The Year of The Candidate


Chinese New Year - Douglas Jackson the Year of the Candidate

We celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse; ‘The spirit of which is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves, whilst being energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able’. (Quote from

Embracing this and in line with one of our key business values to continue to improve and develop our service offering, Douglas Jackson would like to make 2014 ‘The Year of the Candidate’.

Recruiters are quite rightly focussed on their client, as they are the paying customer and the business who is leading the hiring assignment.  However, all too often, there is too little emphasis on our other client, our potential candidate and our customer too! We think that for a true recruitment specialist, this also needs to be a major focus and priority.

Chief Customer Officer - Douglas Jackson Recruitment

If you are a regular reader of our blog, we have said many times that recruitment is changing and part of this change means that the days where anonymous recruiters take little detail about you before sending them for roles, then, following CV’s sent out, or, interviews taken place, never get back to you, are almost long gone and if they are not yet, they really soon should be.

Only a few days before Christmas we were talking with another Director level candidate who was thanking us for coming back to them, they said ‘they find that so many recruiters still do not and how frustrating this was for them’. Unfortunately, this is a long standing and frequent complaint from our industry.  This individual went on to say ‘that they, (recruiters) forget they are placing potential employers in the future’ which is very true.

Since our inception, the team at Douglas Jackson set out and have maintained that the Candidate Experience would always be one of our key priorities and values within our business and this has served us well.  The above comments are not unique from our customers and many of our current client (fee paying) customers, started out as someone who approached us for help with future career opportunities, market advice, or their job search.

Sadly, we are unable to place everyone we speak too, or, work with, but we do wish we could, (although we would probably be somewhere in the Indian Ocean, looking at this view as opposed to penning this blog on a cold grey January day….).

The Year of the Candidate - Douglas Jackson view from luxury yacht

We might not be able to place everyone and on occasion, we accept that some individuals have not been pleased, when we have not been able, or, willing to select them for the roles they are interested in,  (although we will always give feedback and explain why when asked).  We are afraid that this part of recruitment will not change, as every applicant, or, potential individual will not be right for every role.  However, we will continue to provide you with support and guidance wherever possible and are committed to providing as much feedback as we can, to each individual we represent for an opportunity.

A good recruitment consultant might well be paid by their client customer but we have two customers and without the candidate the successful assignment could not be achieved.  A trusted recruitment consultant is someone you should be able to call on and speak with, or, get a response from, when you ask for one and this should be the person you trust with your future career and job applications.  A trusted recruitment consultant is for life, or at least, hopefully not just this years job search and you should choose yours based on their ability to help and advice as best they can, even if you might not make them a fee that day, or year.

We asked our social network ‘What would be the key factors that would make you choose to register, or work with, (as a candidate) one recruiter over another?’

  • David St.J Richards posted on Twitter: “Regular feedback, working on your behalf, CV tips, negotiating power, success story, industry respected.”DavidStJRichards Twitter
    • Simon Jones

      Simon Jones Follow up calls even if the news is not positive, following up any promises made, honesty and so on, the same in selecting any provider of a service in my view. Like Estate Agents, Recruitment Consultants work for “both sides” and it is a fine line, and like Estate Agents some do it very well indeed, and some don’t… I think everyone appreciates it is a high pressure sales business, but the candidates of today are the clients of tomorrow, would you go back and use an agency who you felt didn’t represent you or a role correctly?
    • Kevin Carr

      Kevin Carr Interesting enough I agree with Simon. I had a recruiter who tried to use my interview experience to promote another candidate, which didn’t feel like all things were equal and subsequently failed to provide any feedback whatsoever. Bad experience overall
    • Stephen Noall

      Stephen Noall It’s all about communication no matter what the situation. It’s also a great idea to have some sort of face to face contact either via skype or a meeting as this helps to recruiter and client to form a working relationship. It’s critical in order for the recruiter to sell the client as a whole package and this is more effective if a meeting has taken place
    • Ian Foster

      Ian Foster Definitely communication is key even if bad news, I think talent guys can be scared to rely anything but good news

We would also be interested to hear from you about your thoughts and opinions on the same question, please take part in this quick poll, or post your comments below:

We know that we can always improve, so if you feel there is anything else you would like to see us do for you, then please do let us know so we can help make this the year of the candidate.

