Do you know the most common thing job seekers encounter? Poor candidate experience. From not knowing a role’s salary, to multiple interview rounds, to being ignored, bad candidate experiences are rife in the job market.

The candidate experience is often someone’s first look into your business, and can reveal the inner workings of your structure. For instance, if the hiring process is long-winded and spread across multiple stages, this can highlight that projects will need multiple sign-offs, and red tape will significantly delay processes.

A bad candidate experience, in turn, damages the business’ reputation and prevents them from hiring the best talent. Why would a candidate accept an offer from somewhere that doesn’t respect their time and effort?


Why is Candidate Experience Important?

First and foremost, creating a positive candidate experience is just good business practice! There are loads of external knock-on effects of a candidate experience, and the effect they have depends entirely on how good or bad your candidate experience is.

Talent as a Customer

As we get closer to the peak of the Talent Crunch, candidates are getting more power in the hiring process. Why?

Because greater demand for talent means that candidates have more choice. Ultimately businesses have to treat candidates like customers. For instance, there’s been significant investment into customer experience, but not into candidate experience.

This has to change if businesses want to keep attracting the best talent on the market.

Additionally, a bad candidate experience can even damage the customer reputation of businesses. In this digital age, businesses with poor candidate experience can easily get exposed online. There have been cases where candidates have taken to social media about their poor experience, and in return, the offending business receives countless negative reviews.

A good candidate experience is paramount to maintaining a good customer relationship.

It’s Good Business Sense

Setting the morals of a good candidate experience aside, it’s just good business sense.

Good candidate experience helps to develop brand loyalty, and gives you an ever-growing pool of talent when you need it. On the other hand, a poor candidate experience can alienate your desired talent, and make growing the business much harder.

As the Talent Crunch worsens, the biggest barrier to growth will be increasing your headcount. So by investing in candidate experience now, and developing that infrastructure, you’ll be in a much better position than your competitors.

So which would you rather: invest now and succeed later, or continue to struggle?

Making a Good Candidate Experience?

Now you understand why Candidate Experience is so important, knowing how to ensure your Candidate’s Experience is top quality is crucial.

Include Salary Banding

One of the worst feelings for a candidate is finding out they’ve been taking time out of their schedule, for a role that pays significantly less than what they’re currently on. This can be easily avoided by simply including the salary banding in the job description.

Some may argue that including salary banding lets your competitors try to poach your staff, but they’re doing that anyway. Instead, it actually ensures transparency between employers and employees.

In fact, it makes it easier to find salary benchmarks for certain positions and puts a greater focus on company culture.

When you consider that Gen Z won’t even apply if the salary isn’t listed, you’re already severely preventing future talent from entering your business. And while Gen Z may not be your ideal candidate right now, they will be in the future. This behaviour is unlikely to go away, so instead of fighting the trend – go with it!

You’ll see much better returns, both in the long and short term.

Limited Interview Process

Preparing for multiple interview processes can be exhausting and time-consuming. If candidates have to partake in multiple interview rounds, the candidate may determine that the job isn’t worth the effort (or accept a competitor’s offer).

Depending on how many candidates you have at that stage, this could dramatically affect your time to fill – leaving the position vacant, and costing the business in the long run.

Limiting the number of interviews will save crucial time, and allow decision-makers to focus on other aspects of the business.

Have Responsive Hiring Managers

It’s no secret that Hiring Managers get inundated with job applications, usually more than they can cope with – but we must remember that there are people on both sides of the hiring process. Searching for a job can feel like a job in itself, and when businesses can take months to respond (if at all) to applications, the best candidates can be ‘closed off’ to your opportunity by the time you get to them.

In turn, that means responsive hiring managers can make a world of difference.

Just being in regular contact with a candidate can make you stand out. For instance, even if a candidate is unsuccessful, appropriate feedback and constructive criticism can turn them into a future asset for your business.

On the other hand, if the only interaction a candidate gets is an automatic rejection reply 6 months after their application, they may deliberately not work for you in the future.

Investing in Your Processes

Changing your processes isn’t something that can be implemented overnight. It takes investment and dedication to properly overhaul your candidate experience.

