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Why it’s so important to match candidates’ expectations in today’s market



The world of recruitment is most certainly challenging, probably the area that is instantly influenced by economic change and over the last 10 years has transformed dramatically.

Why? We are experiencing a candidate driven market that hasn’t been seen to this level before and the expectations of candidates has a large impact on your ability to become an employer of choice.

It can be a very difficult concept for recruiters and businesses to accept, but the simple truth is that unless you match the demands of the best candidates, you are going to lose the war on talent, which can have devastating consequences for any business. 

In order to survive and indeed thrive we have to accept that this is a candidate’s market. It is an ongoing challenge to attract and engage with the best talent, especially as unemployment is low and candidates can easily pick and choose who they want to work for.

The best candidates know they are desirable and this is driving them to rebel against the often-lengthy interview processes that recruiters utilise to find their ideal candidate. With little incentive to participate in the more rigorous interviewing process, candidates end up deserting the process altogether to choose an employer who recognise their potential early and makes an offer.

Keeping the best candidates engaged is only the start of the problem as the competition for talent is fierce. Getting yourself noticed is a significant problem in such a crowded market and being a big brand no longer has the same draw as people are willing to risk working for a start-up, who often offer unique and market leading benefits and incentives, as they know it is easy for them to get another job if necessary.

Plus, candidates are not always driven by salary and benefits alone, especially millennials, they want to see concrete evidence that their future employer cares not only about them as an individual but about society in general through their corporate responsibility initiatives.

So, how can you match candidates' expectations in today’s competitive market?


The goal has to be to remove any obstacles in your recruiting processes and instigate polices that attract the talent you desire; it requires an ongoing effort to create a great candidate experience throughout the whole interviewing process, starting with initial contact all the way through to induction. Ensuring the candidates feels their value is recognised and that they will be joining a company whose culture is designed to attract and retain the best talent is also paramount.

Significantly the best option is not to lose people in the first place so retaining employees is key, especially as they will become your own marketing tool to the world about what a great place it is to work.

In the end it is about listening to candidates about what matters to them and what motivates them to pick one employer over another.

According to recent research conducted by Glassdoor, one of the biggest frustrations for UK candidates during the interview process is cancelling or postponing interviews with more than two in five (44%) UK workers or job seekers saying that this would be among their biggest frustrations during the job interview process. Plus, equal numbers of those surveyed said it is companies not giving them enough information about the job responsibilities that they find most frustrating.

Third on the list of top gripes was recruiters and hiring managers not responding in a timely manner with 43% saying this was a significant concern for them and more than half (53%) of UK workers and job seekers said that getting feedback from the company, even if they were not successful, is what they want for a good interview experiences.

Additionally, one in two (50%) said they would want a company to set out clear expectations for them so that they could prepare well and 49% said they would appreciate a company communicating with them clearly and regularly.

An interview process that is as short as possible was key with four in five (80%) respondents saying that they would want the entire interview process to take less than a month and 36% said less than a week, making time to hire a vital metric for recruiters to monitor.

Ultimately, candidates want a selection process that is organised, effective, informative and above all positive.

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