Candidate Journey

‘Candidate experience’ isn’t just some distant buzzword that your science organisation can safely ignore – because, let’s face it, the candidates for your vacancies certainly don’t, and nor do your competitors. According to a survey on the UK candidate experience cited by online recruitment resource Onrec, 94% of the UK recruitment and HR professionals quizzed considered a positive candidate experience a priority.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s exactly an easy or quick process to cultivate a great candidate experience at your company. It’s a task that will require constant effort at every touchpoint, so here are some of the things you can do to optimise the candidate journey to the benefit of both the jobseeker and your own firm.

Try out your own organisation's application process

Past research has indicated a huge disconnect between candidates and employers as far as their perceptions of the candidate experience is concerned, with many candidates finding themselves taking hours over an application process that the given company may think only requires 30 minutes’ of time investment.

So, this particular advice is simple: go through your own organisation’s application process to ascertain the reality of the situation. You may well immediately spot issues with the process that you never expected to see, and it’s fair to say that there’s no such thing as an ‘over-optimised’ job application process – there’s always room to improve.

Place the emphasis on relationships rather than CVs

Even in the marketing world that for so long seemed to treat customers in a somewhat impersonal manner, it is becoming widely accepted that people need to be treated like people, rather than numbers. This has led so many firms to invest heavily in creating a customised experience for those who wish to purchase from them – so why isn’t the same happening with employers for candidates?

As articles like this one from CNBC indicate, “ghosting” – the phenomenon of an employer suddenly ceasing to communicate with a candidate in whom they previously seemed interest – appears to be becoming an ever-greater problem.

With statistics continuing to suggest a frighteningly large percentage of candidates who never hear back from a prospective employer after their last interview or even simply the initial job application, it’s fair to say that there’s huge scope for your company to stand out when it really works hard on the candidate journey.

Consider what the ideal candidate journey may look like

This is the kind of thing for which a team meeting and a load of A3 paper could come in very useful. Planning out the process that you would like to unfold for people applying for a job with you – from the initial point of contact, right through to onboarding – could throw up many obvious optimisation opportunities.

If that sounds a bit intimidating, ask yourself some teasing questions first, such as “What does the ideal candidate look like?” and “What is the kind of communication from a prospective employer to which that ideal candidate is most likely to respond?”

You should also consider how you can make that candidate feel welcome at every stage of the application process, and if all of that sounds like too much effort, you might think about how communication of a more automated nature could be used at various stages.

Would you like to strengthen your own organisation’s chances of filling its open science jobs? A linkup with the science recruitment experts at Hyper Recruitment Solutions might turn out to be the perfect first step.


As much as we might all like to think that we are immaculately impartial when it matters – such as when we are leading a HR team recruiting for a position – the fact of the matter is that we are human and therefore as prone to bias, whether inadvertent or otherwise, as anyone else.

There have certainly been enough signs of that down the years. One controversial report cited a few years ago by The Telegraph, for instance, suggested some bias among recruitment agencies against black and ethnic minority candidates.

Meanwhile, a recent BBC Inside Out study found that a jobseeker with an English-sounding name was offered three times more interviews than a candidate with a Muslim name, despite the two CVs that were sent out detailing the same level of qualifications and experience.

So what are some of the forms of bias from which your own hiring team could be suffering?

1.       Confirmation bias

We’ve all probably had times when we’ve glossed over news articles containing facts that don’t comply with our political views, while remembering and agreeing with those that do.

Well, a similar thing happens in recruitment – you might have certain preconceived views about a candidate and seek out information in their CV and at interview to confirm those pre-existing beliefs, while discounting any information that goes against those beliefs.

2.       Overconfidence effect

This term refers to when a person’s subjective confidence in their judgements outweighs their objective accuracy. You may be overly confident, for example, that you always make the right hiring decision whenever you go by gut instinct.

This form of bias often originates from confirmation bias – you may remember when relying on your gut instinct led to a great hire, but not when it resulted in disaster.

3.      Similarity attraction effect

This is the tendency for people to look more favourably upon and seek out others who are similar to them. In the recruitment context, this may manifest in viewing candidates who have the same hobbies and interests as you or support the same football team more positively.

That might not be such a great problem if you’re drawn to people with a similarly strong work ethic to you. However, all too many hiring managers can be swayed by factors that have nothing to do with on-the-job performance.

4.      Halo effect

Do you presume that just because a given candidate is good in one way – for instance, is friendly and agreeable – they’ll also be good in other ways, such as in the sense of possessing the right technical skills for the role?

You may think you would never view candidates in such a way. However, many hiring managers fall into the trap of liking a candidate so much that they fail to carry out the required objective analysis of their job-related skills and abilities.