With that in mind, it can be easier to get Talent experts to provide guidance and assistance to ensure a smooth transition.

So if you need these services, why not contact Fraser Dove and see how we can help solve your talent problems.

When you assess a candidate, ‘gut feeling’ is a common factor — but relying on gut feeling alone has a maximum 52% success rate. It’s crucial you make the right decision when choosing a new VP or Director, so your final-stage process needs to be robust.

At Fraser Dove, we use a range of candidate assessment tools to really understand the person, rather than the CV. After all, too many leaders are hired on their CV, but fail based on behaviours.

So read on as we share our secrets about how to assess final-stage candidates effectively. We’ll tackle the following methods:

  • Using Talent Mapping and Intelligence Data
  • Importance of Unique Assessment Surveys
  • Assessing a Candidate’s Culture Fit
  • Outsourcing Assessment to Specialists

Using Talent Mapping and Intelligence Data

Before you make any crucial business decisions, it’s best to have a good understanding of the current talent landscape. With sufficient intel in hand, you’re better equipped to develop an informed recruitment strategy.

Some of the information you need to gather includes:

  • Competitor insights (organisational structure, recruitment strategy, key hires)
  • Skill (availability, demand, diversity, geographic distribution, salary benchmark)
  • Talent Pool (potential candidates willing to join your organisation)

Benefits of Talent Mapping

While Talent Mapping can take time and resources, a range of benefits makes it an essential step in your assessment process.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is that it gives you a talent pool that you can instantly tap into when the full process begins. This reduces your time-to-fill and means you can devote more time to assessing the most suitable candidate.

You can also benchmark your offers against current market expectations. Offering a salary below current market valuations can quickly stop a prime candidate in their tracks. Make sure you know the current valuation of the roles you want to hire for, and offer a salary using the benchmark as a guideline.

Importance of Unique Assessment Surveys

One element we have found brings significant success is our Assessment Surveys. At Fraser Dove, we use a data-driven platform to assess candidates and map their skills against the current team, ultimately assisting in finding the optimal match.

In order to create properly informed decisions, we have developed a comprehensive 5-stage process.

Team Analysis

Evaluate the current members of the leadership team, to develop a detailed understanding of the culture and team’s dynamics. This gives you an excellent starting point to map candidates, and see how they would fit into your organisation.

Gap Analysis

By using the insights gained from the assessment platform, you can identify critical areas where the new hire should complement the existing team.


Using the data provided by the assessment tool, you can more accurately compare individual candidates. These potential team members can also be referenced against the Gap Analysis to further assist with complex hiring decisions.


Using data gathered from the evaluation tool, you can easily enhance your interview process and learn more about each candidate.

For instance, the evaluation tool may highlight certain topics for discussion. This can let you take the interview in a specific direction, and gain a much better understanding of each candidate’s skills and leadership styles.


Use insights from the evaluation tool to create personalised plans for the successful candidate. These plans will involve training and development, and should help new team members get up to speed quickly.

The more effective you make the onboarding process, the faster your new hire will get up to speed. Effective onboarding processes have also been linked to increased tenure and a greater work ethic.

Assessing a Candidate’s Culture Fit

When you’re trying to hire the right person for the job, remember that they aren’t always the one with the best skills.

In fact, professional skills can be learned and developed — but personality and cultural fit can’t. For instance, on paper someone may seem like the perfect candidate. When it comes to interacting with others though, their personality may not blend well with the pre-existing culture.

Hiring someone who clashes with your values can quickly disrupt your business’ culture, and chase away some of your best talent. That’s why it’s a much better approach to select a candidate who is more closely aligned on values.

Plus, people crave a challenge. If you hire someone who already has all the required skills, chances are they may look for a more challenging role in the near future.

Outsourcing Assessment to Specialists

When it comes to high-complexity, low-volume roles, you might be better choosing to partner with an Executive Talent Consultancy.

Without significant experience and networks, these roles can easily put a heavy strain on your Talent Acquisition team. Instead, it can be more efficient to let them focus on filling a high volume of low-complexity roles, while your chosen talent partner handles the assessment of your more complex positions.

