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Be the best choice for your ideal candidate

Be the best choice for your ideal candidate

3 months ago by Anna Smith
Be The Best Choice For Your Ideal Candidate

Are you a business, about to embark on a recruitment process? The current employment market is very busy, and very competitive. 

However, we believe that, by following a few tried and tested approaches, you can really stand out as an employer for the long term, when your perfect candidate shows up.  

The reality out there is that 2022 continues to see a lot of the fantastic talent out there being snapped up, and we are now entering into a more candidate scarce period. 

If you follow the 4 rules below and the advice within, you really can make a difference.  

  • Offer the best candidate experience

  • Know when to be flexible on candidate testing

  • Walk the talk

  • Be prepared to negotiate 

Offer the best candidate experience


  • Offer your interview availability quickly

  • Be flexible on dates/times to fit around them

  • Read their CV (and their portfolio, if creative). It happens often that a CV isn’t read, and it becomes obvious through the interview which can be perceived negatively (e.g. have they been carefully selected?).

At interview

  • Be on time

  • Offer 1 hour at least (1/2-hour interviews are always perceived negatively – will it allow enough time for it to be two-way?)

  • If it’s obvious to you that they are a fantastic candidate, squeeze more into that first stage, on the hoof!

    • Move to the grand tour which may have been planned for 2nd stage

    • See if the other people they would have met 2nd stage are around for a quick hello!

    • Introduce them to the team as you walk the floor

    • Showcase some of your projects


  • Provide positive feedback in writing as well as verbally to your recruiter (or direct), so the candidate can hear first-hand how positive you are

  • Get a 2nd interview in the diary quickly

  • If you covered more than planned in the first stage and a full 2nd stage will offer limited additional value, then consider a video second stage (the candidate may have more questions or need more insight) with a quick turnaround, or just move to offer.

  • Be prepared to move quickly if they are at additional stages with another employer

  • Also, see ‘be prepared to negotiate’

Know when to be flexible on candidate testing

We totally endorse practical tests for certain skill sets, however, if you have a candidate who is clearly proven, has talked through their work convincingly, has a good reputation AND is in process with others, consider the merits of the pre-planned test. You may lose the candidate to timings! If testing is essential to the qualification, then work it into the 2nd stage. Some businesses like to test prior to inviting for a 1st interview when the candidate isn’t engaged yet. It is a two-way process, and employers who approach it as such, get better results. 

Walk the talk 


So, you, or your recruiter, have positioned your company as being full of energy, collaborative, trusting and hard-working

Throughout the interview process make sure to demonstrate these! Make sure the energy vibe is there!

  • As many people as possible are in the office

  • Show the team working together

  • Talk about the flexible policy (this couldn’t be more important right now!) and who is in and who is out on that day

  • Showcase a project with a member of the team which has taken loads of hard work but has clearly been a labour of love, energy, and collaboration 


Whatever your specialism, whether that’s in what you produce or the sector/s you are in - provide evidence. Do you have any credentials or a company showcase document? Do you have example projects on the walls and in reception? Can you send some pre-interview?

Trust is a big consideration with discerning candidates, and the more you can demonstrate what you do, the better!


Where a role genuinely offers career growth, talk through what that will look like and perhaps provide examples of other employees who have joined you and gone on to greater things. 

Be prepared to negotiate

So, you’ve met the perfect person! However, so have your competitors! ... And their opportunities are just as good as yours. How do you secure your perfect candidate? 

Be prepared right at the outset to flex on salary 

  • At the start of the process, the candidate may well have been happy to secure a new role on £30k

  • 5 approaches later, 3 interviews and 1 offer (already on the table) later, and their perceived value of themselves has increased. It happens a lot!

  • Obviously, you can’t pay any more than the value they bring, but it isn’t the time to try to get a ‘deal’

  • If they are worth £33k, and that’s what they want then make sure you have the extra budget up your sleeve, or go for the ‘over expected offer’ immediately. There is nothing better than a candidate being offered more than they asked for!  

Money isn’t everything for everyone, so make sure your offer includes the list of benefits, hard and soft, and why they are valued within your business

  • All too often the offer comes through with salary only

  • In a speedy and competitive market, have the full package scoped and offered in one go!

  • Can you flex the benefits according to what value they bring to a candidate? Personalised benefits will start to become a big thing!  

At Beyond The Book, we are always here to offer tailored advice, so always ask. We can be contacted on 01789 451510.


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