately reduce cost.

We are also developing a self-assessment/action-planning document for employers to benchmark themselves against the aspirational charter.

Employers have also shown an interest in networking with other organisations that have similar priorities and challenges; we will, therefore, also be exploring the creation of special interest groups moving forward.

From an employer perspective, a key incentive to sign-up to the charter is to be able to discuss the campaign with job-seekers. The organisation can display the GRC logo which, along with the guidance around candidate experience, should help build a good employer brand. We are also hoping to provide information and tools to encourage a good candidate experience, this is key in a time of skill shortages.

Information produced by shows that 64% of applicants share their experience by social media and that 38% are less likely to buy the products and services of an organisation following the application process. The information claims that, despite all of this, only 11% of companies are asking candidates for feedback on their experience. This is just one of the elements that the Good Recruitment Campaign can help employers with – completely cost free.


For more information on the campaign, ask your recruitment partner if they are REC members. If so, they will be able to provide you with access to all of the above! You can also contact me on Twitter @SteveOthenREC (be sure to use #goodrecruitment) or visit our website for more information.