Candidate feedback – how are we doing?

Professionals shaking hands

Here at Hartigan, we believe that being reflective and constantly aspiring to be better is what keeps us good at our jobs. Times and attitudes change, and so should we! So, we’ve had a chat with a few candidates we’ve worked with recently to find out what their experience has been like, both positive and negative.

We spoke to candidates we’ve recently been successful in helping finding a new role, candidates that we’re still in the process of helping, and candidates who unfortunately we weren’t successful with this time around, to make sure we’ve got a fully rounded idea of how we’re doing at different stages of the job hunt. Luckily for us, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive (woohoo!), but we’ve outlined some of the areas that our candidates feel the industry as a whole could do with improving, as well as some of the more positive experiences they’ve had.

Treating candidates like humans, rather than £££

Hartigan treats candidates like ‘humans’ unlike other recruiting agencies that consider them ‘numbers’ for the achievement of their own KPIs”

Unfortunately, it seems that this is a little bit of a recurring theme. Generally speaking, recruiters don’t have a great rep for treating candidates as individuals. We feel that getting to know our candidates properly is one of the most important aspects of providing a good service – for both our candidates and our clients. After all, if you don’t truly understand what someone is looking for in their next role and support them through the process, how will you find them the perfect position?

Preparation, preparation, preparation

“A reassuring catch up before the interview helped calm the nerves and the personal, in-depth knowledge of the company meant I walked into the interview fully prepared and with a good understanding of who I was meeting, confident that I was a good fit for the role and the company was a good fit for me.”

As well as learning what our candidates are looking for, we spend time preparing each and every one before any interview. We travel to wherever is best suited for our candidates at a time that suits them, to talk them through what to expect at the interview, who they’re meeting, what to focus on and to answer any questions they might have. This also serves as a “practice” interview, giving the opportunity to trial answers and make sure they’re giving enough detail when it comes to talking through their skills and capabilities. It’s also a fantastic chance to put a face to a name and to further strengthen our relationship.

One candidate mentioned that more than one meeting would be overkill – “having a pre-meeting ahead of every interview might be a bit challenging for candidates that work (appreciate however is part of the ‘caring’ approach which is great!).” So, for each subsequent interview we simply organise a call at a time to suit the candidate so we can chat through the next stage more briefly, and they still feel fully supported.

Relevant opportunities

“Hartigan care to understand what the candidate is after and therefore send them only relevant opportunities.”

This one I’ve never understood. Throwing a bunch of job roles at a candidate and hoping one will stick isn’t really recruitment as far as I’m concerned. However, we often hear from candidates that they receive a lot of specs and job information from recruiters they’ve never actually spoken to. We only work with candidates who are prepared to take a little time (usually about 15 minutes) to discuss their requirements with us, so that we can make sure we’re sending the most suitable opportunities over. Those that are actually going to be a good fit for what they’re looking for!

Upfront and honest

“The consultants at Hartigan were always very upfront and honest with their feedback and best of all – they regularly kept me updated at all stages of the interview process (which I can’t say is the case with other recruitment agencies I’ve worked with)”

Giving negative feedback, especially when it’s related to someone’s character is never an easy thing to do, and I can’t say it’s our favourite part of the job. However horrible it is, it has to be done! We are always honest with our candidates, delivering both positive and negative feedback, to ensure that they are able to learn and move forward after each interview experience. Essentially, constructive feedback when taken in the manner it’s intended, only helps with future interviews so we are always keen to deliver this feedback when given, to ensure that the next interview goes swimmingly!

Supportive in tricky situations

“Hartigan deftly navigated remuneration/salary and start date negotiations with tact. A supremely awkward and challenging conflict with my previous employer was handled delicately, keeping me calm and reassured throughout”

Negotiation in the final stages of the offer process is probably one of the hardest parts to manage from the candidate’s perspective. Do you ask for more money? How will that be perceived by your potential future employer? Or are you happy with the offer? This is where we come in! We know our clients well and can advise the best course of action – whether there is potential scope for increasing the package, or whether we know for a fact they won’t be looking to change the offer on the table. We’re able to have upfront and honest conversations with our clients and candidates alike – there’s no point in beating around the bush at this stage and most negotiations end up with both parties happy.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they (used to) say. We would like to think that the fact candidates come back to us throughout their careers and tell us that they like the way we work, shows that we do in fact do things a little differently. If you might be ready to make a move or are interested in finding out what opportunities are out there, then give us a call on 020 3198 0081 as we’d love to chat!

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