Candidate Experience: Why it matters and how to improve it.

The job market’s competitive landscape has taken on a fresh dynamic in the UK. With businesses vying for the crème de la crème of talent, the recruitment process has been thrust into the spotlight. At the centre of this process is a term that’s creating quite the stir: candidate experience. So, why is this experience so crucial, and how can companies refine it?

Understanding Candidate Experience

Before diving into its importance, let’s define what we mean by ‘candidate experience’. It refers to the perceptions, feelings, and reactions a job seeker has about an employer, based on their interaction from job posting to the interview process and even post-application feedback.

Why Does Candidate Experience Matter?

  1. Branding and Reputation: In an age dominated by social media and online reviews, a candidate’s poor experience can quickly become a public relations nightmare. A business’s employer brand is often shaped by past candidates’ shared experiences.
  2. Attract and Retain Quality Talent: Candidates who experience a streamlined and respectful application process will likely view the company in a favourable light. This positive perception ensures that high-calibre talent is both attracted to and retained by your organisation.
  3. Economic Impacts: A prolonged and inefficient hiring process can be costly. Furthermore, vacancies can cause operational disruptions. Enhancing the candidate experience often means a quicker hiring turnaround.

Tips to Improve the Candidate Experience

  1. Transparent Communication: Keep candidates in the loop. Whether it’s about expected response times or the next steps in the application, clear communication can set their minds at ease.
  2. User-friendly Application Platforms: Nothing deters a potential candidate faster than a cumbersome application system. Ensure that your online platforms are intuitive, mobile-friendly, and efficient.
  3. Prompt Feedback: Candidates appreciate timely feedback, even if it’s negative. It shows respect for the time and effort they’ve invested in the application.
  4. Set Clear Expectations: From the job advert to the interview process, clarity about what’s expected helps candidates feel at ease and allows them to better showcase their strengths.
  5. Humanise the Process: Remember, candidates are humans, not just CVs. Whether it’s through personable emails or a friendly interview atmosphere, make them feel valued.
  6. Consistent Experience for All: Whether you’re hiring for an entry-level position or a top executive role, the process’s consistency ensures fairness and keeps biases at bay.

The Long Game

Improving the candidate experience isn’t just a one-off effort. It’s an ongoing strategy that evolves as the job market and candidate expectations change. Businesses should periodically review and tweak their recruitment processes to ensure they’re offering an experience that resonates with current job seekers.

In Conclusion

In the hustle and bustle of the UK’s competitive job market, the candidate experience is a game-changer. It’s more than just an HR trend; it’s the foundation for a robust recruitment strategy. By focusing on the candidate’s journey and experience, businesses can not only find the right fit faster but also promote a company culture that values each individual, right from the first interaction.


At re:find we have been in Executive Search for over 20 years. We believe that recruitment is not a one-off transaction but rather a long-term partnership. We aim to build long-term relationships with our clients, providing ongoing support and advice to help them find and retain the best talent for their organisation.

In addition, as a business, we understand that every organisation is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to recruitment. That’s why we offer bespoke recruitment solutions that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether you need help with a single hire or a full recruitment campaign, we can help.

We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality service. As part of this, we ensure that we take the time to understand your organisation’s culture and values, as well as the specific skills and experience needed for each role.

For more information on our executive search practice and our CCS framework please get in touch with our Managing Director, James Cumming.

Employee onboarding – warm welcome or completely clueless?

We know how important onboarding is for our candidates. The wrong experience can have a hugely detrimental effect on a new starter. The process ensures new employees receive all relevant information and understand how the company works and what is expected of them. This information allows them to transition from a new joiner to a productive team member, and so is a vital process within any organisation. 

So how does it change in a fully remote working world?

Really, it shouldn’t affect the fundamentals:

  • New equipment
  • Communication
  • 121s
  • Introduction to the team
  • Training and coaching

But it does mean being organised and ensuring that everything is prepared way ahead of the new team member starting. Equipment needs to be ordered and sent to their home address, an introduction to the business, the team and regular 121s need to be diarised and the induction needs to be planned out and communicated clearly.

