Recruitment is a funny business you know – not funny ha ha, though sometimes it can be hilarious, more funny peculiar. This is particularly true if you are on the candidate side of things. You know how it goes, you see an advert or hear through the grapevine that company X is hiring and from the sound of it you are the perfect fit and so the game begins……

You send off your best resume, start daydreaming about the new job, interesting colleagues, challenging projects, better quality muffins, Nescafé pod coffee or whatever it is your heart desires that this role will bring.

Then one of two or three things happen, we’ll call them Scenario one – White Bunny in a Hat and Scenario Two – Never-ending Scarves in a Hat – we will come back to Scenario Three a bit later.

Scenario One: within days (sometimes hours) of submitting your application you get a call or email and before you know it, Bob’s your Uncle and an interview has been arranged. We’ll call this the White Bunny Scenario as it is a bit like a white Bunny, all fluffy and nice and leaves you with a pleasant surprised feeling that probably extends to Company X and a general hue of happiness starts to hover.

This is when the company is on the ball. They communicate well, they give you timely feedback either directly or via the recruitment agent who introduced you. More importantly the process is explained to you and you understand it – sometimes recruitment takes a long time – hiring managers are travelling, budgets need final approvals or simply another strong candidate can’t interview for another eight days – all these contribute to delays and don’t reflect on you as a quality contender for the role. However, if Company X is open and transparent about these things you will probably be quite a happy bunny yourself and still feel in with a chance (and are already having imaginary conversations with George Clooney over coffee choices.)

Scenario Two: Within seconds of applying – okay sometimes it might be a bit longer – you get the automated response – nothing wrong in an automated response, sometimes you are never quite sure where your resume has gone so it is good to know it went to the right place.

The response tells you that a real live person will be in touch soon and poof! (or abracadabra if you prefer to be more politically correct these days though I personally love a poof, it’s the flashing that does it for me you know) – a scarf appears out the hat! Not just one scarf but many, many scarves, each one coming in time to represent a week, you know the week that goes by without any contact from Company X. We could go on but you get the picture. Those never-ending scarves just keep going for eternity. Any respect or goodwill you felt for Company X just flitters away like the scarves from here to infinity with no end in sight.

There was mention of a Scenario Three – I like to call this Rabbit out of Hat strangled by Never-ending Scarves but I’m kind of twisted that way. This is when the lovely Company X do a darned good job up front and then – you know what’s coming don’t you – poof! Okay, okay, abracadabra! The scarves start to appear and never end – not another word or even automated email comes to you ever again. We all know this equals one very Dead Bunny, so very sad.

I do jest a bit but I’d be amazed a) if anyone is reading this and b) if anyone reading this hasn’t had a version of this experience. The truth is all companies at some point are guilty of Scenarios Two and Three and never intentionally, no company mandates “alienate candidates” as a KPI. The key to getting it right, or your own version of right as recruitment shouldn’t be one size fits all, is to put yourself in the candidate’s place and imagine how you’d feel.

At Diversus we feel it is a work in progress. As a small growing company it isn’t always practical for the Directors to be involved every step of the way and handing-off any step of the process hasn’t been easy. Check out the rest of our website to see how our process is going and see if you get the right feeling for what we’d pull out of the hat for you – just don’t be too confused if it is a penguin….

– Bernadette Johnstone (Head of Talent Acquisition at Diversus)