At Fraser Dove, we specialise in solving our clients’ talent problems. If you have any queries, contact us today!

An essential stage of our Talent Ecosystem is Attract. With a limited talent pool, candidates can be more selective with their employer. Ultimately, this means businesses have to work harder to gain and retain their next best employee.

That’s where Fraser Dove comes in. We stay current on all the latest hiring trends, and by maintaining a good relationship with an extensive network of candidates and clients, we know which methods bring success.

Let’s explore how Attract can help your business’ talent acquisition:

  • Why Attract is Important
  • Our Attract Products
  • Add Attract to Your Business

Why Attract is Important

Changing social attitudes mean hiring has changed.

Businesses are changing their focus to becoming destination employers. If you aren’t focussing on your talent acquisition processes now, when the peak of the Talent Crunch arrives, you’ll struggle much more than your competitors.

Is that a chance you can afford to take?

After all, the greatest threat to business growth is access to new talent. Our Attract service is designed to help your business and talent acquisition teams tackle issues they may not even know they have.

For instance, did you know that “leadership teams with strong personal brands receive 300% more applicants to their roles”? That increase can mean the difference between finding a candidate who aligns perfectly with your requirements, mission, and culture or being stuck with a poor-quality hire.

Our Attract Products

At Fraser Dove, we have worked hard to develop a range of solutions to some of our clients’ most crucial issues. Let’s take a deeper dive into the products we offer.

Employer Value Proposition (EVP)

Candidates want to know what your business can offer them. Being transparent about this can give them a clear understanding of their life as your employee. This is essential amid the talent crunch, where employers are fighting to secure the top calibre of talent.

Well-positioned EVPs can provide your organisation:

  • 29% increase in new hire commitment
  • 69% reduction in annual employee turnover
  • 43% reduction in cost-to-hire

A strong EVP will make you stand out, whether you’re finding candidates or they’re finding you.

Employee Advocacy

One of the best talent attractors is one you already have — your employees.

Your existing team are your perfect advocates. Use them to create a variety of media highlighting the perks of work life at your company. Perhaps you offer your team flexible working schedules or significant maternity and paternity leave.

Creating this content with your employees also gives you that much-needed social proof. You stop being another business, and instead become something candidates can easily relate to.

People buy people; we help yours be as effective as possible.

Talent Acquisition Strategy

A well-defined strategy improves your chances of success, and talent acquisition is no different. Simply having a plan isn’t enough though. You must ensure it’s the right strategy to help you achieve your goals.

Did you know:

72% of candidates who have a bad experience with an employer will tell family, friends, and colleagues about it.

If your strategy isn’t properly aligned, you’re likely to damage your employer brand, rather than help it. But get it right and you’ll easily attract top talent.

Our executive search coach can provide expert assistance so you can stand out against competitors and become a destination employer.

Content For Candidates

The better you make the candidate experience, the more likely your offer will be accepted. We improve the experience by creating briefing packs, collateral, and social content.

In fact, we worked with Corden Pharma’s Senior Leadership to create a series of podcasts. These worked exceptionally well at getting across the business culture and values.

When candidates receive this content, they become far more engaged and can better visualise themselves at your company. This can make the entire hiring process run more smoothly.

Leadership Marketing and Personal Branding

Leaders with a personal brand already have access to a range of engaged talent.

One of the first things candidates will do during the hiring process is check the personal LinkedIn profiles of the hiring manager and senior leadership. Why? Because they’re trying to decide if working for you is the right fit for them.

People pick leaders, not jobs. Learning about your management style can help them make informed decisions, which can lead to them staying for longer. From banners to headlines, we’ll make sure your digital real estate stands out.

Personal content gets roughly ten times the traction of corporate content. That means if you are only using a corporate account (and not the personal accounts of your team), your business is missing most of the available talent.

Our training can turn your team into thought leaders, building their audience and giving your business the type of recognition it needs.

LinkedIn Profile Audit and Optimisation

One of the first things a new candidate will do is research the hiring managers and business leaders. What will they see when they come across your profile?

Option 1: An interesting and well-crafted profile, which highlights company achievements and personal attitudes.

