Simply put, candidate experience is the sum of each experience a person has with your company from the moment they decide to apply for your open position. Interviews are two-way streets. While you are researching and making decisions about a candidate, they are doing the same. Since the hiring landscape is very competitive as a result of the current skills shortage, creating a good candidate experience is critical to your hiring strategy.

Candidate Touchpoints

The potential candidate will make decisions about how employee-centric your company may or may not be during the application and hiring process. Some of the decision points are:

  • how easy or difficult it is to navigate the application process
  • transparency and communication throughout the process
  • whether they are treated respectfully at every step
  • how the interview process is conducted
  • how a rejection notice is handled
  • whether new employees are set up to succeed

Why Does It Matter?

The short answer to why it matters is because your reputation is on the line. Candidates will talk about their experience and share it on social media. Having a reputation as a company that respects candidates and communicates with them will improve your ability to attract and retain top talent.

If your application process is simple to navigate and easy to complete, fewer candidates will drop off, giving you a larger pool of applicants for your position. More top talent will complete your application and continue through the hiring process.

You can create brand advocates when the candidate experience is positive. According to research by Software Advice, 88 percent of applicants would encourage others to apply to your company, and 71 percent would be likely to use your products or services.

How to Improve Candidate Experience

Looking for work is a process that most people dread. Many candidates believe that their experience as a candidate reflects how they would be treated as an employee.

Transparent and timely communication at every step of the interview process is key to a good candidate experience. Candidates expect a fair, transparent process facilitated by timely communication.

Early in the process communicate expectations. Make the interview process faster by using video interviews. Be cognizant of scheduling to include people who need to juggle other commitments or require additional accommodations. Provide feedback after interviews and create and use a candidate feedback survey.

Think about how you treat customers. That customer service mindset will be valuable for creating a great candidate experience. Also, consider how you would like to be treated and make sure to give candidates the same consideration.

There are tools available to make some of these steps easier. Software and AI can handle some of the communication that will give candidates the resources they need to navigate the hiring process. Recruiting specialists can also be helpful in designing your hiring strategy and application and interview process, as well as crafting compelling job descriptions that will appeal to your target audience of potential candidates.

Creating a positive candidate experience is a competitive advantage in a labor market where in-demand skills are in short supply. Recruiting results can be improved by creating a better candidate experience.