This article is reprinted from The Consulting Journal

Methods: Employee journey maps: Recruiting

by David Blakey

The second step of your employee journey map is Recruiting.

[Monday 28 September 2020]

The second step in an employee journey map can be recruiting. Many organizations put this as their first step. My preference is to put specifying in front of recruiting, but that is a matter for you and your client to discuss and come to an answer on. I believe that it is important that potential employees should know that a fair amount of work has been done before they join the employer, and that there is a solid process, including reviews of documentation.

This article will present a series of topics that can help your clients' thinking.

First contact

This is the how question. How does your client attract new employees? What methods does your client use to attract new people? It is a good idea to prepare a long list of methods and ask your client which they use, and which they could consider using. This can change the ways that the client contacts and recruits new people. My long list is:

You may be able break some of these down further. Advertising covers a wide rnge of media, some of which your client will use regularly, and some of which your client will never use.


This is how an interested person submits an application.

This may be a good opportunity to review the client's application process. Is the process unnecessarily complicated? Are there some tasks that can be deferred, or are they essential to the recruitment process. For example, some government agencies ask each candidate to agree to a police check on the candidate, as early as the application form. If that employer has a requirement for its employees to have passed a police check, then that should certainly be raised at the start of the process. If a police check is only needed for some employees, then that might be stated at the start of the process but permission to conduct one only asked later in the recruitment process.

Current good practice

The client should also review their recruitment process to check that it fits with current best practice.

If the employer - or a recruitment consultancy - asks employees to undergo a personality test, you should make sure that the employer is not using an outdated or discredited test. There may be good candidates - who are possibly excellent employees - who will refuse to do certain tests. These people may also know how to play tests so that they give the result that the employer is looking for.

Above all, the employer should not have forms, including online forms, that ask candidates to enter details that are already on their CVs. Experienced people may have CVs going back decades, with multiple employers, positions, and responsibilities. Asking them to rewrite or retype wastes their time and can give them the impression that their carefully crafted CV has no value to the employer.

Some clients may respond that they like to have the employee's history on their files. If you fail to convince them that this is an irrelevance, you might try persuading them that someone else other than the candidate should be asked to enter this information, and it should only be done after the candidate has signed an employment contract.

I have heard of cases where employers insisted that candidates' CVs were in a certain format. If the information that the employer needs is contained within the CV, then the employer can transcribe it. If there is some level of detail that is missing, the employer can ask for this during an interview and then note it. You might also ask the employer why their process is geared towards their expectations, which the candidate does not know yet.


The employer will probably interview all the most promising candidates. Can the employer demonstrate that their interview processes are fair and unbiased? There is much overuse of the word diversity today, and little shared understanding of what diversity is. It is not good enough for an employer to embrace diversity without being able to explain, lucidly, how that will be demonstrated in practice. Does it involve quotas? If so, how will those quotas be achieved? All of the documentation around this subject must be clear and precise.

If the employer has a recruitment system based on Buggins' turn, then they should document exactly that. If they are seeking to fill a role and the quota for BAME people, or women, or older people is not currently being met, then the new employee will be appointed basely partly on the need to raise one or more of the levels. In other words, the employer should state that it will not necessarily be the best candidate for the position who will be the person who gets it. If the employer has difficulty in doing this, you should encourage them to think again about their policies on quotas.

The interview should never be conducted by telephone, and certainly never by using online conference apps. One major point to interviewing is that two people meet face to face, preferably in the premises of the employer. I say two people because panel interviews rarely achieve anything apart from allowing existing employees to compete with each other without appearing to do so. The candidate is a secondary consideration. Panel interviews can also give the impression that the candidate would experience no clear single line of command and report within the employer's organization.

The interview process must display honesty. There are organizations in which a minimum of three candidates have to be interviewed, although the employer - or the employer's HR department - has already decided which of the three it wants to employ. For that one candidate, the interview becomes a hurdle that they must not fall at, rather than an opportunity that they could succeed with. For the other candidates, there is only a chance to succeed if the preferred candidate does fall at their hurdle and makes a calamitous mess of their interview. Usually the only way to do that is to arrive drunk. If that is how the employer operates, you should convince them to change their methods and adopt an honest approach to all candidates.

Some candidates may not be asked to come for an interview. The employer should decide whether they are out of the competition entirely. If they are, they should be told, promptly. These people have better things to do - such as applying for a different job with a better employer - than waiting while the interview process of the short-listed candidates takes place. They should be treated with respect and courtesy and honesty. Remember that the employer may want to employ them at some time in the future, for a different position more suited to the their talents, skills, and knowledge. Even if they are going to be rejected for the current position, they must be given a good impression of the employer.

If the employer does not want to release these people from the recruitment process, but instead wants to keep them in the running, as it were, then there is something deeply flawed with the recruitment and interviewing process, or something deeply flawed about the people running the process. Both can be sorted out, but it may take a strong argument from you to achieve the cure.


All stages of the recruitment process must be timely. If people are being rejected, they should be told that without delay. If there is some problem - such as that the person scheduled to conduct the interviews is ill - then the candidates must be informed. All this must be documented in the recruitment process.


There are two aims for the recruitment process for any position with the employer.

First, it must be effective in appointing the best available candidate to the position

Second, it must convince everyone else who applies that the employer is honest, rigorous, and fair, and that they would apply again to that employer for a different position in future.

A personal note

The worst recruitment process I went through was one in which I was interviewed and the company took over a week to respond. When they did, it was a letter that stated that I did not have the skills and experience that they were looking for. (This may have been true, but they could have phrased it to tell me that they had found someone with a better fit of skills and experience.) Time went by. About two months later I got another letter from them. The position had become available again, and would I like to be considered? I assumed that the person that they had selected had worked for them for a month, and either that the employee had had enough of them or that they had discovered that their new employee could not do the job. I replied, in a polite telephone call, that I did not want to go through the selection process again if my skills and experience were not sufficient. I thought that that firm, brief, but civilized conversation had ended the matter. Then I received another letter, which told me that I would not have to go through the selection process again, and that the position was mine if I wanted it. I replied in writing, stating that they did not exhibit the behaviour and attitudes that I had been looking for in an employer. We never communicated again. On a happy note, you will be pleased to know that that employer was not a consulting firm.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Copyright © 2024 The Consulting Journal.