Option 2: A lacklustre profile that fails to inspire, or give accurate information about you or the business.

Imagine you’re the candidate. Which profile would entice you more if you were choosing between two businesses?

With our profile audit and optimisation, we ensure that candidates encounter the most enticing profiles.

Add Attract to Your Business

Ready to upgrade how your business attracts the best talent in life sciences? Adding Attract to your business is simple.

Start by contacting Fraser Dove, and we’ll discuss which of our services would suit you best.

Afterwards, our team will work alongside your Talent Acquisition division to find the perfect fit for your business.

If this sounds like something you could benefit from, contact us today!

Contact Our Team

Interested in exploring how FDI can solve your talent problems?

Give us a call at +44 (0)203 355 7050 or send an email to

Check out our main product, Search.

By Jason Cachia

Your employees are leaving because of a toxic culture, lack of flexible working or because they want a better work-life balance. They are taking a stand against several issues that have been elevated since the return to office and pandemic. Burnt-out employees aren’t feeling supported, either in the office or from home; more choices are available to candidates with matching skills.

There is a lot of discussion surrounding the great resignation at the moment. With 44% of Americans considering moving on from their current role this year alone, now is the time to do something about your retention.

This trend of resignations is feeding into lower retention rates and higher staff turnaround, but how can you ensure your employees are happy, comfortable with their flexible working environments and transparent in their career progressions?

There is more to retention than throwing money at a problem. You need to listen and fully understand what your employees want, especially since the pandemic when remote working and high levels of flexibility have become the norm. Alongside this seismic shift in the way we are working, there has also been a 27.6% increase in people experiencing depression since the start of the pandemic, putting a strain on the health services provided.

A fundamental way you can support your employees is by providing some support for this, either through health care, for themselves and their families, or through mental health coaching. This, along with generous holiday allowance and the flexibility to work from home, will allow employees to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Our Quality & Regulatory affairs manager, Jason, has been talking with candidates to gain some inside information for what they will be looking for long-term within a business. Jason says, “They are looking for a healthy, progressive, mental health-conscious and innovative organisation, which helps develop them as an individual, their careers and that they can feel passionate about executing the company mission.” He has helped us pull together a list of the top ways to retain your best talent whilst many are moving on.

Top 5 ways YOU can retain your life science talent (in no particular order!)…

1. Listen

Whether this is done via an anonymous survey, conducting reviews, or just passing comments, listening to what your staff wants is the best way to ensure you provide the right kind of benefits to make your employees want to stay. Not only will it support your decisions on which benefits to offer. It will also help you build trust between all levels of the business if employees feel their requests are considered.

2. Clear career pathway

Not many people are happy to stay in the same role for years. Not even the highest-paid C-suite in the world will stop learning. Your employees deserve to know exactly where they can go, set their expectations for their future and have a shared drive with the business. A career pathway doesn’t necessarily need to be vertical; learning of any kind, whether that is a lateral move into a different product area or gaining higher responsibilities, will keep an employee engaged and focused on the overall goal.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility is the most significant ‘benefit’ you can provide. Flexibility to take a day off if their child is suddenly sick or work from home if they’re having the new kitchen delivered… Having someone distracted by things other than their day-to-day job will only lead to a reduction in their productivity and a bad taste in their mouths towards those who rejected their requests.

This can be subtle such as a couple of long lunches to workout and a day working from home per week, or it could be a fully remote, no set working hours policy. It needs to work for both your employees and the business.

4. Health support – both mental and physical

With the pandemic contributing to an increase of 24% of people feeling anxious and a reduction in the amount of sport being done globally, providing both mental and physical health support is critical. Jason notes, ‘Candidates are looking for medical cover, not solely to cover physical illnesses, but to provide them access to mental health support that is hard to achieve through many public services due to an increase in demand and pressure.’ One obvious benefit of this off the back of the pandemic is the support for patients suffering from Covid-19 in countries that do not have access to free healthcare.