5.       Illusory correlation

If you’ve been asking those wacky interview questions that seemingly have nothing to do with the actual responsibilities of the role – such as “Show me 10 uses of a pencil” or “Which piece of fruit would you be?” – you might want to ask yourself whether you are suffering from illusory correlation bias.

This is the tendency to perceive a relationship between things – such as people, events or behaviours – even when such a relationship doesn’t exist. There is no evidence that ‘weird’ interview questions like the above, for instance, actually predict job performance.

How can such biases be eliminated?

Many ways have been tried of minimising bias in the recruitment process. Name blind CVs have become increasingly popular among certain big employers, while the use of video interviews in the early stages of screening can also help to offset discrimination by asking the same questions of every candidate.

Another way of helping to ensure that hiring decisions are not made due to personal or cultural bias is to keep a record of the reasons why candidates were rejected. This can be a good form of both internal and client feedback, and certain patterns in your HR analytics may show signs of bias.

It’s impossible to completely eliminate any trace of bias from your firm’s approach to hiring. Nonetheless, by bearing all of the above in mind, your company can maximise the likelihood of making the most impartial and informed decisions when seeking to fill its science jobs.

Why not click through to learn more about the varied recruitment solutions that we provide to our employer clients here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, including candidate screening?
Job Interview Tips

You probably don’t need our science recruitment experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions to tell you that the job market can be an extremely competitive one.

A survey last year reported by Business Insider, pretty much confirmed what so many of those seeking the most attractive and lucrative science jobs already knew when they reported that UK job seekers have to apply for 27 positions on average just to land one interview.

So, if you are fortunate enough to be invited to interview, here are six job interview tips to maximise your chances of success.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Yes, you might have heard this job interview tip often, but it can’t be emphasised often enough. Thorough preparation for an interview is very much the bedrock for success.for success.

As a guideline, most candidates have a tendency to spend just a few hours preparing for their interview, so we would advise you to spend much more time than that. After all, you need to be spellbindingly good to truly impress the recruiter, not just adequate.


  • Get accustomed to 20th-century technology

There are so many examples of cutting-edge (and maybe slightly less than cutting-edge) technology in today’s recruitment landscape that are not exactly going to just go away. Therefore, this is a job interview tip that should be kept in mind for those who do not get along with technology. 

Increasing numbers of companies, for instance, now like to conduct video interviews before meeting with you in person.

So, you should take the time to ensure you are comfortable with whatever technology is used and don’t make any amateurish mistakes that will make a bad impression – such as positioning yourself at an unflattering angle to the camera or neglecting to ensure the lighting and sound are top-notch.  


  • Make sure you have a clear value proposition 

Remember that the interview is ultimately about selling yourself to the recruiter or employer, so you will need to – at the very least – have an extremely clear value proposition to make them truly interested in you.  

To do that, you will need to communicate not only what it is you do, but also who you serve, or who your customers or clients are.

You should also be able to convey what value those customers or clients perceive in your services and what you can offer that isn’t available to those customers or clients anywhere else.  


  • Ask strategic questions

While it’s obviously crucial to provide convincing answers to the questions you are asked, it’s equally important to have interesting questions of your own to ask.

A job interview tip to follow is to ask strategic questions designed to bring you closer to being presented with a job offer, rather than basic tactical questions – such as how to do certain things – that can plant doubt in the mind of the interviewer.


  • Pay attention to your image

Your interviewer is a human being, and like any human being, they tend to remember images rather more easily than words or text. Think back to the last movie you watched – is it the images that you recall most from it, or the actors’ lines?

It’s therefore important to make sure you present the most positive image to the interviewer as soon as you arrive. Are you wearing appropriate clothing? Is your posture good? Are you smiling, or gloomy? 

If you’re struggling for ideas of decent questions to ask, this article from The Guardian on the best 10 questions to ask in job interviews may give you some timely inspiration. 


  • Be oriented towards the future, not the past

It’s all too easy during a job interview to become buried in your past achievements and qualifications. When it comes down to it, what are you going to do for this employer in the coming weeks and months after they take you on?

The future is almost certainly what the recruiter or employer will be mostly thinking about, so it’s what you should be mostly thinking about as a candidate as well.

Would you like to benefit from more advice and guidance like this in your quest for a rewarding new science job? If so, don’t hesitate to familiarise yourself with the HRS Candidate Commitment before getting in touch with our team to learn more about what we have to offer. 
How to Write a Job Description

The most recent Labour Market Outlook report issued by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) stated that the number of vacancies in the UK economy remains well above historical average levels, and this news should lead many science employers to consider whether they really are doing everything they can to inspire and attract candidates.

