No Image Available

What are candidates saying about your organisation?


When a zoo needs to fill 150 seasonal posts and ends up attracting over 3000 people to a recruitment day, you just know that things are a little tough in the job market at present.

Whilst this has perhaps been the most widely publicised example of ‘recruitment-gone-mad’, in recent weeks there have been many other similar incidents – a police recruitment meeting oversubscribed by 400 jobseekers in Leicester, a 50% increase in the amount of CVs landing on the desk of a manager at an airport in the Midlands, the TUC warning that there is an average of 10 jobseekers for every vacancy advertised in UK jobcentres.

The zoo example really caught my eye however. From a recruiter’s perspective, I couldn’t help but consider the very different experiences of the zoo and the jobseeker.

The zoo spokesperson’s comments were as follows.

“We have been absolutely inundated with people. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the queues this morning. The recruitment day was supposed to run from 11am until 3pm today but we had people queuing up at the gate before 9am. We had at least 400 people in the queue at 9am and they stood there for two hours before we could let them in. By 11:30 we had 3000 people queuing up. People are absolutely desperate for a job; they will take anything they can get their hands on. We had people turning up who were on quite good salaries and some with degrees who are so desperate for work that they will do anything”.

I imagine the zoo’s HR Manager was feeling very pleased with themselves.

Unfortunately there were not many comments from the jobseekers except one which really summed up how candidate's feel at the moment – “sometimes you don’t even hear back.”

How disappointed that particular gentleman must be to find out that despite his efforts to make it to the recruitment day and stand in a queue for hours on end that the zoo then advised that it would “let people know the outcome of the recruitment day within two to three weeks”.

Which brings me to my point – the candidate experience is integral to the success of any recruitment campaign. Handing a massive volume of applications is causing headaches for HR teams in organisations of all sizes and from listening to what candidate’s have to say, the mechanisms in place to support them are not doing that well.

Applicants are frequently being told to wait 3-4 weeks before they hear back, and that’s only the lucky ones who meet the short listing criteria. Those that don’t simply won’t hear back at all. I speak to many of these candidates day in day out and they have long memories and form opinions of these organisations based on how they are treated.

With bottlenecks continuing to build up I would suggest that HR teams look at the creative ways that they can use recruitment consultancies in this downturn.

We are experts in the recruitment process and can offer some very simple but highly effective response management services, which more often than not will save you time, costs and help preserve your reputation. We can ensure a consistent and enhanced candidate experience and we can promote you as an employer of choice against many of the other employers fighting for the same high quality talent. If planned and managed correctly, you and your candidate will experience a better quality of hiring which leaves both parties feeling that it was a positive experience.

If you would like to talk to me about response management services, please contact me at [email protected]

Otherwise I'm interested in your views and opinions as ever.

Lee Burman

No Image Available

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.