Enhancing Candidate Experience: Insights from the NZAGE 2022 Best Candidate Experience Award Winners – Tonkin & Taylor.

At a recent forum organised by the New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers (NZAGE), the spotlight was on the winners of the NZAGE 2022 Best Candidate Experience award. The event, hosted by Tonkin & Taylor in Auckland, shed light on their candidate experience programme and the strides they’ve made to redefine their approach. Tonkin & Taylor’s commitment to valuing every individual and prioritising personal connections has been instrumental in their success.

Everybody Matters: 

Tonkin & Taylor embarked on a transformative journey in 2019, reimagining their graduate programme from the ground up. Central to their philosophy was the adoption of a new core value: Everybody Matters. They recognised the significance of investing time and attention in every candidate, regardless of the outcome. Tonkin & Taylor firmly believes that everyone deserves care and support, ensuring the best possible candidate experience.

Culture First:

Tonkin & Taylor understood that authentic in-person experiences and the cultivation of strong relationships were paramount to creating an exceptional candidate experience. By placing “Culture First,” they prioritised face-to-face interactions to forge connections and provide invaluable insights into their organisation.

Incorporating Feedback: 

Tonkin & Taylor actively sought feedback to refine and improve their candidate experience. As part of their efforts, they implemented a revised assessment process. Candidates are now asked to provide written assessments relevant to their respective roles, enabling a deeper understanding of their compatibility with Tonkin & Taylor as an organisation. The traditional cover letter and psychometric testing were replaced, streamlining the process and allowing for a more personalised evaluation.

Face-to-Face “Experience Mornings” 

To offer candidates a comprehensive understanding of Tonkin & Taylor and its opportunities, the company introduced “Experience Mornings.” These sessions provided candidates with the chance to spend a morning immersed in the company’s culture. Divided into three 45-minute rotations, the Experience Mornings offered:

  1. Interviews: Candidates had the opportunity to showcase their skills and qualifications in interviews.
  2. Insights into Tonkin & Taylor: Graduates and Learning and Development personnel facilitated sessions to shed light on the organisation’s values, projects, and diverse pathways for growth.
  3. Group Exercise: A team-based activity, such as a Lego challenge, allows candidates to demonstrate competencies in teamwork, communication, leadership,‌ and

Building Relationships and Providing Feedback:

At the conclusion of the Experience Morning, candidates were given the chance to network with Tonkin & Taylor’s leaders and graduates, fostering meaningful connections. Subsequently, the decision-making process involved input from managers, who carefully considered each candidate. Tonkin & Taylor remained committed to providing feedback to all graduates, regardless of whether they were accepted or declined. Additionally, successful candidates were invited to participate in pre on-boarding social events throughout the year, further integrating them into the organisation’s community.

The results speak for themselves with 100% of applicants feeling positive after attending a Tonkin & Taylor experience morning and 100% of applicants agreeing that Tonkin & Taylor is an organisation they’d like to work for. Tonkin & Taylor’s managers and team leaders are also feeling very confident in their hiring decisions.

Tonkin & Taylor’s dedication to enhancing the candidate experience exemplifies the importance of personalised interactions, fostering connections and continuously refining the recruitment process. By embracing the values of “Everybody Matters” and “Culture First,” they’ve demonstrated their commitment to providing an exceptional experience for candidates.

You can find further information on Tonkin & Taylor’s winning candidate experience programme below.

The T&T Candidate Journey.


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