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Improving The Candidate Experience And Identifying Your Challenges


It’s March and although we are excited to be leaving Winter behind us and heading into Spring, there are other things to help put a ‘spring’ in your step. Of course, I’m talking about The FIRM Awards.

This year we’ll be attending to announce the winner of the Candidate Experience Category, and so we’ve been granted exclusive interviews with this years’ finalists to find out more about their candidate experience efforts. We spoke to Mark Jackson from Fujitsu about his views on candidate experience and the Fujitsu awards submission.

“Our approach to improving our candidate experience started with understanding the numbers. For our graduate recruitment in the UK, the data revealed that around 50% of candidates were dropping out of the application process. This was at an early stage; candidates were telling us a bit about their work experience and time at university, but they failed to go on and participate in the first round of assessment” Mark shared.

After a detailed review in collaboration with their partner Saville Assessments, Fujitsu concluded that the whole process simply wasn’t welcoming or engaging. The Fujitsu team could see that BME students were dropping out of the process and it highlighted an important action point: the overall candidate experience needed to be improved.

With this in mind, the team developed situational judgement tests to maintain engagement and encourage candidates to progress and be less inclined to drop out. And so, with the additional focus on their candidate experience throughout the process, Fujitsu started seeing less candidates dropping out of their application.

Mark told us “Maintaining engagement through the process was a key focus of the project and we saw a reduction of drop-outs from BME candidates – from 41% to 20%. We asked for feedback at assessment centre stage and this was all positive.

“Candidate experience is more important than ever. It’s a candidate-driven market, and there are skills gaps so candidates can pick and choose. Getting the assessment and selection process right is essential, it can be your point of differentiation and that means maintaining your focus right until day one.”

The Fujitsu keep warm process is fun and innovative with a personalised code that’s created for each offered candidate and sent with a personal letter from Mark. The candidates can crack the code by engaging with other offered candidates online, which in turn leads to engagement and conversation. It’s simple and effective and Mark and team have reduced their renege rates by half, which is no mean feat in today’s market.

Moving forward, Mark identified two key areas of focus are now on the radar for the team. Firstly, an EVP review with the aim of understanding how to stay relevant in a rapidly changing market whilst the business is going through a transformation process.

Secondly, GDPR and understanding what can and can’t be done with data. The team have made great strides in linking the recruitment process with in-role performance, so understanding restrictions will be key.

For those reviewing their own candidate experience, here’s Mark’s advice: “Make sure you’re reviewing the whole end-to-end process, we identified that the early stages of the process were a challenge for us. Don’t always assume candidate experience is down to the wrong or lack of comms, it can easily be the assessment and selection piece. Pinpoint issues and make sure you use your network and suppliers, review the market and bring the outside in.”

Spot on Mark.


Good luck to all of the employers!

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