By Jerome Bull

Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of employer brand to attracting and retaining top talent. This is evidenced through the upsurge in Employer Marketing Specialists and in-house Talent Acquisition teams responsible for promoting the profile of organisations, helping engage high quality candidates. Whilst employer brand is undoubtedly important, the hiring process can also have a significant impact on candidate experience, influencing the outcome of assignments. A recent report (Global Recruiting Trends Report 2018) found that 80% of talent leaders agree that employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. Obviously, HR/in-house resourcing teams have a key role to play here too.

At Wickland Westcott, the Leadership Consultancy, quality sits at the heart of everything we do. From an Executive Search perspective, this means listening carefully and responding to the needs of clients and candidates alike; C²RM (Client and Candidate Relationship Management).

We solicit feedback from all candidates we interview, enabling us to refine our processes to support them and to represent our clients professionally throughout assignments. Recent insights confirm candidates particularly value:

  • A detailed overview of the opportunity and process at the outset
  • Interviews that are informative and challenging
  • Flexibility with respect to location and timing of meetings
  • Frequent communication, regardless of the nature of the update and outcome
  • Open, honest and timely feedback so they can learn from the experience rather than getting a simple ‘no thanks’
  • Help preparing for client interviews
  • Speed and responsiveness
  • Being partnered and supported as individuals

We also use candidate feedback to understand how their experience has impacted their perception of the hiring company and helps to support the brand value in the marketplace. This value-add enables us to work with clients to continuously improve their processes and the way they handle candidates. Recruiters as brand ambassadors is becoming of growing importance, so it is important that your recruitment partner also understands your business, shares your values and will promote your brand; are they someone you would be happy for your clients to meet?

Wickland Westcott solicits full post-assignment feedback from clients as a basis for ongoing improvement. Recent feedback reinforces the importance of:

  • Domain knowledge including the ability to bring fresh, relevant insight from a sector and functional perspective
  • Understanding not just the role requirements but the broader context and company culture
  • Challenging clients to think differently and to consider a wider, more diverse range of candidate options
  • Taking ownership and driving the process on their behalf through to successful appointment and beyond
  • Partnering with clients through regular contact and communication, ensuring expectations and understanding are aligned throughout
  • Supporting from a wider assessment and onboarding perspective, ensuring candidates fit well with the company culture and are well-placed to make an early impact

Feedback provided by Kenny Gilmore, Operations Director with long-standing client Victrex, further reinforces the importance of our approach to candidate care:

“I fully support what you are doing, regarding the candidate experience. I came across Wickland Westcott as a candidate many years ago and, whilst I wasn’t successful in the role, I felt valued through the whole process and have used Wickland Westcott ever since”.

Over the last 12 months our continued focus on C²RM has contributed to assignment completion rates of 98%*, significantly above the industry average, with 98%* of appointees still in situ after 12 months.

If you would like to understand more about our approach please contact Jerome Bull on 07768 588588 or email

*as of July 2018

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