It's been a while...

It's been a while.

I've missed you.

How have you been, what's new?

I find myself saying "it's been a while" a lot when I write partly because I am finding it difficult.  Not quite sure why, I have lots to say but those thoughts take too long to get onto the page, too long to get them right to the point where I just miss things.

I am back on a train again and I hope that will increase my output again.  I like writing but more importantly I like the debate afterwards.

My train takes me to my latest interim assignment and it's good.  A little slow to begin with maybe but interesting and with a project bias rather than day to day delivery and I like that. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks as the projects are starting to develop into something more substantial. I believe I can make a positive mark, at least for a while.

So far this new found train time has been a combination of looking out the window, staring at people, trying to work out what they are thinking but also some writing.  The 'book' has been dusted down looked at again and will appear on a kindle near you sometime between now and then, possibly never.  You see I have a hundred things to say about recruitment about what will make it better and how to do it well.

But the book sucks.

It's boring.

It has a nice cover picture but little else.

It’s actually like a lot of recruitment. Great on the outside, enough words to get you in but then it sucks. Which leads me to the content of my blog today.

Candidate journey or experience or whatever the word is remains a hot topic in the corporate world. It’s an easy topic to talk about and everyone I talk to in business, HR or Talent Acquisition has a view on what it is.  The reality though is it is a really tough thing to your arms around as typically no single person in the organisation owns the end to end process.  It too reads like a book written by several authors who were told to go and write a book but forgot to talk to each other along the way. In part there is a sense of repetition (why do I have to give you my date of birth again) in others a lack of context (please fill in form 166D but only if rule l684 applies... Etc.).  In most organisations a lack of passion, expectation management and bureaucracy.

There are the urban myth stories about how some companies have cracked it, that they pre-employ throughout the process, that the onboarding process is an amazing gamification inspired celebration of their arrival in the company.

Sadly I still don't buy it.

I have heard the presentations, read the case studies but still not actually met a candidate who has been through it and enjoyed it. Please, if you know someone, send them in my direction I would genuinely love to hear from them, partly to kill my cynicism but also to learn something from them.

You see matter how we see it making the candidate something special, making it worthy of our brand, something to be proud of is hard.

No, it's tough.

No it's whatever that thing is where it's so hard and difficult in a corporate environment that the thing that you started doing is by the end not much like the thing that you wanted to do and you have been to a dozen leaving parties for people that were part of the project improvement team but had the wherewithal to give up before it sucked them in.

Or am I being pessimistic?

Naturally I don’t quite have the answer. Taking an existing end to end process and making it the best it can be is tough in a large business. There are multiple steps, multiple systems, multiple stakeholders but I know it can be done just not sure how large corporations have cracked it yet.

I will come back to this – today is the ask for help bit. Who has genuinely made candidate experience something worth shouting about, something to be proud of and something they will be willing to share with me?


Currently working across Europe with high growth, high tech organisations to develop effective blended onshore/offshore recruitment models, covering full commercial engagement, transition and ongoing delivery management.

I am an avid blogger, writer, public speaker and traveller of trains across the UK.

Follow me on twitter @MDangerfield or find me on Linkedin.

Martin Dangerfield