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“People, not paperclips”: the key to successful recruitment

18 April 2023

By Jess Watts

“People, not paperclips”: the key to successful recruitment

It is widely stated that first impressions count. This is no different for companies, the first impression is crucial in successfully hiring candidates; it is essential to get the hiring process right. Research has shown that 72% of applicants are likely to share their recruitment experience online or with friends and colleagues, whilst 63% of candidates are likely to reject a position due to a bad experience directly with an employer during the hiring process. The level of professional conduct offered throughout recruitment effects the ability to fill vacancies, which in turn impacts business and reputation.

The key to successful recruitment is communication. Without it, candidates and employers are left unsure, and unsuccessful. However, often employers do not have time to dedicate their whole focus to the hiring process, and that is where recruiters come in. A recruiter becomes a vehicle through which candidate interaction takes place, ensuring 360° communication with employer and applicant, and maintaining engagement and relationships.

It is crucial to remember that the employer-recruiter-candidate relationship is not solely transactional but should offer human connection as well. Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC stated that, “the experience of recruiters over the last 10 years has been that recruitment is treated like any other procurement process, but the reality is that you’re communicating with people, not buying paperclips.” This is an insightful comment about how a lack of humanity can result in withdrawn candidates, miscommunication, and general dissatisfaction. Candidates are people who want to be comfortable, respected, and most of all, communicated with.


Why communication is key…

Maintains candidates

The candidate experience should be at the forefront of a hiring company’s priorities. Ensuring satisfaction and comfort encourages lasting relationships. The most important thing that consistent communication cultivates is a sense of respect and appreciation between recruiter, employer, and candidate. This promotes a genuine interest in applicants who feel valued and seen and also helps to prevent “Candidate Ghosting”. Research has shown that around 52% of candidates do not receive communication directly with an employer within the first 2-3 months of applying for a job. By collaborating with a recruiter who will open a simple line of communication, candidates will feel tangibly important, and their interest remains piqued.

Increases efficiency

Records state that around 60% of applicants drop out of the hiring process because of the time it takes to get responses from employers. A recruiter is solely dedicated to enhancing communication and ensuring regular contact, guaranteeing you maintain engagement, and speed up your hiring process. In addition, using a third-party whose purpose it is to maintain interaction and open communication between employers and candidates negates the possibility for miscommunication and subsequent frustration on either side. A recruiter updates candidates regularly at each stage of the process, and thus the need for phone calls and emails chasing information is eliminated.

Boosts offer acceptance

The better communication and efficiency a candidate experiences, the more likely they are to accept a job offer due to retained interest. A recruitment firm will ensure efficiency of interaction with both employers and prospective employees. The quicker the process, the lower the cost per hire, and the reduced rate of dropouts.

Improves reputation and business

Professionalism and candidate satisfaction add up to a glowing review and reputation. For employers, new hires will be more abundant if previous applicants have had a smooth hiring process with clear and consistent communication. It is more than worth collaborating with a recruiter to ensure this happens.


Communication is key to the hiring process, and that is what recruiters do. Satisfaction, comfort, knowledge, and therefore success, all stem from consistent contact. Recruitment without communication is like riding a bike without wheels… you are not going to get very far.

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