It’s not just about the new starter

It’s not just about the new joiner either, your onboarding process can affect existing team members who will register the way a new employee is treated.

Onboarding begins before the new team member starts – both internally and externally. Calling the new employee is clearly important to let them know the basics, but also letting the existing team members know what is happening.

Returning to work onboarding

My wife, Gemma, wrote a blog about onboarding, with a difference – the importance of onboarding returning maternity leavers. “Yes, they’ve always been employed and aren’t “new’, but when I returned to work after 10 months out, a lot had changed, and I mean a lot. It was almost like returning to a new business. This, coupled with the fear of returning to work, was surely a recipe for disaster.”

Some key points are addressed about being introduced back into the company/role after a substantial period away, including new technology, new faces and new structure. You can read the full blog here.

In any capacity, onboarding is important to your business – it makes for happy employees and better business efficiency, as it gets employees up to speed quickly.

To have a chat about your experiences with onboarding or returning to work you can contact me on

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professional’s specialist here.

Your first 30, 60 and 90 days in a shared service leadership role

Starting a new role in shared services can be a little overwhelming. Imagine starting a new position managing a team in excess of 30, 50 or 100 people, with new systems and new processes, in a completely new environment.

Where would you start? Most of your first 30 days is a learning curve, and a chance to absorb as much info as possible. Break it down into smaller chunks…

30 Days

  • Introduce yourself:

First impressions count. It is important that you understand your team, and they understand you. What are their frustrations, what makes them tick, and what motivates them to go that extra mile? It is important to understand the dynamics of the team initially and they understand your reasons for being hired. Most managers within a shared service are appointed to make change and drive efficiencies within their function. The whole team need to understand the journey you’re on as they will be a fountain of knowledge to help you reach it.

  • Define your role:

Why have you been appointed? Most roles within shared service have a purpose, and you need to define your existence in the role and what you are there to achieve. The team need to understand your motivations too, so you need to be transparent around this and what you are trying to achieve. This way the team will understand why changes are being made.

  • Understand the business and culture:

What is the business strategy? What are the business’ long term goals? Is it to reduce costs, headcount, make processes more efficient or to grow the team to manage an acquisition? Whatever it is, your team in most cases need to be aware of it, to understand your vison and to help you achieve the journey that you’re on. Understanding the product or service of the business is key, as you will need to think outside the box and consider any challenges that the business may face, and how that will impact the wider shared service.

  • Evaluate your own performance:

Monitoring your performance over a 30, 60, and 90-day period is important. Set yourself achievable objectives, short and long term based on what you have set out with your line manager. Once you’ve set yourself these objectives, it is important not just to deliver them but to go above an beyond.

  • Plan…plan…plan….

60 Days

  • What were your observations in the first 30 days?

Start by looking back on your first 30 days. What have you achieved, what objectives did you meet/not meet and how realistic were they?

Did you identify any risks, skills shortages or areas for improvement? This is the perfect time to reflect on your observations and speak up.

  • Implementing new strategies/processes

What needs to be changed? Is it people, process or systems? This is where you will need to consider the changes you want to drive, and again what impact this may have on the wider business. Most importantly, your team, key stakeholders, and wider business should all be ‘bought in’ to the change agenda and just as importantly your customers and suppliers should be too, if the changes could potentially affect them.

  • Start building your own personal brand

It’s important to start building your own personal brand and be recognised for doing things well. You want to use this next 30 days to really step up and show people why you were hired, and what you do well. By now you should have established relationships within the business and have started to help develop your team and potentially upskill them in in certain areas. By now you should understand your key stakeholders too, and how much influence is needed.

  • Get some feedback

It is important now that you obtain regular feedback to ensure your vision aligns with your line managers. Talk around your observations, and future planning, and some of the key points you’re considering changing.

  • Plan, plan, plan…..