Your company’s approach to writing job descriptions is one key aspect that you may wish to examine. Writing a good job description is a very important part of any attempt to fill a vacancy, so how does one write a job description that the very best candidates will feel compelled to respond to?

Here are five top tips from the experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions:


1. Be clear and realistic about the role's responsibilities.

The most important part of a job description is the list of day-to-day tasks for which the successful candidate will assume responsibility. Don’t be vague when writing this list, but don’t try to cram too many duties in, either. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 8-12 key areas of responsibility.


2. Use an engaging tone.

Remember that the whole point of a job description - besides outlining the most basic details about the job - is to persuade someone to come and work for your organisation.

A dry and impersonal tone will cause candidates to lose interest before they have even finished reading the description. By placing the emphasis on where your company is going and what you can do for the candidate, you will make your description much more compelling.


3. Avoid discriminatory language.

Even when you don’t specifically intend to discriminate against anyone, the use of certain words and phrases in your job description can have that effect anyway, and this may restrict the range of candidates that apply for your vacancies. Bad news if you're trying to diversify your workforce!

As the GOV.UK website details, employers discriminate against candidates in a number of different ways, so you should take every measure to ensure that your job descriptions don’t prevent suitable candidates from applying for your vacancy.


4. Use terminology that candidates will understand.

Of course, if you’re advertising for a senior role in pharmacology, engineering, another specialised science sector like those that we serve here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, using certain industry-specific terms may be a good way to ensure that you only hear from qualified candidates.

However, if certain technologies or practices within your organisation are known by names that outsiders are unlikely to recognise, you could find yourself inadvertently deterring perfectly suitable candidates. Read your job description carefully and do your best to eliminate any confusing or ambiguous jargon.


5. Play it straight with the job title.

Required skills and day-to-day responsibilities should make up the ‘meat’ of your job description, but there are certain other basic elements that all job descriptions need if they are to be truly effective - and you need to get those elements right.

Consider the job title, for example. This definitely isn’t a part of your job description where you should be using any confusing or obscure terms. The job title should be something that all candidates will immediately understand; this will attract more interest, more, and of course more applications.


Are you an employer looking to bolster your science recruitment efforts? If so, visit the Hyper Recruitment Solutions website to find out how we can help you.

The productivity gap between the UK and other developed nations is undoubtedly one of the most troubling issues of our current economy.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has stated that UK workforces are 31% less productive than their US counterparts and 17% less productive than the rest of the G7 countries, despite the number of hours worked by Britons being similar to these other nations.

It is an issue that no organisation launching a science recruitment campaign should ignore - but what are five of the factors that are exerting the greatest influence on staff productivity?

1. Staff attitude

The people who you recruit to your organisation's science jobs need to have the right attitude, but all too often, employees do not enjoy their work and therefore spend more of their time watching the clock or thinking about the money than making a major contribution to their employers' fortunes.

Do your bit to improve employee attitudes by placing them in roles that play to their passions and strengths, in addition to formally recognising their achievements.

2. Ill health

Did you know that during 2014, sickness absence was an average of 2.8% of working time per annum, or 6.5 days per employee, costing employers an average of £16 billion?

Employee ill health is unquestionably a great drain on the productivity of UK workforces, with public sector organisations feeling the worst effects - a median of 3.5% of working time is lost due to sickness time in such organisations, compared to the 2.2% recorded for private sector firms.

3. Technology tools

It isn't just those organisations in more technical fields, such as information systems, that need to keep up to date with the latest technological developments that could benefit their employees' output.

Between 1995 and 2005, the IT revolution was found to be responsible for 0.6% of labour productivity growth and 1% of overall growth in Europe, the US and Japan, so you can rest assured that when your staffers are equipped with the right tools, they will get more done.

4. The 'higher ups'

Are you providing your workers with the supervision that they need to deliver the maximum productivity, not just answering their queries, but also encouraging, motivating and inspiring them, in addition to formally recognising and rewarding their achievements?

Unfortunately, all too many supervisors concentrate on the negative aspects of their employees' performances or don't keep promises to them, thereby eroding the respect that staff members have for them and therefore, their commitment to delivering the best work.

5. Downsizing and outsourcing

It may be tempting to save money by farming out more of your organisation's work to independent professionals or simply downsizing your company, but have you considered the effect that this has on existing staff members' morale?

If your current employees suspect that your firm is on a downward slide, their own focus can suffer as they contemplate their own position within the organisation and potential alternative career opportunities.

One of the most sure-fire employee productivity boosting measures will always be to simply recruit the best-suited individuals in the first place. Your organisation should therefore never underestimate the assistance that a leading science recruitment agency - such as Hyper Recruitment Solutions - can provide in your hunt for the best pharmaceutical, clinical and other science talent. 

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