This week I have witnessed the two polar opposites in terms of candidate attraction by interviewing clients.  

Yes, there are more candidates on the market.  However, competition for the top 5% of talent is not dwindling - we at Collingwood have witnessed this throughout lock down.

Firms are still clambering over themselves to secure that missing piece of the jigsaw that can catapult their strategy and make a real difference.

Some of the below may seem obvious, but believe me, I remain surprised at the amount of times interviewers slip up:

 - Assuming you're using a recruitment partner, a consistent message throughout the process.  The star candidate will become nervous, or completely turned off, if the reason for recruiting, level of responsibility and potential developmental opportunities are not clear and consistent from all stakeholders.  Clearly set this out with your recruiter prior to any activity

 - Timings.  This one's a biggie.  Granted, people are busy and, assuming there's an interview panel of two or more, gaining synergy on diaries can be a nightmare.  Having a star candidate wait more than a fortnight to be seen dilutes the message in terms of how important this hire is for you.  Move heaven and earth to make it work (if the candidate's worth it)

 - Lack of clarity on timings and process.  For any headhunted candidate, they are having to make excuses as to where they are and what they're doing.  Accepting a foreign head office may wish to have final say, it is imperative stages are clearly outlined to the candidate early.  And please, don't over do it.  It'll only diminish the chances of the star candidate remaining engaged.   As stage gates are further added to the decision making process, I sometimes have to field calls from the candidate who state, "does this reflect on the company's ability to make decisions full stop?"  Psychometrics certainly have their place, too.  Again, the message from the off needs to be clear

 - Feedback.  Prompt, comprehensive feedback should always be provided by the hiring person.  Please consider that, even if the candidate did bomb, they're likely to tell people within the industry what their experience was like.  A poor experience could be very damaging to your employer branding in the future

I completely accept that, ultimately, you need to be assured that you're picking the best equipped candidate.  However, especially with headhunted (passive) candidates, there is a need to court them, too.