Recruitment doesn’t stop at Attraction

The current G4S debacle highlights something more than an inability to hire enough security guards for London 2012. It reveals how ‘recruitment’ is the entire application journey from attraction to onboarding (and beyond). There are figures of attracting 100,000 applications, 10,400 being recruiting, 4,000 actually working, 9,000 in training… confused? Imagine if you’re a candidate? Now there are reports of attrition in the numbers reporting to start. That’s no real surprise. It just goes on and on.

Now, to us, attraction has always been just one part of recruitment. The candidate journey is what matters. The whole nine yards. Remember no-one is actually ‘recruited’ until they start on their first day. Until then, they’re still a free agent. As in this situation, poor communication at all stages of this journey means you’re likely to lose people. And probably good people at that. That means at all stages everyone should be pulling together as one ‘recruitment’ or employer brand. It’s not about recruiters saying we’ve got the numbers. Training wailing that they couldn’t cope. Or HR trying to distance itself from these recruiting issues. Everything should be cohesive. Candidates know this. They’re not stupid. And a glance at the 100’s of comments on the G4S Facebook recruitment pages shows exactly what they think.

And when one of the rising topics centred around recruiting at the moment is Candidate Experience – this whole episode highlights, or should, how important it actually is.


  1. Mark,

    Nice post. The G4S debacle aside, where I suspect candidate experience was never really a consideration, how do we expect companies to understand their own candidate experience?

    If they’re lucky enough to have a sophisticated ATS in place, then some research around candidate attrition at each stage of the process might be a good starting point. But surely stats only take us so far?

    Another alternative might be to ask a third party to review the process and feedback / make suggestions, but even in the case where the third party is a knowledgable source, the opinion is subjective and limited by the sources own opinions and experiences.

    Then we might want to speak to candidates themselves, which for most companies means speaking to their employees. Now this could be interesting, and you’re bound to get a few people picking fault in their own recruitment experiences, but ultimately the sample is spoiled – all of the subject were successful in getting the job, which you could argue provides a slightly biased viewpoint!

    So then we’re left with the option of an external survey of candidates who have been through the process, and not been given the job, but who have been left with an opinion of the process. Definitely an eye opener I suggest, and a worthwhile exercise definitely, but still a biased pool of people who made it through to the end of the process – not the ones who drop out along the way.

    At this point my own experience in this area falls short. How do we identify and reach the non-completes? The ones who walk away halfway through, or within a few seconds of hitting the apply now button next to the vacancy that at first sight looked so appealing? And to what extent do we have to concede acceptable levels of attrition at each stage?

    Candidate experience is a minefield, and the deeper you look the more you’ll discover. Maybe that’s why G4S decided not to bother – much easier, right?

  2. lemexie Said:

    I expect G4S didn’t consider feedback from people in the pipeline because (a) it wasn’t an activity resourced in their management plan, and (b) no concern about employee engagement/satisfaction for a 7 week contract. They did have a nice candidate experience video though

{ RSS feed for comments on this post} · { TrackBack URI }

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: