Improving the candidate-recruiter experience

11th May 2017

Article written by:


The hiring process is an experience for both parties. For recruiters and hiring managers, it can of course be an extremely stressful and concerning time with their expected worry that they won’t fill a position, or receive near enough quality applicants for the role. For the prospective employee or job-seeker, it can be a challenging experience filled with frustration and sometimes unnecessary obstacle, plus one of self-doubt with questions filling a candidates’ head ranging from why is there a distinct lack of roles that I’m looking for, why is the application process so complicated and why have I yet to hear from the recruiter?

As time has progressed, much has occurred to make the recruitment process more seamless and hassle free for both hirer and candidate. So what measures can be taken to ensure a more enjoyable experience when hiring potential employees?

Cover letters be gone!

A controversial suggestion to say the least. Cover letters are a way of separating the competition and seeing who took the extra time to write a tailored response to why they want a position. You want your potential hires to be excited about the prospect of working for you and a personalised response looks much better in contrast to someone who has sent you their generic CV template.

However, they are time consuming for a candidate and they may lose their patience with the process at its very first step. Recruiters and hiring managers are likely to have seen thousands of cover letters that are littered with varying forms of hyperbole and buzzwords from candidates. If anything the only thing a cover letter might be able to determine for a recruiter is who can exaggerate the most!

CVs today are extremely personalised and reflect more than just employment history and skills. Sometimes a CV is more than enough to justify a hire and hence why we are seeing profile led recruitment platforms which avoid the need for cover letters.

There is still of course relevance for them in certain fields, but if required to submit one, it’s important for a candidate to keep theirs focused and on topic as CEO of Salesforce recruitment specialist Mason Frank International, James Lloyd-Townshend points out; “Cover letters play an important part in the recruitment process. They allow the job applicant to outline their requirements, which is crucial in helping determine if there will be a cultural fit with the prospective employer. Additionally, it’s a chance to showcase personality and soft skills.

However, it’s important to achieve a balance between displaying your skills and profile. All information in a cover letter should be useful and relevant, providing an insight into what the candidate brings to the table and answering the job specification put out by the employer or recruiter. Also, keep your cover letter under one page so that it can be skim read and taken in with ease.

It’s easy to get carried away in embellishing your application but stay on message. As a job applicant, ask yourself if all the information you’re submitting is directly relevant to this job role and you’re answering the needs of the job specification.“   

Messy CVs

Technology today has allowed us to speed up certain processes and this has been witnessed in how candidates are applying for positions. Where companies would have (and possibly still are!) posted opportunities that have asked for candidates to fill out their skills and experience through long online forms, it’s likely that numbers for applications won’t be high as they would have ideally liked.

In response to this we have seen a number of job sites integrate CV parsing software into their platform. With the simple click of a button, a candidate can upload their own CV to a site, thus eliminating the need to manually submit their skills and experience. However, at times the results of this are not always visually pleasing for recruiters with some sites producing versions of CVs that in no way resemble their original version.

iContract has partnered with DaXtra technologies and integrated their CV parsing technology into its platform to produce CVs that are slick and professional looking and easily downloadable for a recruiter. DaXtra’s Business Development Executive David Mercer shares his views on modern candidate trends when job hunting, and how DaXtra’s CV parsing software can reduce candidate drop-off; “As a candidate, applying for role after role can be very time consuming, especially if you have to fill out 20 different application forms requiring the same information you have already put on your CV.

Using DaXtra’s multilingual CV Parser enables candidates to submit their CV instead of filling out an application form. DaXtra Parser will automatically extract personal and contact information, work and education history timelines and candidate skills to then populate the database or application form. This ultimately saves time and reduces the number of candidate drop offs.

DaXtra Parser will accurately and consistently weight the candidates skills ensuring they are matched with the most relevant and quality role for them”

One click and that’s it

We touched upon candidates lack of patience in their job hunting experiences. Creating a pleasant and seamless experience for prospective job applicants is all about removing hurdles. You’ll have to come to the realisation that any candidate looking at your role will not be exclusively sizing you up and will be looking at other roles to. Competition therefore will be fierce and a candidate will not want to dedicate copious amounts of time jumping through various hoops to get to the finish line. Ensure your application process is simple and satisfying, one click of a button usually does the trick, and be sure to let that be it!

Did it get there?

As much as we feel technology has become something to easily rely upon today, there is always every chance for it to fail upon us when concerning job applications. E-mails that exceed attachment limits, overloaded inboxes, or e-mails recognised as spams – there’s every reason to think why a job application, no matter how simple it’s process is, won’t reach an employer. Given that a response to a job application may not be as instantaneous as a candidate would hope for, applicants need some sort of indication that a recruiter has received their bid for a position otherwise all manner of questions might go through their heads. Also take this chance to notify them of the next stages of the hiring process through some form of automated message. This will give a candidate some feeling of control but also understanding of your busy position as a recruiter and with that you shouldn’t be pestered with numerous follow-up enquiries.

iContract is the new online platform that makes searching and applying for contracts easy. With our CV parsing software, recruiters can instantly download your CV at the touch of a button. Find relevant contract opportunities tailored to your needs and monitor progress on any of the contracts that you have applied for. Launching soon, pre-register as a contractor here and take control of your working life.