90 Days

  • Create an internal comms plan

Align your plan with the business, and create your own strategy and objectives to share with your team and stakeholders, so they have a clear understanding of the journey you’re on. 

  • Present your gatherings

After spending 60 days analysing and absorbing info, it’s now time to present your findings. Show your stakeholders your problems and create solutions of how to make improvements and how you will measure success.

  • Start the transformation

Now it’s time to really get your sleeves rolled up and start making the changes!

Making a good first impression is important when you’re starting any management role, and by now your confidence should have grown and you will have made an impact on the team in some shape or form. Planning your first 30,90 and 60 days is important if you want to achieve your goals.

If you would like to discuss further, email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.

Why won’t top performing shared service professions join your business? And what to do about it. Download our free eBook here.

Is there value in psychometric profiling or is it a load of bull?

Is there value in psychometric profiling or is it a load of bull?
Is there value in psychometric profiling or is it a load of bull?

Relationships…we encounter them every day, some are good, some bad and some can be downright stressful. Wouldn’t life be so much more productive if you knew what others were thinking or how they react to certain situations? By using psychometric profiling or ‘insights’ through the on-boarding process of new hires, you can do exactly that!

Businesses are looking to get creative in obtaining this information, some have an extensive and rigorous interview process with a multitude of stages, others invite potential candidates into their offices for a few hours to experience the culture, but many are using personality profiling during the process.

Recently I’ve seen recruitment managers and businesses using results from personality profiling tools to make key hiring decisions before even meeting with a candidate. There are lots of profiling tools that can be used. They vary slightly on the results they give you, but ultimately it is down to your perception of yourself, more than anything else.

If you’re like me – a ‘people’ person and a keen people watcher – you’ll recognise that the perception that someone has of themselves, can differ to how they are perceived by others.  That’s why I believe you shouldn’t use these as part of the upfront process because you might not get a true picture of the candidate. However, I think it’s a great tool to use as part of the onboarding of new hires. I have used Insights in the past and found it to be both accurate and helpful in my own personal development.

What are Insights?

Insights start with an online, multiple choice questionnaire, where upon completion a personal profile is generated giving a detailed and in-depth insight into individual strengths and weaknesses, approach to problems and your style of communication.

There are 4 colours Insights uses to highlight the different personality and behavioural traits. They are Cool Blue, Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow and Earth Green. We all have a different mixture of the colours, that are unique to you.

People are not often aware of their personality traits – we all know someone who says they are ‘crazy’, but there are actually very normal – the same can happen in these tests. Some could think their weakness is around leadership, but they are actually a great leader but have just not recognised it themselves. This means you may be missing out on top talent and turning away your next superstar.

This is why I don’t think you should use it as a tool for recruitment, but as a leadership and personal development tool. It enables you to understand people’s personality and behavioural traits and tailor leadership approach and development plan to the individual:

  1. Help develop leadership potential
  2. Help to onboard and maximise the talent of employees


Why these tools are good for leadership and personal development?

It increases self-awareness, improves decision making, communication and ultimately performance.

Understanding your colours really helps with everyday business. However, understanding what colour the people around you are, is powerful, because it enables you to be better equipped for the conversation. For example, if you’re approaching a blue, you need to be armed with all the details and the process, however a red will want an action plan and purpose.

Personality profiling can be useful for assessing what someone’s perceived strengths are compared to their strengths in practice and can also help you understand how equipped they feel to handle various workplace situations. Additionally, knowing how a person identifies their strengths and weaknesses can help you understand how best to manage and support them, in order to get the best out of them.

You could be missing out!

I don’t believe using personality profiles to help sift through candidates for a job is the right way to use them, as there is a risk that the self-perception is incorrect. But, from personal experience, I do think using them as part of a development program can be very successful.

Are you a business that uses personality profiling in the recruitment process, then I’d be really interested to find out how and why, and if you’ve been successful in using this technique to recruit and retain new hires?

To have a chat about your executive search, contact me at

You can view more about Carl Hinett our Executive search of HR professional’s specialist here.