Candidate = PROBLEM

Written by Kraig Payne

Kraig has worked within in-house resourcing and RPO for over a decade with a number of large organisations in multiple sectors. His professional passion is to enable businesses to finally unlock the potential of proactive recruitment, and he feels this can only be achieved by getting a grip on tactical recruitment forecasting. He has jointly invented a product to do just that, and started a business called Foresight with his partner Danny Hodgson to educate the masses about the power of forecasting! Their aim is to give the “gift of time” to recruiters, which in turn will mean they can get back to the good part of their job – finding and engaging with candidates!

Candidate = PROBLEM

That’s right – I said it, and I mean it! Candidates are problems. Simple.

They don’t mean to be. They certainly don’t want to be. We don’t intend to treat them as such. But they are.

But why? Have I got a point, or have too many sleepless nights (I’m a new dad) started to take their toll?!

There is so much content available about improving Candidate Experience (CX if you’re in the “know”), yet for me, it is all focused on fixing issues that aren’t the root cause of the problem; processes, communication channels, application routes and so on. This is all great, and valid, but it totally misses the most obvious issue:


Time drainers…

It’s not their fault to be fair. This is a cultural flaw that is instilled deep within the in-house recruiting industry. The rise of the ATS, the adoption of LEAN process management, the quest to “do more with less” have all played a part in making this a sad, yet widespread reality.

If you are an in-house recruiter reading this and you are up in arms then good on you because you at least give a shit. But let me ask you this – when you’re “recruiting” (ahem) 50+ reqs at a time, and one such req has had a great response from your attraction campaign, and you log into your trusty ATS after your morning coffee to see 107 new applicants, what do you think?


Go on….. be honest…. it isn’t “yippee one lucky so and so in there has bagged themselves a great job with my amazing company!”

It’s more likely “Jees – where the hell am I going to find the time to screen that lot?”

And therein lies our problem with candidate experience.

Recruitment should be a people job, done well by people that enjoy speaking to other people, and want to make a difference to those people’s lives and, as a result, the fortune of their employer.

Yet somewhere along the way, as tech enablement has grown, and internal investment has dwindled, our poor in-house recruiters find themselves playing a numbers game, trading commodities and forgetting the real people that exist behind the ATS hyperlink.

Within those 107 new applicants may lie John – down on his luck, out of work, he’s a potential superstar that has lost all self-confidence and took weeks to finally pluck up the courage to “put himself out there.”

Or perhaps Joanne, who’s been in the same job internally for 15 years, never written a CV but has always wanted progression and a new challenge.

But you’ve got 107 tasks to complete, so naturally, these guys won’t hear from you (other than via a robotic automated ATS template email that has as much empathy as a house brick) for maybe 3 or 4 weeks…. after closing date……if they’re lucky…..

That’s fair enough though right…. you’re busy…. you’ve got 50 reqs……

**There is a paradigm shift that needs to happen if we are to truly improve the candidate experience. We need to break the mould and start looking past the hyperlink and see the person.

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