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The Impact of Positive Candidate Experiences in Local Authority Recruitment

by Greg Hayes


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Every week, I witness first-hand the impact of a good candidate experience on the recruitment process. When speaking to authorities about hiring, I always advocate for retaining a search partner for the selection process, not just the search. A positive candidate experience is not just a courtesy to applicants; it also yields significant advantages for the local authority.

Firstly, it enhances the likelihood of securing top talent. Exceptional candidates are highly sought-after and may not actively seek opportunities. A good search partner spends time understanding candidate aspirations and their push-pull factors, fostering trust and rapport. Search partners provide constructive feedback at multiple points along the way and deliver sensitive messages with compassion. As these candidates can often be engaged in multiple processes, a positive experience can make or break their decision to join a particular council.

Secondly, a positive candidate experience safeguards the council's reputation. News of a negative experience travels surprisingly quickly, potentially tarnishing the council's image and hindering future talent attraction. A search partner ensures professional and respectful interactions throughout the process, protecting the council's reputation and fostering positive perceptions.

Finally, prioritising candidate experience strengthens the employer brand, making it easier to attract and retain talent, ultimately reducing recruitment costs. They will draw desirable candidates, reduce staff turnover, and minimise the time and cost of frequent recruitment cycles.

For local authorities handling executive recruitment internally, ensuring adequate resources and expertise to manage candidate experience is a strategic investment in the council's future. And even with a candidate-centric culture and great training, it is unlikely a council will discover the full picture of a candidate’s push and pull factors, or what other opportunities the candidate is exploring and how they are prioritised.

By partnering with a search firm that prioritises exceptional candidate experience, local authorities can secure top talent, protect their reputation, and strengthen their employer brand, ultimately achieving their recruitment goals and enhancing their overall effectiveness.

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