Importance of candidate experience in a competitive world

by Urmi Jain | Oct 21, 2019
Importance of candidate experience in a competitive world

Causes of bad candidate experience - by Qualigence international, largest recruitment research firm in U.S.


What is candidate experience:

Sourcing, screening, selection, and onboarding are the 4 phases that make up the hiring process. It's about how a candidate is treated during these phases, which makes up the candidate experience for them. Companies have more recently started to look after improving their candidate experience to attract skilled talent.


The tipping scales:

In the wake of poor candidate experience, check the level of discontent candidates face regularly*:

  • 3/4th of the total candidates applying for the job doesn't get any acknowledgement after sending in applications.
  • 3/5th of all candidates who have sat for interviews don't hear back from the companies at all.
  • 2/5th of the upset candidates will not apply again for any other vacancy in the said company later.
  • 1/5th of these upset candidates are likely to talk others out of applying to the job.
  • 1/10th of such people will ask others to boycott the products/services created by these companies.

The statistics fully establish the behaviour of candidates who have had a poor candidate experience. While one could say, why not just reply to all the candidates politely even if they have been rejected, there is a vast logistics issue in there. Moreover, a good candidate experience is beyond just an email reply. In addition to this, companies must focus on regularly engaging with the candidates during the hiring process. This new attitude will be more respectful of the candidate's time and hard work in preparing for the job. It'll also encourage candidates to refer people in their network resulting in a word of mouth marketing.


How to make the candidate experience better?

There can be many ways to improve the candidate experience. The candidates you reject will never defame you or be less excited about your brand as a result of this. 

  • Companies should match requirements with job descriptions and then advertise them for a correct match with talent. 
  • A good hiring practice is to avoid jargon in job descriptions. Companies need to be clear in what they want so that there can be better candidate experience. The description structure and language both play an essential role in clear and straightforward processing.
  • Companies should make better careers page, have clear and easy to follow the application process, and showcase the company right where the candidates are expected to apply for the job. 
  • Companies can consider making the process of hiring easier by introducing mobile-friendly applications. As a result, it will be easier for the employee to apply, increasing a positive candidate experience. 
  • Talent acquisition platforms can make the process of hiring simpler through the help of modern technology. These platforms offer premium services like the scope for an attractive careers page, options to automate engagement with candidates in the form of frequent email replies to their applications, update on their application status, and the like. 
  • Practices like giving numbers to candidates instead of names, asking for previous salaries in applications, replying in non-personal language, not following timelines for interviews, etc. need to be shunned with immediate effect. It might offend the candidate and result in poor candidate experience. 
  • Companies can schedule interviews taking help from the said recruitment platforms. They can help with easing out the interview and result process, for instance, apart from keeping the process transparent.
  • Remembering your thank-yous are a big part of positive candidate experience. 
  • Companies must actively communicate with the candidates they are not considering anymore. Polite rejection messages with a personal touch can do the trick, for example. Also, if the current opening doesn't fit in but the candidate can be considered for a job in the future, the company must keep a tab on such candidates. 
  • Company career pages must always contain a feedback column or space where the candidate can communicate easily with the organisation. Additionally, feeling heard is a big part of the candidate experience, apart from the process just becoming more open. 


Candidate experience is the most significant trend in hiring practice because of the sheer struggle companies face in getting the correct match between job description and talent. Organisations cannot afford to annoy talent because it also shows poorly on the image of the company in the job market. 

HR must begin using specialist platforms, which help reduce the pressure on professionals recruiting on behalf of the company. It is the new face of recruiting. Why are you not on-board already? 


*data from Careerbuilder's 2012 nationwide U.S. candidate survey


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