What candidates want from a recruiter

    Now that it’s become a candidates’ market, knowing what a potential hire wants from a recruiter can make all the difference.

    In an attempt to get some answers job board CV-Library polled 2,400 active job hunters from a variety of demographic groups across the UK, in a bid to answer top recruiting questions such as; ‘why am I having a problem getting through to candidates?’ and ‘how can I improve my job adverts?’

    Questions were split into three categories, pertaining to what candidates want from recruiters, their job hunt and the interview process itself. The survey aimed to provide an honest insight into the needs of the UK’s job hunting population.

    When asked about their method of choice to begin a job search, 35% of candidates said they would initially look on a job board. This is almost double the number whose first port of call is to contact recruiters (18%).

    The survey also found that majority of candidates like to have the option of searching and applying for jobs on the move. 55.5% of those polled use a job hunting mobile app or would consider doing so in the future.

    With today’s working population often time-poor, job hunting can be a productive way to spend those precious moments on a commute – it should no longer be necessary to spend evenings and weekends hunched over a computer writing cover letters.

    In turn, recruiters can expect to receive a more even distribution of job applications throughout the day. To secure the best candidates for vacancies, recruiters need to get rid of ingrained habits and employ reactive tactics.

    CV-Library said this means that top candidates can appear at any time during the day. Don’t leave it to chance and only hit the job boards first thing in the morning – create alerts that actively inform you when a candidate has uploaded their CV.

    Researchers then asked respondents to comment on their relationships with recruiters. Data shows that most candidates prefer to conduct an initial meeting with a recruiter in person (46.5%). 30.8% would rather use the phone, 20.5% email, and a mere 2.1% would choose to video call a recruiter in the first instance.

    In regards to maintaining relationships with recruiters, 52.7% of UK job seekers would prefer email contact, 43% to converse by phone, 3.8% text, and a minimal 0.6% by video call.

    In conclusion, CV-Library commented: “With agencies often targeting consultants on phone time, the mere suggestion that they may have more luck corresponding via email might send recruitment managers across the country reeling in shock. Now, we’re not suggesting that email could ever replace the flow of human conversation, but you can’t ignore the data – the people have spoken and our research suggests that job seekers are more comfortable communicating by email than they are on the phone.”

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    Comments (7)

    • John Simpson
      John Simpson
      Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:14am GMT
      It says a lot about the stats on how recruitment agencies contact candidates for the initial meeting- It is Opposite to what candidates expect! In my experience the recruitment industry needs a major shake up. 9 out of 10 recruiters are only interested in "shovelling" CVs in front of clients to get a "hit" for their commission. They have little/no regard for candidates.They forget that today's candidates are tomorrow's Clients! Last week I received several jobs as office administrator from a national name in recruitment beginning with 'R'***, yet I'm in the executive £80k plus bracket! Shoddy indeed!
    • Aman
      Fri, 6 Mar 2015 12:31pm GMT
      Remember this is a "study" done by a Job Board so results are always going to be skewed. Things to take away for recruiters is the preferred method of contact - interesting to hear but also skewed due to the study being geared at active job seekers - passive candidates would be very different
    • Dave
      Tue, 3 Mar 2015 11:06am GMT
      Time is a precious resource so phone calls, in snatched free moments, may not be most effective. A serious candidate will get an email across with required information. A suitable call can then be arranged.
    • Tim
      Tue, 3 Mar 2015 11:04am GMT
      Does any recruiter still measure time on the phone in this day and age?

      If you measure the average humans time on the phone versus every other channel including Whatsapp, Facebook etc I would be surprised if "phone time" accounts for more than 10% of anyone's communication.
    • Senior Recruiter
      Senior Recruiter
      Mon, 2 Mar 2015 6:25pm GMT
      The comments aren't really anything new to be honest. Appreciating the importance of family time in the evening, the same goes for the recruiter making the call!

      I feel this very much depends on a number of considerations:
      1, How serious is the candidate about moving role?
      2, What level is the candidate?
      3, How much does the candidate care about how well they are represented?
      4, If you can't manage a call, how will you attend an interview?

      This is a double edged sword, when the "busy" candidate can't take calls from recruiters, only wants an email exchange the client is getting a poor service. This is only relevant at the junior end where "CV matching" is required. The middle to senior market where candidates move for different reasons and other not visible on the CV are critical it doesn't work.

      I have recruited in good and bad markets, these candidates that aren't prepared to network or communicate soon hassle every single recruiter under the sun when redundancy strikes! The market is cyclical and a solid network is golden.

      I would be interested to understand the level of the responses.

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