5. The right kind of benefits

The last consideration here is having the right benefits in place for your business. Again, this goes hand in hand with the first point of listening, but you should be giving your staff what they need rather than company-wide benefits that only suit a minority. Bonus schemes determined by role/seniority and delivered according to performance are a good way of giving back to those employees who assist your business; they also help build trust and make your staff feel like part of the wider picture. Other benefits essential to candidates are generous holiday days to provide a greater work-life balance and a series of performance coaches to support any imbalances.

Something that hasn’t been mentioned but should *always* be considered when looking to retain your staff is having a compelling message and presence. Your employees should enjoy it, be passionate about it, and believe in a common goal.

We have worked hard to create a suite of attraction and retention services over the last few months. Get in touch with one of our team to find out how we can help you retain your top employees whilst also attracting future talent. 

By Chloe Carter

Personal branding. Many of us have heard of it, but what actually is it? It is a way of branding yourself and your personality by discussing topics you are passionate about. Put simply it’s the way you promote yourself by sharing your interests, passions, skills etc. 

Personal brands are often pushed to one side and deemed unimportant when compared with other day-to-day tasks someone may have as part of their role, but it is actually one of the best ways to build trust between you and your candidates/clients as an executive recruiter. No matter what you do, you already have a personal brand. The tweets you sent out years ago add to your personal brand; things people have said about you add to your personal brand. So it is already out there, which makes it even more important to create a narrative for your personal brand yourself. No one wants to be remembered for the social media posts they put out years ago.  

With only 1% of users on LinkedIn actually posting, building your personal brand is an excellent way of getting noticed and standing out from the crowd. Growing your personal brand grows your unique value proposition, something candidates and clients will look for and help them decide why you over the hundreds of other recruiters.  

Authentic posts about topics that matter to you build trust and add value. Recruiters tend to have a particular reputation that has been tainted by the few recruiters who aren’t trusted; however, your personal brand can help dispel this potential concern. Forget trying to sell your services; all you have to do is show your personality. Clients and candidates want to know who is behind the recruiter title. Can they trust you with their future job prospects? Connecting with people is one of the most important things you can do to help your career.  

As an employee, your audience will be 24 times more likely to reshare and trust your content than your company’s content. This is an invaluable benefit as your posts act as user-generated marketing for your company, bringing more traffic to your website. Growing your personal brand will build your credibility as an executive recruiter.  

It’s all well and good knowing why a personal brand is invaluable, but how are you meant to go about growing yours?  

1. Spend some time getting to know your audience and their wants and needs.  

Audiences need different things and different ways of receiving information. What resonates with your audience the most and adds value to their lives (and their LinkedIn feed)? Some may resonate with humorous posts, whereas others may prefer factual, to-the-point posts. Take time to understand what is needed and work to deliver this.  

2. Network, you can never do too much!  

Networking and engaging on other posts is another great way to build trust and gain credibility. Not only does this help you build relationships with potential candidates and clients, but it also increases your visibility to those who may not have heard of you or your company before. Content doesn’t have to be mind-blowing; a great way to ensure you meet needs and stay relevant is by sharing and answering FAQs that have come up when talking to your candidates and clients. At the end of the day, you want to be helping solve any issues people may have.  

3. Show who you are.  

The common misconception surrounding LinkedIn is that it is purely for professional personas. This couldn’t be more wrong. LinkedIn is increasingly becoming a place where both professional and personal posts are being shared. More and more people are sharing stories and images of their families, hobbies, etc. This is something that shouldn’t be shied away from. Sharing information about topics not necessarily work-related help build and strengthen the trust you have between clients and candidates.  

4. Consider content pillars.  

Content pillars are a great way of refining your personal brand by clarifying what you will be discussing. These should be topics you are passionate about and broad enough to break down and create individual posts from. A good way of thinking of these is each content pillar is a TV program and within those are the different episodes (individual posts). Content pillars can decrease the time spent figuring out what you will post about and enable your audience to know precisely what they will find when visiting your profile.  

Personal brands are invaluable (and pretty easy once you’ve got the hang of them). Just be authentic, write about topics you are passionate about (because if you are passionate about them, others will be too), and network with others. You are aiming to build trust and credibility, and what better way can you do that than being yourself and sharing your passions?  



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