I've been a recruiter for a LONG time - long enough to have built relationships that have lasted beyond the decade mark. Despite the years of REALLY dedicating myself to knowing my candidates, and understanding what's important to them etc., I find myself haunted by the new catch phrase - "Candidate Experience".
The implication is that you need to make an effort to ensure that everyone who sends you a resume, comes away from the experience with a positive feeling about you.
Really? Is that possible?
Don't get me wrong, I do send back auto-response emails to acknowledge receipt of the resume. And, I do genuinely TRY to follow up with candidates to let them know why they're not being considered if they're not right for the position.
However, some days when a candidate who has worked 3-6 months in every fast food job they've ever had is sending a resume for a Plant Manager's position, you just want to email them back and say, "Really?? You KNOW that you're not qualified for this position"....but of course I don't.
I send the standard, "Thanks for submitting your resume for consideration. Unfortunately, your background is not in line with the requirements of this particular position...etc., etc." email.
Then there's the candidate who wants to argue with you about the fact that he or she is not qualified. Despite your relationship with the client, despite a lengthy discussion about exactly what they're looking for, the qualifications that they'll maybe budge a little on and the ones they won't, this candidate is confident that you're too dumb to understand that they WILL consider him. Frankly, it's rare that those candidates end up feeling positive about their contact with you.
And then, there are candidates whom I've known for a long time, think the world of, have a strong understanding of what they're looking for and why, but simply haven't been able to put them together with the perfect opportunity. Let's be honest enough to admit that no matter how much you like someone, you cannot dedicate hours and hours over weeks and months to nothing but their particular job search or you'll be broke!
So...what's the answer then to maximizing the "Candidate Experience"? I can only continue to do what I've done all these years. That means that some people will think highly of me - and some will not think much. Either way, while I'm totally committed to doing my best to connect exceptional people with exceptional opportunities, I will always be honest with you, even if that doesn't make your experience with me very positive.