4 Actions to Improve the Candidate Experience

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In the new candidate-driven market, there is little room for mistakes when fighting for qualified talent.

Candidates want to feel like they are valued and might seek other opportunities if they feel like their time is being wasted. Besides deterring good talent, your company could suffer other losses by sticking to a bad recruiting process.

Many people relay their positive and negative experiences to both their inner and internet circle. Candidates that are put through a truly negative hiring process may even take their business elsewhere as a consumer.

A study was conducted by the TalentBoard to further investigate the factors that make up the candidate experience.

Over 95,000 candidate responses from North America that make up the CandEs have helped to shape the following four suggestions that aim to improve the candidate experience while also protecting your brand reputation.

  1. Application Process
    Interestingly, the results indicated that the total time necessary to complete the job application had no real impact on the candidate experience in and of itself. If a candidate felt they could adequately present their skills and abilities for the position, the duration of the process wasn’t really an issue.

    Respondents noted that including an open ended question at the end of the application was a great way to provide a candidate with a way to do this. Some candidates did feel that there was a discrepancy (or inequity as it may be) between the long time it took to fill out an application and the quick time it took for a company to reject them.

  2. Interview and Screening Process
    Many responding candidates stated that a more transparent interviewing process, like being provided a detailed agenda prior to the interview, helped ease the pressure that comes with interview process.

    Candidates also mentioned that being provided interviewer names and background information prior to the interview also contributed to a positive experience.

    Employers can improve the interview experience by:

    • Escorting the candidate between each interview (while obvious, many employers overlook this simple tactic that will make your candidate feel welcomed)
    • Providing a way for the candidates to connect with the interviewer (just as employers like to vet their candidates, a good candidate will do their due diligence on their interviewer)
    • Giving specific and relevant feedback (this shows the candidate that you are there to help them be successful, whether as a part of or external to your organization)
    • Encouraging them to reapply for a different position or at a later time

  3. Candidate Rejection
    Many candidates who rated their experience with the lowest possible rating received a rejection email from a “Do Not Reply” address, which gives absolutely no personal touch.

    Imagine a candidate who has taken the time out of their schedule to apply and go through the interview process, only to receive a generic email saying essentially thanks, but no thanks. These generic emails infuriate candidates because they usually provide no feedback and imply to the candidate that they are unworthy of your company’s time.

    People who rated their rejection experience favorably, received a personal email or phone call from the recruiter or hiring manager. With this method, candidates felt like their time was valued and could be considered for another position at another time.

  4. Candidate Withdrawal
    In a candidate-driven market, candidate withdrawal becomes a sensitive area within the hiring process. Candidates have more opportunities than before and when faced with multiple offers may take another job with a different company if the vetting process is less than satisfactory.

    Candidates who reported that they removed themselves from the application process had various reasons, such as not having good rapport with the recruiting/hiring manager, feeling like the onboarding process took too long, or that their time was not respected by the company when it came to maintaining appointments or interview schedules.

    People will want to work for a company that treats them well from the beginning of the relationship. Even though salary and quality of the role are important factors to a candidate’s criteria, we are all humans with the desire to be engaged in a positive working environment with an employer that treats its employees with respect.

The Importance of Applicant Experience in Talent Acquisition
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Sabrina Lu

Sabrina Lu is a professional writer based in the Orange County area with a degree in Writing from San Francisco State University. Although technical writing was the focus in her studies, Sabrina also enjoys creative writing and the various forms of expression. She values strong opinions and is always interested in learning about different perspectives. Her free time is usually filled with sandy beaches, fluffy animals, fusion foods, and the latest beauty trends.

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