If you are working within Customer Strategy, Contact Centres and Customer Experience and are considering a possible career move, or, if the candidate experience is really important for your future hires, then why not give us a call and see what we can do for you. Tel : 0845 620 9720

About Douglas Jackson Executive Search and Recruitment Consultants

Douglas Jackson are an Executive Search and Independent Recruitment Consultancy offering professional executive recruitment and managerial appointments on a permanent and fixed term contract basis. We work with customer and experience focussed organisations, who want to develop, or, improve their operation, sales, strategy, service, experience, or success. We recruit for Chief Customer Officer, Director, Head of Department, Manager and skilled strategists for; Customer Service, Customer Experience, Customer Contact, Resource Planning, Operations, Strategy, Insight, Analytics, Sales, Success, CRM, Data, Programmes, Transformation, Continuous Improvement, and Contact Centre. We work in partnership with our customers across the UK and internationally, many of whom are FTSE 100, blue-chip brands but also challenger, fintech and start-up organisations, to design, develop, deliver and manage your Customer strategy. Revolutionise your Recruitment and Retention of New Hires. Douglas Jackson Search takes the guesswork out of your hiring. Sourcing Exceptional Talent….Define your Customer Strategy. Lead your Operations. Design your Customer Experience. Direct your Digital and Customer Contact. Transform your functions. Develop your Customer Insight. Manage your Data/CRM, Deliver your Sales and Customer Success. Differentiate your business and brand.
This entry was posted in Best Practice, Candidate Experience, Candidates, Contact Centre Industry, Douglas Jackson, Executive Search, Recruitment, Recruitment Agency, Social Recruitment and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Year of The Candidate

  1. Robert Kinch says:

    I think the “submit” and forget syndrome is the way nowadays.
    After being in the job search market for the first time in over 20 years it was the first thing that grabbed me. How silent so many recruiters are once you press that little grey button.
    The second thing was, despite all my success, abilities and experience in senior management apparently I didn’t have enough for all the recruiters who did actually read my application.


    • Morning Robert and thank you for your thoughts and comments.
      I think your experience will be mirrored by a good deal of senior managers across sectors and we see first-hand how frustrating this can be for some. Unfortunately, a large percentage of individuals who apply, or, who may be considered for each role, will be rejected, as only 4 or 5 may be short-listed/interviewed and only 1 will eventually get the job.
      There is no doubt that a large proportion of those rejected can do the job, but the reason most organisations will turn to a recruitment consultant, as opposed to hire the role themselves, is that they want a proven and experienced individual within their market sector, or product set, as opposed to someone with transferable skills, this is why most candidates will be rejected.
      I can’t speak for other recruiters but I know that if we felt we could fill the job and get the candidate progressed, we would do all we can to make this happen. I hope you managed to get some success from your applications in the end? If not and you would like me to contact you, then please do let me know. My email is Michelle


      • Robert Kinch says:

        Thank you for your feedback Michelle.
        My specific point, on submit and forget, is based on experience which I am sure many job hunters have seen.
        I am old school enough to remember sitting down and discussing, with recruiters, detail of experience abilities and skills rather than just sending off a three page A4 file and hoping to progress thought the recruitment process.
        I also feel, with the emergence of specialised CV writing companies, “successful” candidates often have CVs that meet the recruiters needs more than being an actual history of the individual.
        I am not saying Douglas Jackson just depend on CV’s alone but this seems to be the ever growing trend nowadays with many recruiters.

        To give you an example of what I perceive is the challenge.
        There has been a open role advertised, within a national company, since early January.
        First feedback, on my failure to get to the interview stage, stated I did not have at least one year experience of a desirable. I reminded the recruiter to check my covering letter which showed over 30 years experience.
        The second feedback then stated I did not have a history of another particular skill set, I reminded the recruiter that had the job specification included this need I would have highlighted my experience in my CV.
        The role is still unfilled as the client has not had appropriate candidates placed in front of them yet.

        For me it is simple, good recruitment agencies should know and understand their customers, clients and candidates, fully and completely.
        Candidates should be placed for the selection process using this full knowledge.
        What many of us candidates are seeing is many recruiters are only working from the CV and nothing else.


  2. Thanks Robert, again you make some valid observations. Your experiences and thoughts about the recruitment industry are certainly something we talk about regularly in our team meetings, to make sure we can continually improve our service, we will be talking about it again.

    I too remember the days to which you refer and it did seem so much easier and simpler. Some of the differences you have experienced are the same for us recruiters too. When I first started in recruitment we (the recruitment industry in general), hardly ever used CV’s, as clients would see our candidates on our recommendation alone, that is extremely rare these days, even with the best and most trusted relationship. We also had a fraction of the level of applications we currently get; some of our jobs now fetch over 300 applications and that is in addition to our database searches and head-hunt/networking required for each role, with this sort of volume, it is impossible to meet everyone face to face if we do not feel they are relevant for the role we are working on.

    As per this article, we do recognise that the recruitment industry can do better and Douglas Jackson are committed to continuously improving the service we offer. Your comments are really appreciated and valued and we will continue to try and do exactly what you say. As before if I can be of any assistance to you, or if you would like to talk further, then please do let me know.
    Thanks again Michelle.


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 )

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s