• Jennyfer Montantin

Recruitment: candidates’ evolving expectations!

Mis à jour : 27 nov. 2019


The war of talents continues to rage and businesses are having more and more difficulty in finding and retaining those who will make a difference to their company. One of the reasons for this situation lies in recruitment that is too traditional, that is totally different to the expectations of the candidates they want to attract.

And that’s why really successful recruitment can’t rely solely on two remnants of the past: the CV and the cover letter.


Let’s get down to the facts: the average time that a recruiter spends reading a CV is forty seconds. The time required to decide whether this CV will go onto the pile of selected candidates is double that – one minute twenty seconds. How can we hope to put forward an attractive recruitment process that appeals to good candidates when we are only able to offer them an attention span of less than a minute as our first point of contact?


One figure that is little publicised but that makes for an interesting parallel is the time spent by the candidate on applying for a position: creating an account on the careers website, completing the selection questionnaire, tweaking their CV so that the skills and experience requested in the job advert stand out… In total, I think it would most likely take much longer than forty seconds.

Now let’s take a look at the cover letter.

The cover letter used to be a powerful tool when social media didn’t exist, allowing a glimpse into the personality of the candidate beyond their CV. These days, increasingly fewer companies are asking for it. It’s a strong signal sent to the candidate that demonstrates that: we value both your time and ours;

our way of recruiting and working is direct. In a world in which we search for meaning and performance, we go straight for what’s essential.

Here are four points to explore in order to improve the success of your recruitment activities:


A job advert should include clearly defined objectives.

To attract and respond to the criteria of good candidates, a business needs to be clear in what it expects the role to achieve in the future because, in order to commit to a new adventure, the candidate needs to be able to envisage themselves as part of one of the business’ precisely defined and prominent projects.

Effectively, a job advert that reads like a Christmas list for Santa, especially with the phrase “tasks include but are not limited to”, extinguishes the spark in the candidate-business relationship.

High-quality recruitment cannot exist without a clear and well-communicated process right from the job advert.

Why should a candidate put up with a long and non-transparent process? To support this, a survey by the Hays agency reveals candidates feel that the ideal number of interviews is two.

Why recruit systematically based on the CV?

Certain roles require more motivation and soft skills than pure expertise.

What’s more, the recruiter that has a requirement to fulfil often has to be flexible enough to identify transferable skills in order to ensure performance and competitiveness in their business.

The recruitment process should be considered as preboarding.

Many candidates would prefer for the interview to be a taster of the employee experience and for the phase preceding the start of employment to also be complemented by:

– continual communication between the point of signing the contract and the first day of work; – invitations to professional networking events, trade fairs or other relevant events.

The levers for attracting and responding to the expectations of good candidates are numerous. Of these four points, which one will you put into action in order to improve your appeal?

  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Instagram Icon